August 28, 2007

I'm b-a-a-a-c-k!!!!

Hello, world, and welcome! It's been a long, long time and lots has happened - not sure if I'll ever catch up or even if I want to!

I was locked out of the account for awhile and for awhile there has been so much going on that posting has been a luxury I haven't been able to afford - let's see how I manage now I'm back on line.

Tonight, by the way, was the night of the total lunar eclipse and we had a stunning view of the blood-red moon from here in Sydney's west. I'm wondering if those of you in North America got to see it as well.

Well, that's all for now - I think I'll have an early night for a change.

Catch y'all later and take care -

Love, Susan

May 13, 2006

Saturday morning, 13 May [6:30 a.m.]: Woo-hoo!

Thanks to help from Karl at, I am finally able to post again! I have a busy day today but later I will post a few thoughts that I had during April and was unable to post.

My love to all and you'll hear from me soon...

- Susan

March 27, 2006

Monday evening, 27 March 2006 [9:30 p.m.]:

Hey, Keith.

Dude, I have missed you so but I have been so busy and haven’t had time to write. HEAPS is happening and I want to fill you in on all of it but it will have to wait for now. You will be so proud of me when you hear!

Going to go and get ready for bed – an early, early, early night for me as you know! It’s like 2:30 a.m. in Canada (BC) right now and if you were around we’d probably be on MSN Messenger – seems like most nights, you didn’t go to bed until around 3 a.m.

I’m going to sleep in tomorrow morning and not go in ‘til late – they owe me so many hours and if I’m not careful I’ll wind up not getting paid for them. And I am meeting with the Head of School in the afternoon to talk about my position and what is going on in the School.

Gotta go or I’ll do a face-plant on the keyboard! You take care, say ‘Hi’ to all, be there for Jessie and whisper to Don M that he needs to write me. Keith, I don’t want to lose touch with him; he’s sort of really my only tangible link to you (and he’s a nice guy in his own right!).

Love you heaps –

- Susan

March 22, 2006

early Wednesday morning, 22 March 2006 [1:00 a.m.]:

Grizz –

Honey, I miss you! Next to my Mum, I think you were my biggest champion, my best mate and my best friend. Remember when you said that when I made it to the top of the heap to remember who kicked me in the a$$ and got me there? Well, dude, I owe you one (actually, I owe you for a lot, lot more than just that).

But still I miss your concrete and tangible presence in my life. I need you. And I wish that I didn’t. “You don’t always get what you want; but if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need” – Rolling Stones. Well, I needed you and you needed me and it all just happened. We went from being pleasant acquaintances to being a mutual island to escape to in order to find some respite from a threatening present. A partnership that worked well and was cut off far too soon. I think our paths came very, very close to crossing on a number of occasions – I think I’ve worked it out going back to before 1980!

Have to go – getting sleepy and I have an early morning tomorrow.

Let Jessi know that she’s loved and keep her strong and safe. Don’t be a stranger and visit when you can.

Love –

- Tiger Woman

March 21, 2006

Tuesday, 21 March 2006 [5:45 p.m.]:

Hi, Keith – here I am again.

I’ve been meaning to tell you about all the special things that I’ve been seeing lately – things that I suspect are gifts from you: to keep up my spirit, to remind me of the joys that abound. Cockatoos calling from the trees and overhead; lorikeets chattering about their latest nectar find; pine needles caught in the fencewires of my gate and making an urban haiku – all of them gifts from you. On the weekend I got up to all sorts of stuff and among them was the task of washing the car (something that Warwick usually does). In the process of sudsing and rinsing I saw on the ground the most amazing thing: the tiniest, tiniest feather that you have ever seen. It is, from tip to the base of the quill, less than 9 mm long and it is a perfect miniature of a “real” feather. It is just exquisite.

Today was good – very good indeed! Everyone at Biomedical Sci have been great and I was treated like visiting royalty – makes a change from MRS, eh? But you should see what I have to teach on Monday morning: all of the muscles of the arm (there are quite a few when you remember that includes all the muscles of the hand) plus tendons, and points of insertion, etc. And yikes – I have thirty students in each prac! They come to the centre for a lecture/demonstration and then divide into four groups to study what we call “wet specimens” (human cadaver parts). At least now they put in the Handbook that students will be working with cadavers in this subject – back when I it we had students walk out of the course on the afternoon of the first day when they strolled into the anatomy lab and saw body parts around the place. Some find it gruesome; I just find it fascinating.

Hon, I’m going to go – baking a banana cake for Don R and it smells like it’s just about done. There was a terrible cyclone in northern Queensland yesterday and it centred on the banana and sugar cane growing regions – in a few weeks time there won’t be a banana to be had at any price – best to enjoy them now.

Tell Clayton I spent part of another evening reading his first book – it’s great, isn’t it? Take care, dude, and give my regards to Clayton, your Dad and your Pop. Love,

- Susan

March 20, 2006

Monday night, 20 March 2006 [11:00 p.m.]:

Hi, Hon, me again!

This will be short – it’s late and I had a big day today. Interview went well but they admitted at the end that they were also interviewing someone who was already doing the job (God, I hate that). But they did ‘specially invite me to apply for a another position that would be advertised in the next two or three months.

Had a lovely time with Don R tonight. ‘cept for his little forays into R.S.V.P. and temper tantrums, he really does make me happy. He can be very, very sweet. Let’s hope the good bits last for a good long while.

Sorry, Grizz, but I have to go already – I am about to nod off.

Missing you, as ever –

- Susan

March 19, 2006

Sunday night, 19 March 2006 (11:00 p.m.):

Hey, dude, how goes it?

This will be short – I have a job interview in the morning and I have to get in bed early. I’ve been so tired lately, not sure why.

As for Don R, things have gotten a little weird. A shame because we have fun and we seem to like each other and each other’s company. I’m just taking it day by day.

Now to Don M – well, he hasn’t written and I would have thought that by now he would have had some time off. But then, with him, you never know. I came very, very close to ringing him up on the telephone tonight – it would have been about 8:30 or 9 p.m. Saturday night there but I just chickened out. I want to ask him about the sponsorship thing and other stuff; for instance, if he has Paul’s details in Creston (or whatever it’s called in SE BC). I’m thinking that Paul might know how to get in touch with your pilot friend who’s now in the Yukon Territory.

Been thinking ‘bout you lots and miss you. I got Clayton’s book out and put it on my pillow so I could read another chapter tonight. I have to go – I am such a slug, it takes me ages to actually get my butt in bed when I say that I am headed there. I guess I just like living so much (usually, anyway) that I just hate to waste time sleeping! Wish me luck for my interview –

- love, Susan

LOL! Another picture of Kylie! This one is a still from the video from her "Kylie Fever" tour. I really like this music video - she looks like the Robot Queen. The outfit is by Dolce & Gabbana and the boots are by Jimmy Choo - just about all the clothing items in the 'Kylie' exhibit at the Powerhouse are from the big designer names. (See my post from 8 March 2006.) Posted by Picasa

March 16, 2006

Thursday night, 16 March 2006 [9:35 p.m.]:

Hey, KD!

How are you honey? You won't believe what's happened... Yesterday afternoon I had to take a module over to the Printery and on the way I met two senior lecturers from the School of Biomedical Sciences. They were floored when they heard that I had been given notice by MRS. Right away they asked me if I would be interested in teaching anatomy and first-year physics - and this morning I got an email with my times for two hour-long lectures in anatomy starting on Monday. Can you believe it *I* am going to be teaching at the University of Sydney!!! Far out! I am completely rapt - it's like a dream come true! This is just so cool - on my resume I will have clinical, administrative and now teaching experience at the Uni - wow! You were always so supportive - I know you will be pleased and happy for me.

Don R and I aren't going to be able to go camping after all as his son, Mitchell, has a soccer game on Sunday. But we are going to go for a drive up the coast on Saturday and, if the weather is good, we are going to take the surfboards. He has both Luke and Mitchell the following weekend so we can't go then; maybe the weekend after that, we'll have to see. I hope we can as autumn is here and the days are getting shorter and chillier.

I did make that Thai green curry fish the other night and it turned out scrumptious - I know that you would really like it. (Whether I would have been able to get the ingredients in 108 or 100 Mile or Williams Lake I don't know.) Yeah, I would have liked making stuff for you and eating your elk stew and knocking around together. You're my best mate and I miss you terribly. I want so badly to hear your voice again.

Got to go - I haven't been getting enough sleep lately and I've got to brush up on my anatomy - luckily I'm just starting out on the upper limb (a.k.a. 'arm', LOL!) and have a while to go before I have to do the head and neck which is real, real complex. But I wasn't doing an Honours degree for nothing and I genuinely like people so, while a challenge (I'm real rusty), it should be fun and a good experience. I'm pretty sure that it's in the anatomy labs where the students work with cadavers - for the first sessions that I'm doing there will probably be about five arms laid out in the stainless steel troughs in the lab. Some people find it gross but I just find it completely fascinating - damn good thing, eh?

OK, good buddy, I gots to love you and leave you. I'm taking good care of your Sage hat (and it now just smells like you and not like you + cigarettes). I miss you and think of you always with so much love -

- always yours, Susan

P.S.: Mid way through March and the jacaranda tree on Harrow Road still has blossoms on it - amazing!

March 14, 2006

Tuesday, 14 March 2006 [10:00 p.m.]:

Hey ya', Keith -

Well, I am writing this to you using "WordPad" 'cuz MS Word has died on this PC. Couldn't have come at a worse time 'cuz, as "luck" would have it, I not only did not get the Clinical Admin job (no real surprise there but so much for positive thinking), I got fired today. They only have to give me one hour's notice but they gave me something like six weeks. I will still be representing the School at the Hobart conference. Anyway, with no MS Word it will be difficult to do resumes and job app letters.

No stars tonight it's all cloudy - a shame because the moon should be full tonight. But I saw them last night and enjoyed being with you then. I always, always do.

Going to go, I am really tired - got up with Don R this morning when he gets ready for work - at 4 a.m. and been up ever since - eek!

I'll read another of Clayton's stories before I fall asleep - that'll put me in a good mood!

'night, handsome Canuck - you sure are missed....

- love, Susan

P.S.: And, yeah, we are going up the coast this weekend and I will get my first surfing lessons!

March 10, 2006

early Friday morning, 10 March 2006 [12:30 a.m.]:

KD –

Was surfing around some of the other blog sites and found out this interesting fact – today the moon is waxing and is 76% full. Just thought you might like to know! ;-) [I have always just loved moon-gazing.]

‘Bye, hon.

- Susan

Thursday night, 9 March 2006 [11:30 p.m.]:

Hey my Grizz!

Dude, I miss you. You know what? – I am actually missing you more each day instead of missing you less. I thought that is what would happen, that gradually you’d slip away from me and I’d miss you less and less. But that’s not what’s happening… I really miss you, and need you, more. I think it’s a survival mechanism – I hate this feeling of isolation so maybe I am keeping you in my world to, in some way, make up for the things I believe that I should have and don’t. You seem to be the only sure thing in my life as pathetic as that sounds. Everything else is, like the title of that movie, just sand and fog.

Speaking of movies: I don’t know how you went with English-subtitled foreign language films but I just saw a magnificent one in Kurdish/Farsi – “A Time for Drunken Horses”. You know I live in an Islamic neighbourhood; well this film gave me more of an understanding of life in the Iran/Iraq area at least. The plight of the children, the women, the animals! And I thought that things in my life had been “swept away”!

The stars are exquisite tonight – all sparkles and glimmers and strewn across the sky from horizon to horizon – the best I’ve seen in months. I wish I were down at Warren’s in Picton to see them at their best.

Clayton’s stories are wonderful – I am enjoying the book so much. I am trying really hard to not just gobble it up in one sitting but am forcing myself to limit myself to no more than a chapter in one sitting. I am absolutely inspired by his sister-in-law, Josephine Capoose. Talking about someone having aspects of their life swept away: poor Josephine did it tough. But, damn it, she bounced back every time and gave it another go. I will see if I can find her grave, too, and leave some jacaranda flowers for her, too.

My job interview was this morning and I believe that it went well. In all honesty, it’s not what I want to do but it is full-time and permanent so I have to consider it. I think that I will have a D&M with the new Head of School next week… I’m pretty certain there are a lot more projects around the place that would make much better use of my strengths.

Don looks as if he really will go along on a trip up the coast and we’ve moved it one week sooner (depends on when he has his boys over). I sure hope we get to go surfing! I don’t know how long it will take to get up there or if Don would be willing to leave after work on Friday – he’s a postie and I know that he gets tuckered out, especially if the weather is hot like it was today.

Hon, I gots to go – it’s after midnight now and I’ve been a bit tired lately. Hey, I actually ate some dinner tonight and had some chocolate while I was watching the DVDs. That’s good.

OK, my favourite dude – enjoy yourself and, even though you’re in heaven, I say, “Give ‘em hell!”. Just go for it, honey, and have a great time – I know that you, of all people, know how to squeeze the very last drop of enjoyment out of every single day. Good on you, “You go, dude!” ;-) Love ya’ heaps, honey –

- Susan

March 08, 2006

Kylie Minogue in a still from the music video "Spinning Around"

Here she is folks - Australia's own Kylie: owner of one of the world's best bums. An exhibit of Kylie memorabilia is on display at Sydney's Powerhouse Museum until 7 May 2006. This outfit is one of hundreds of fascinating items on display. Until I went I had no idea how petite she is - in spite of her tiny size she has such a powerful presence on stage. I don't think of myself as a Kylie fan but you have to hand it to her.
You go girl!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday night, 7 March 2006 [11:30 p.m.]:

Hey, Hon…

Hi, it’s me and I’m feeling much better (thank God). And tonight when I got home this fantastic thing happened – a rather bedraggled copy of Clayton’s first book was laying on the top step! I had ordered it ages ago and it has finally appeared. It’s great – I love all the photos and sketches. Damn, damn, damn – I should have let you send me that copy that Clayton had dedicated to you. I really can be an idiot, can’t I?

Got on the Apple iTunes Music Store tonight – downloaded a James Blunt (did you know his stuff, honey?), some Crowded House, some Joan Armatrading (Blunt sounds like her – LOL!) and did some window shopping in the ZZ Top department. They don’t have everything (for instance, they don’t have the ‘Antenna’ album which just might be my favourite) but they’ve got stuff like ‘Balinese’ and ‘Precious and Grace’ as well as the big stuff like ‘Sharp Dressed Man’, ‘Cheap Sunglasses’ and the rest.

I am just reeling from my last conversation with Graham – he has this habit of making pronouncements that are simply not open to discussion. Bloody damn shame but that’s the way it goes sometimes. One day Graham and I will be the best of friends but for me, right now, it’s all just too raw.

Last night, Don R was on Messenger (he’s on most every evening) and I asked him if he had a sec to talk. I told him I had some stuff for him and some of his camping gear and a desk for his boys to use when they are over at his house. (He has two of the nicest, nicest boys.) So he’s coming over on Saturday night and I’m making my famous Thai fish green curry and jasmine rice (Don really likes his rice) and we will see how things go. [I haven’t made that Thai dish since I made it for John S ages ago.] I am hoping we can go camping up north at a place called Fraser Park. I’m hoping we do go and the weather is good – Don has promised to teach me how to surf and we didn’t get to go last time when the weather was so awful. He brought his longboard and a short one for me – and I had two bikinis, a kurta and a miniskirt and didn’t get to wear them! {{{{Susan pouts}}}}. Now I’m going to make a big statement here – I don’t know if you know who Kylie Minogue is but I am telling you she has one of the world’s best butts. And ya’ know what? She will die for an a$$ like mine when she is my age! LOL! So there! ;-P

OK, my Grizz, I have to work on some job applications – they need to be in on Thursday and tomorrow I have to get ready for the interview for the MRS interview on Thursday a.m.

It’s great to look up from my desk and see your photos on the wall at work. And tonight I’m going to read the first chapter of Clayton’s book – I am pumped about it. It couldn’t have arrived at a better time – thanks, hon.

Missing you –

- Susan

March 06, 2006

Monday evening, 6 March 2006 [6:15 p.m.]:

Hey, Hon…

I’m in a mess and so very depressed. Everything, everything is wrong. I want so badly to talk to you – I want to find out what you reckon about everything here. I’d like to see it through your eyes and see what you make of it.

It’s a mess with Graham and I don’t know what to do. I think that right now I just have to let him be. He doesn’t want to hurt me; he says that and then he turns around and says something devastating. He doesn’t mean to, I know, but the net effect is the same.

I always want things in a hurry, don’t I? I’m not very patient and, to be honest, I don’t know how to “play” a man and get him to do what I want while they think all along it’s all their moves and their ideas. I never enrolled in ‘Dishonesty 101’ and I don’t know how to lie in wait like a black widow on her web calmly waiting for her next victim. I suspect that my “fools rush in” style is too entrenched to change.

I have to thank God for Chuck from DC – I don’t think he realises how much he helps.

I have been so, so suicidal. But, damn it, I am just too strong to go there. I think about it in the car but then I could never go ahead and wind up hurting someone else. Then there’s the pills – so easy to stockpile them and a pretty painless way to go. I was just sitting on the edge of the bed thinking, “What would they do at work if, day after day, I just don’t show up?” What would Wozza do? Who would look after Ruffie and the cats? How long would they go hungry before somebody worked it out? What about Steven next door? Anyway, I don’t think it’s going to happen but I do think about it and I do wonder.

Hon, I’m going to go. Oh, yeah, I haven’t heard from Don M. I thought for awhile there that we were OK with each other but now I’m not so sure. Maybe he just wants it all behind him and doesn’t need the reminders from me. I’d like very much to hear from him and he did, after all, promise to answer some of my questions (and that was more than a year ago – LOL!). Ah, we shall see – maybe he is just doing his usual workaholic thing.

‘bye, Keith. Sorry, but I am too, too sad to even love you right this minute – and that says one hell of a lot. I do miss you though and think of you always.

Help me, please?

- S.

February 28, 2006

Tuesday, 28 February 2006 [8:00 p.m.]:

Hey ya’, my Keith!

It was simply gorgeous tonight when I got home from work – I must have gotten home around seven p.m. I’ve just come inside from looking for you in the stars but it’s still a bit early and not dark enough. It was dark enough, though, to see Venus and to see an incredibly fat fruit bat flying overhead – lucky it didn’t poop on me! You (and just about everybody else in Canada and the US) probably don’t realise but fruit bat poo is really corrosive. If they poop on your car and you don’t wash it off within a day or two, it eats right down to the primer. To be able to repaint it, the repairer has to grind it down to the bare metal or the paint won’t take. Lots of bats around here ‘cuz we are only two blocks from Duck Creek – they always like to nest near a body of water. We had a few bats in Michigan, but not the same type – as a matter of fact, there were hundreds on Mackinac Island - but the ones here are HUGE.

Jeez, dude, I keep seeing the profiles of all these Australian guys in the 45 to 55 age bracket – MY GOD – they all look so old!!! It’s shocking, it really is. Should we blame it on the hole in the ozone layer??? You look like a baby compared to them! You just came stomping into my life and stuffed it all up for me, didn’t you? Oh, Honey, you know I love you and the time that we had and that I don’t regret one single second of it. You’re just a bit of a hard act to follow – LOL!

Jane was all over me like a rash today – she even left a chocolate bar prezzie on my keyboard when I got in. We will have to have a team meeting about some aspects of sonography after we settle into the year.

AND today I got asked to interview for the Clinical Admin job on the 9th (“my” job, remember?). If I get offered it as a part-time position, I will just refuse. Plenty of other jobs going at the University. Anne got bad news today – they are not interviewing her for her own position. I feel sorry for her but she’d be better off working somewhere else where she doesn’t have to work under Hong who is absolutely terrible to her. I have no idea why she (Hong) continues to get away with it, but she treats people who work with her terribly. At least four of the last five people in that position have resigned because of her. A shame.

Hey, some good news – I actually ate today! Usually I have a serve and a half of oatmeal, usually with a bit of orange marmalade stirred into it. Then I have one of those mini-sized Mars bar and a can of diet soft drink and, sometimes (but not very often), a half or two-thirds of a chicken kransky. Not very much food and not very well balanced (I do have a big Centrum multivitamin everyday). But today I had the oatmeal and Jane’s candy bar, a large banana, some dried apricots, some sultanas (raisins), and a bit of dried pineapple. I might even have something for dinner! I think it’s part of being suicidal, of wanting to be where you are and not here any more – I am just starving myself to death. The whole scene at work has been terrible and things haven’t been good in the relationship department. Then money worries and problems with Wozza. {Sigh.} Sometimes the temazepam is tempting I have to admit. And Dr Davis gave me a double Rx last time – I’m responsible, aren’t I? Hmm. Whatever the reason, I have now lost 30 kg (66 lbs.) in less than a year and a half. I sure hope that I don’t lose too much! I’ve got such a nice female shape and a great a$$ - pity for it to disappear! And some of my clothes (remember how about two weeks after you died I went berserk in those shops and bought all those clothes?) well some of them are starting to look like hell because they are just too big. The trousers that I put on lay-by (layaway) to wear to the conference in Hobart (end of April) were a size 12. Been a while since I’ve been a 12! I will probably have to have some of my clothes altered – my sewing machine isn’t working (and some of the clothes have what they call “flat felled” seams – that means they are about impossible unpick so they can be restitched).

Graham has just now SMSed me. He wants to come over tomorrow night ‘cuz I still have his Christmas present. But he doesn’t want to come until 9 or 9:30, after a quote. God, I need a relationship counsellor – I know!!! I’m going to invent a “digital dating advice” device – you type in a hypothetical (or real, for that matter) dating situation, press the “calculate response” button and, hey presto, the “correct” reply appears. I mean, do I say, “Sure, what ever you want, Graham.”, or “Sorry, it’s inconvenient, I have to …. (insert excuse)”, or “I’m sorry, but 9:30 p.m. is a bit late, try some other evening.” or whatever. I am always too willing to please and wind up not getting the respect that I should. I turned myself inside out trying to please you, KD, but then you were dying and you deserved every single consideration that I could come up with to make you happy. And I did make you happy and we had fun and I think that we did the best that we could. It’s just a bit of a shame that I have to be left behind down here without you - God’s plan for whatever reason. You saw a bright future for me and I have to make it a reality. Just a bit hard when work is so damned difficult and demanding right now. Hard to know what to do about the Skeena trip; hard to know what to do about the Masters’. And I’m tired, God I’m tired – work is just taking it out of me, I’m afraid.

Honey, I am going to go – I have to SMS Graham and Warwick and then I want to look at some job vacancies at Uni that close on the second (day after tomorrow).

I’ll check the stars later again tonight. Send my good wishes on to Don M and to Jessi. Have a good time with your Pop and Dad and Clayton. That’s another thing I’d like to see in BC – your grandpa’s hunting lodge. Was it near Quesnel Lake or closer to 108? I wish you or Alison had been able to find those old photos before you left, I would like very much to see them.

Thanks, Honey, for being your special self. I don’t have to say that I love you and that I miss you, do I?

- ‘night, Susan

February 27, 2006

Monday, 27 February 2006 [6:30 p.m.]:

Hey, Hon, it’s me and I’m early!

I did my little bit with the students this morning (urg, I hate it when I have to get there early!), went ‘round to Kerrie’s to help her get up to speed with what she missed last week – and then I left – YAY! It was so good to have a day off – unfortunately there were lots of little errands that I had to do so it wasn’t all happiness & joy but it sure smelt like freedom! ;-) Going to have a rare early night tonight, too.

Had a blue with Jane this morning – she wasn’t impressed that I didn’t present an admin-type talk to the students and I wasn’t impressed that I wasn’t timetabled. She came out and said that I had been announced and I told her that I hadn’t prepared any material (overheads, handouts) and that I wasn’t presenting. I also told her that a thank you for all the work that I did while she was away and on the weekend would have been nice and she said she hadn’t had time – LOL! She sat right next to me handing out materials and getting sigs, etc. and she never said a word. And when I asked Lucy to hand me a box of physics notes she said that, because of her back, she couldn’t. So Jane passed them over and guess what: there were about five in the box – LOL! What a bunch of prima donnas!

I had to have a blood test – my kidneys seem to be packing it in a bit so Dr Ross wanted them checked out. I had to go to the clinic at Parra, too. Then I went to three Woolworth’s stores to try and find one with a working carpet cleaner and chemicals but couldn’t find all the bits altogether at one. They won’t let you reserve them either so it’s just a case of “suck it and see”. I went to Parra Westfields, too, to see if anyone had turned in your wristband but no luck.

Got some groceries while I was out. Ruffie and the cats will have to make do with a “no name” petfood until payday when I can get them the high quality stuff that I usually get them. I got myself some dried fruit, some fresh fruit and some vegies, some milk, oatmeal and yoghurt. This big splurge has left me with something like $2.28 until payday (Thursday) in my account and about five bucks in my wallet. How come I work so hard and have so little to show for it? I still have, of course, the $2,000 for the airfares in an investment account. But what to do, what to do? If I do as Steve C. has suggested, I’ll wait for another year to come and will spend a year working on the fundraising/sponsorship deal. How will that affect Jessi?? How will I know if it’s OK with her? Hon, I just don’t want to write her yet! Then there is my Master’s degree – which will probably mean that I will have to postpone that, too. [I have been really slack – I need to get all the readings out and go through them, see what other stuff I should get the Library to order and get a hold of that hospital in South Australia. And, of course, I’ve got to get going with the solo trips outback to sort of get my head around being on the Skeena alone for so long. It would be just so cool if Don and Jessi would come. And, yeah, the bears do scare me! (But you’ll watch over me, I know.)]

I kept seeing this raven on Campus today. Of course, I thought of you. When I went to leave I went through this sort of rainforest area they have with a pond and fountains and orchids, etc. There was a raven with beautiful golden eyes looking at me. I spoke to him and a student came up behind me and passed us there in the trees – and laughed to see me carrying on a conversation with a bird – LOL!

Speaking of little birds… there is a large, busy intersection in Parramatta at Church Street and the Great Western Highway. Someone had (sometime previously) knocked down one of the traffic lights and all the lights were flashing yellow. It was chaos – everyone was trying to go at once and there were no police or anything. People were pushing in, honking horns, hollering. It was a bit after three and there were schoolkids. There was a little Asian girl trying to cross – she didn’t have a hope in hell of getting across – cars couldn’t even get across. I pulled up to where it was safe, put on my flashers, got out and locked my car and crossed the highway (barefoot!). I had to put my hand up traffic cop style to get across – it looked like a movie – LOL! When I got to her I told her to take my hand and I helped her across. She was very sweet and, unlike some people I work with, gave me a very nice ‘thank you’. My good deed for the day done. I then called the Parramatta police and told them that not only were the cars in chaos but there were schoolkids trying to cross. That little girl I helped was so little, cars would have never seen her.

Speaking of big creepy birds – the other night I got two comments on the blog from someone who had seen me on a dating site. Maybe I mention my blog in my profile, I don’t recall. The comments are moderated now after I had some guy from French-speaking Canada make comments about my profile here (jeez, those eastern Canucks can be irritating!). Anyway, I deleted the comments because I do not feel like advertising my dating profile here. Then today he e-mails me! And tells me that I was “self-obsessed” to leave Ruffie on her lead that one Friday. FFS people! Do you want honesty or do you want the standard fare bullshit??? If you do not like what you read here or if it upsets you: GO AWAY! There are plenty of other blogs to read. I’m ‘self-obsessed’ enough to say: THIS BLOG IS NOT ABOUT YOU OR YOUR OPINIONS OF ME; IT’S ABOUT ME AND MY LIFE. GO GET ONE OF YOUR OWN (a life and/or a blog) IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT.

Well, how many times does a girl get to vent in one day – LOL! Anyway, I’ve put the music back on and that always feels right. I can’t believe how down I can feel and, hey presto!, on goes the music and I’m singing and carrying on. Phew! Good thing, eh?

Miss you, miss you, miss you. Please make the creeps stay away, honey, OK? Oh, bugger, that reminds me! I had another gorgeous, intricate dream last night – but can’t remember enough of it to relate here. Too bad I didn’t write it down this morning.

Dido’s “White Flag” is on and it always makes me think of Graham (but then so does “You Oughta Know”/Alanis Morissette). Then, I think, I need a good dose of ZZ Top – that’ll cure my ills!

‘bye, Hon, I’ll write later. See you tonight in the stars…

- love, Susan

P.S.: Got the Top’s “Afterburner” album rockin’ out of the speakers!

P.P.S.: I swore that if I got home tonight and found out that Ruffie had attacked the bedding on the clothesline that I’d ring the “Trading Post” straight away. Lucky for her, she gets to stay another day. But, phew, she’s on the nose a bit – Wozza will have to help me bathe her when he’s over on Friday. We both get soaked in the process!

P.P.S.: Aw, Honey, “Rough Boy” is playing. I know it’s too late for wishing, but “if only”…

February 26, 2006

later Saturday night, 25 February 2006 [11:50 p.m.]: Keith –

Hi, again. Just wanted to say ‘Hi’ – I just miss hearing your voice so much. It’s been so long since we spoke – 380 days to be exact. I am forgetting what your voice sounded like – now, whenever I hear that lead singer from “Uncle Kracker” (“Follow Me”), I always think it’s your voice.

God, I miss you!

Just a sprinkling of stars tonight, but enough to say ‘hello’ and wish upon, eh?

I’m a mess honey, I really am. I’ve got no bloody money and nobody writes any more. I rang Rick the day before he got home on his leave and left a message with his flatmate and he didn’t bother to ring. He makes a goddamned fortune compared to me and it seems he always expects me to pay for the ‘phone calls. And I asked him to make arrangements to get his stuff out of here (I have been dragging it around for ALMOST TWO YEARS) but apparently he hasn’t bothered. I need the room and I am trying to get the place presentable so I can get someone in to share the rent but I guess he has forgotten. All Spring he went on and on about how he didn’t have any money and then he goes and tells me that he’s been putting at least $2,000 aside every month for a house deposit. When we were together I bought practically everything – washer, vacuum, dinners out – because he was so goddamned cheap. I am seriously irritated with him – you wouldn’t think it would be such an effort to write or ring, would you? (He did, I admit, buy me that Welsh flag when he went to the UK last year. Must have been in a good mood.)

I’m looking at Messenger and there are your two contact names – “fishingfool” and “K” – I cannot bring myself to delete them. Honey… I miss you so. And I know that I always will. But it’s my time now, things just have to start going better for me, they have to. I cannot go on any more, I really can’t. I try to make things change, I try to do the right things but things are just not working out. To be honest, they haven’t in a long, long time.

I’m tired, I’m strung out – I am going to go to bed. Tell me now – if I take all my sleeping pills, will you meet with me after I die or will you refuse? You know what they say, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander”, so you damned well better (or I’ll tell St. Peter and no more Sleeman’s for you lot).

‘night, honey. Here’s a hug {{{HUG}}}.

- an upset, confused and hurting Susan

February 25, 2006

Saturday, 25 February 2006 [noon]:

Hey, Dude!

Wow, honey, it’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I’ve had many, many late nights and just haven’t been able to write. This coming Monday I have 55 students on Campus and I have been busy getting prepared for them as well as preparing materials for the students in the other subjects. I have to go out to the Campus later today to pick up stuff from the Printery that didn’t get finished Friday – this very thing happened last year. But last year the students started on the 19th – and it was the night before that Don M rang me to “officially” tell me about your death. While I knew it already in my heart it was a bit of a blow to hear it. I must have been in some weird state because I was able to get up in front of all those people and do my little bit and look 100% calm and at ease. And I was really dying little by little inside. I guess, in some ways, I still am.

Ugh – Don R is on Messenger right now and for some reason it really irks me. It was awful what he did.

OK, lessee, what’s happened lately? Hasn’t been real good, I’m afraid. But, somehow, I keep seeing you through it and I am able to somehow persevere. There’s been lots of stars and lorikeets and cockatoos and blossoms that always feel like a message from you. I got a call from the personnel person on Main Campus about two applications that I had made: they were not accepted because – wait for it – I didn’t address the selection criteria in point form!!! Well, I wasn’t very happy about that and the call came in on my mobile (cell ‘phone) just as I was going out the door for work. While I was opening the gate, a hibiscus flower dropped directly at my feet and I thought, “Keith is trying to tell me that it’s all right”. You have ways of keeping in touch, don’t you? Thanks, hon, I know you care and I’m sorry if that caring holds you back in any way. I know that you never meant to care but we got too close and you got ensnared. Well, I never planned on loving you, either, but it happened and, as it turned out, we were each just what the other needed and at the right time, too. (Oh, by the way, I’m wearing your Sage hat this very minute.)

I got a letter back from the Brotherhood MCC and I’ve been invited to attend (and speak!) at their March meeting. I wrote a quick email about how much I liked the Silverwater bike show and asking about the winners in some of the bike categories (remember, I was torn between this nice BSA and a Harley?) and I mentioned that only two or three of the bikes entered had any information about the bike or the owner or wherever. So I suggested that they consider making up a standardised A-4 (that’s a paper size – a lot like letter size) info sheet for each entrant and have it in a frame in front of each bike and I volunteered to do it. They like the idea and that’s why I’ve been invited to the meeting. See, I really am turning into a bikie chick – LOL!

I had to get my navel repierced! It just wasn’t straight – the ball on the top was sort of off to the left. Didn’t look too bad with these barbells that I have (it looks sooo nice, so pretty with all the iridescent colours) but if I got a belly bar that had any hanging charms or anything it probably wouldn’t look too good. That’s actually what I want – a belly bar that has a loop or ring at the bottom that you could add silver charms to and be able to change them. I haven’t see anything like that and Robin, my piercer, hasn’t either. OK, that’s all I need – a seller of piercing jewellery – LOL!

BTW – I haven’t heard from Don M yet, hope it’s only because he’s been away on work and not because he doesn’t want any more contact with me. That would be such a shame.

In an effort to keep myself at home (instead of out spending money that I don’t have) I’ve gotten out a few movie DVDs. I saw “Cold Mountain” (pretty OK); “Heaven & Earth” (an Oliver Stone film – absolutely excellent); “Jean de Florette” (French film with subtitles – I’d seen many years ago. A good story.); “House of Sand and Fog” [very, very good – Ben Kingsley (‘Ghandi’) and Jennifer Connelly (‘A Beautiful Mind’)] and “The Passion of the Christ”. I just don’t know what to say about “Passion” – I mean, I’m from a Catholic background and I wondered how many Catholic school kids are going to get ushered into the school gym in order to watch it. I was fantastic to hear the dialog in Aramaic – some of the words, like “mort” (dead), were the same as Latin.

Speaking of the Middle East – last week one of the Islamic sects blew the dome off an important mosque that held a shrine with the remains of two Imams [10th and 11th descendants of Mohamed (somebody let me know – do I have to type PBUH here?)] that was revered by the other sect. It was at Samarra and the mosque that was blown up was beautiful; well, before it was beautiful. I’m telling you, there will be civil war (if it hasn’t started already) and it will be terrible. I wish the US would just pack up its gear and piss off and leave them to it – this just doesn’t have anything to do with the US and they should get out and spare the personnel that are there. It doesn’t make any sense. Another thing that’s been happening over there – a Danish newspaper published a number of cartoons that many Islamic people have taken great offence to. All sorts of Western business have been torched and there have been many deaths in riots, etc. I have to tell you, I saw the cartoons on the Internet and they were pretty damn tame. I know that I will sound disrespectful if I say that some people have no sense of humour but for even one person to die over this is crazy. Far, far worse humour has been directed at the Catholic Church and at Christ and the Trinity but we don’t go out and commit murder over it! Islam scares me – it seems to have the ability to inspire completely rabid fanatics. How they can do what they do in the name of religion I don’t know. (And it’s scary living in a neighbourhood that I would guess to be about 85% Islamic.)

I had a weird dream last night – very detailed and definitely in colour – LOL! I was in Phnom Penh (where else?) and was some how restricted in my movements – I think that I was a political prisoner. I was walking on the streets (sort of looked like Vietnam before the war) and trying to keep out of sight of the traffic cops that were directing traffic at large intersections. I went ‘round a couple of corners and there was a double-decker bus parked by the side of the road on the other side of the street. It was all painted in sort of a graffiti style – and it was advertising American-style pumpkin pies – LMAO!! Then I walked back to the main street and saw all these large trumpet vines with huge white flowers in planter boxes all along the road. How the hell I managed to come up with this in a dream I don’t know – it doesn’t seem to have any relevance to anything going on in my life at the moment.

I have to go – have to get ready to go out to the Campus to collect the printing. I need a shower anyways – while we haven’t had any rain to speak of in months and months it is still muggy and humid and I seriously need a shower – due to clean my piercing now anyway.

Trust that your hat is being looked after and cherished. I’ll write again when I can. All my considerable love –

- Susan

P.S.: BTW – both my cameras are broken (!) and I can’t take pics of anything (and I don’t have the $$$ to get them fixed).

February 19, 2006

very early Sunday, 19 February 2006 [12:00 a.m.]:

Hey ya’, Keith!

Hi, Hon, how goes it? I had a great day today – it was fun but I spent way too much money! AND I GOT MY PIERCING DONE! And, hey, you wouldn’t believe it – it didn’t hurt at all! I was expecting that I’d flip right off the couch when she did it but it hurt less than it did when I had my ears pierced (many, many years ago!). The belly bar is too cool – it is mostly iridescent purple but it changes as you move, so it’s purple, teal, plum and green by turns. But mostly purple which, along with jacaranda blue, is my very favourite colour. Robin, the woman that pierced me, was really nice (and she had some serious piercing on her face and some nice tatts on her arms) and did a fantastic job.

The University is sending me to a conference in Hobart, Tasmania in April – so today I put on lay-by (lay away, yeah?) a coat and matching trousers, a dressy top and a "little black dress" with white, black and silver sequins and beads on the shoulders. I am going to redo some of the beadwork to introduce some colour into it, which I can then accessorise. LOL! – Susan the show pony! Imagine if I get a pair of high heels – what a hoot! (Actually I will have to get a pair of dress shoes.) It’s kind of weird but Dr Ross keeps telling me that I’m on this sort of phoenix trip and reinventing myself – I guess I am and it’s fun, too. And the bloody trousers – they were a size 12!!!! That was one nice thing about the black dress – Don R had told me that one nice thing about my a$$ is the shape of my lower back and how it sort of merges into my butt – I had a good look – and he’s right!

I got a little 3 x 4" frame and for once – I printed off a photo of me and it looks nice. I’ve got it next to your photomontage frame and they look good together. I got a little mini dream catcher today, too – lets hope it increases my good dreams and my memory of them and filters out the bad ones. I got this cool ceramic sphere that’s got a lovely pattern embossed and painted on it; it’s with the frames. Then there was this beautiful wooden box from India with a pierced hexagonal-shaped lid. When you open it up there is a place for two incense cones – I also put the little painted elephant that I got in Chinatown in it (it has polished brass elephant silhouettes on the front). I also ordered a new pair of glasses – I need them so badly. Ack, I got a quote to do the carpet cleaning - $350! – can you believe it?! I sure am wishing that I had a money tree in the backyard! (‘cuz my teeth need work and I really want to order my hiking boots from LL Bean so I can be breaking them in.) Oh, I got a black leather wristband with star-shaped studs. I saw one that had those pointy studs that I liked but it had skulls that didn’t look good. There was one with Maltese crosses that was OK but I liked the stars better – after all the stars mean an awful lot to you and me and your mates. And I have this really cool pair of knickers and they have a silver (of course!) five-pointed star charm on the front of them. Very cute (and the teeniest, weeniest back on them that you ever saw!). Too bad for you that you missed out, KD. ;-( Too bad for me, too, eh? I again have to say thank you to you for giving me confidence and a belief in myself. It’s been fun – I know I look good in tight jeans and my boots – now what does ZZ Tops say about it? – "She had a West Coast strut that was sweet as molasses, but what really knocked me out was her cheap sunglasses". That’s me all right! LOL!

A lot of people have been raving on about the DVD "Amelie" so I got it out today – it was quite good – I liked it about a thousand times better than "The Notebook" that you watched last year. I wonder if you’d find the subtitling annoying. I saw a couple of copies of "Field of Dreams" and I remember you telling me about it that last time we spoke together on the ‘phone. Just one of a billion memories of you.

Hon, I am going to try and get to bed a bit earlier than usual – I need catching up after that marathon effort on Thursday night. Oh, I’ve almost forgot – I have to go clean where the piercing is – you have to clean the area twice a day. Even though the clothes that I was trying on were clingy, the belly bar didn’t show underneath which was good.

So what time is it? It’s time for you to check in with St Peter and tell him Susan down here says it’s time for you and Clayton to take delivery of a couple of slabs of Sleeman’s Pale Honey Ale – enjoy, enjoy, enjoy my very best buddy. How fortunate I am to be able to say that we are friends.

Always in my mind and heart – (aw, bugger, I’ve started to cry and that hasn’t happened in a bit. I reckon it’s ‘cuz I’m not eating and I’m tired and, God damn it, ‘cuz I love you to bits and I miss you every single second). ‘bye for now…

- love always, your Susan

February 17, 2006

Friday, 17 February 2006 [9:00 p.m.]:

Hey there, Grizz!!

Hi, hon – I’m on early for a change. Last night I didn’t get to bed until 3:45 a.m. and I was late getting up so I didn't make it to work until 10:45 a.m. But I made up for it – I didn’t leave until 8:45 p.m. Got a fair bit done. When I left it was the perfect time, just past sunset, to see the landscape in my favourite way – all in silhouette. It looks like intricately cut-out black paper on a shaded rose and orange lit background. You could see everything, tree branches, people playing sport, power lines – the right scene would make a great photo.

I completely stuffed up when I left this morning and I again left poor Ruffie on the lead. It was a really hot day, too. And she is such a goof, she gets all tangled up and can’t figure out how to disentangle herself so she didn’t have much room to move around, poor thing. When I let her off the chain she ran straight for her water bowl. I feel like such a sh*t. I wish you were at 108, honey, if only for times like these when I could ask your advice – what do you think about me getting rid of her? I’ve always reckoned that when you got a pet it was for life, that you just have to take on that responsibility. They’re not like clothes that you can put on and off. You’ve had dogs and I’d really like to bounce the idea around with you. I don’t spend as much time with her as I should and I wonder if I could find a family that would be better for her. I think if I advertise her for sale I’d like to stipulate two things – that I get to visit where she is going and that she keeps her name. “Ruffie” (ZZ Top’s ‘Rough Boy’) is really important to me and besides I don’t want her getting all confused and upset if she gets called something else – she knows she’s a ruffie dog.

A year ago today Don M and Alison and I don’t know who else were at your house in 108 packing up and moving out your stuff. I guess that they were really, really busy. And Alison wouldn’t let Don contact me – can you believe that?! But he did anyway after he heard my telephone message on the 18th. You have nice friends, Keith, and I like Don a lot. He certainly has done a lot for me. I’ve got no idea how to even begin to repay him for his many kindnesses. I hope he decides to keep in touch and doesn’t decide to keep his distance now that the loose ends, like your package, have been taken care of. I thought from the way he sounded like he’d be happy to meet me when I’m over there. I had hoped that he would keep in touch but I haven’t heard from him in awhile (but then that’s normal for Don). There are so many things that I want to ask him about! Oh, well, we will have to see. Whisper in his ear, dude, you know he’d listen to you!

Honey, I am going to go and call Marla and see how she is going with her computer. I’m really tired from last night and I can’t sleep in tomorrow because I’m getting a quote on having the floors cleaned throughout the whole house and then I’ve got the appointment to get my navel pierced. Sounds funny, LOL!

It’s funny, you know… it meant so much to you to be able to send me all those photos and spending all that time talking about them – and now the precious photos mean so much to me! It has really, really helped to have them to help manage the cycles of grief that I seem to keep going through. I know that it will pass, eventually, but, as I have said many, many times, I will move on but I will NEVER “get over” you (and I don’t even want to). Pity the way nobody else seems to be able to measure up to you in even the most insignificant way – you are some mighty yardstick, dude!

OK, love ya’ and leave ya’. Take care, sweetie –

- Tiger Woman

P.S.: Speaking of tigers, last night I bought a long-sleeved shirt from the men’s department of a store. It’s got this patch on the left sleeve that’s got a growling tiger’s face with Japanese-style sunbursts and characters. On the front it’s got “Death Before Dishonour” (which is something I say from time to time) and a skull with large wings on either side. It’s sort of a charcoal colour and looks really nice. It got chilly last night and it was all snugly and warm. What do you reckon – I think I am definitely entering my “bikie chick” phase – LOL!

early Friday morning, 17 February 2006 [3:25 a.m.]:

Oh, Keith!

Honey, I am so upset, I can’t believe it! I just looked down at my left wrist and your sterling silver and cubic zirconia “K E I T H” bracelet is gone! I don’t even know when I lost it. It’s happened before that it’s fallen off, in fact on one day I think it fell off two or maybe three times. I should have taken it back to the jewellers that I got it from and had him tighten up the clasp. I don’t think that I’ve got a picture of it, either. Weird to lose both your expensive ID bracelet and to lose that dinosaur ring that I had for so long on the same day.

I had just finished up doing the illustrations for the sonography text and went into the kitchen to take my meds and looked down and I was in shock. What a damn shame and I know the place doesn’t have enough letters left to make up another one. ;-(

OK, I have to get ready for bed – it is hard to get up in time for work when I stay up so late. I’m a night owl just like you.

‘night, sweetheart, I will have to ring around to all the places that I was in earlier and see if anyone has turned it in. Be my good buddy and do something cosmic to get the bracelet and ring back, OK? [Or is this a sign of a new beginning for me? Hmmm.]

Been missing you lots…

- Susan

February 16, 2006

Thursday night, 16 February 2006 [10:45 p.m.]:

Hi, Keith!

Hey ya’, dude, I’m back! Can’t write for too long because I am going to work on a couple of illustrations for the physics workbook for the sonography students. At work they have Paint Shop Pro 9 and it is light years away from PSP 6 & 7 that I have here at home. Plus the PC where the software is located is in this funny spot where your back is to the cubicle door and people are constantly coming in and out to use the photocopier. I hate sitting there trying to concentrate and having people looking over your shoulder at what you are doing. They try to act cool and like they are not looking but you can see that they are wondering what the heck you are working on.

I went out shopping today and treated myself to a stack of clothes – most on layaway (called ‘lay-by’ over here). I also picked out a belly bar (really cool, sort of iridescent) and am getting my navel pierced on Saturday. While I was out there was a furious thunderstorm and it rained quite a bit (thank God, because we need it so badly). On the way home I spotted what looked like a brown paper bag sitting up in the middle of the road. I have this funny thing about running over stuff like paper bags and stuff (it’s this weird thing that’s sort of a left over from the war in ‘Nam if you can believe it). Anyway, I couldn’t just drive over it so I slowed up and had a good look. It was a young cat! It was sitting in the middle of the lane, licking its butt with its back to on-coming traffic. I stopped the car, put on the hazard lights, got out (I was bare-footed) and tried to pick it up. If I could have gotten it in the car, I would have brought it home. I wound up shooing it away but I’ll tell you it has a pretty cavalier attitude to that damn road! Any one else would have run over the poor thing.

Then when I got home I found out that I had forgotten to let Ruffie off the lead when I backed the car out of the yard. I put her on the lead before I open the gates, then I back the car out, shut the gates, let her off the lead (and give her a treat like a raw chicken wing if I’m going to be gone for more than about two hours) and I slip back out the gate. So she was stuck outside during the thunderstorm and couldn’t get out of the rain (and she’s afraid of thunder and lightening).

I did bring home a couple of new pieces of clothing – got a khaki peasant skirt, a dark brown heavy cotton jacket and an ivory cotton blouse with antique lace on the front. I’m adding buttons to the jacket and that’s another thing that I want to do tonight. Oh, I got some jewellery to go with the jacket/blouse/skirt. And a bargain! – I found a 20-sheet pack of A4 glossy Kodak photo paper for $9.99!!! Yay, more KD photos for Susan!

My silver chain that the dragon pendant is on broke today. I’ve put it on another, shorter silver chain but will have to get the longer one fixed. Also, a terrible thing happened! I wear two rings on most of my fingers – and I lost one of the ones from my left ring finger – it was a silver (no surprises there!) dinosaur and I bet I had it for at least fourteen years. The other ring on that finger looks sort of like tooled leather – I hope I don’t lose that one, too! It’s because I’m losing weight again – the last that I checked, I was down to 69 kg (pretty good for someone who weighed 97 kg a year and a half ago!).

There were stars tonight and Mars looked superb! While I was out there feeling closer to you I was thinking how I much help I need, honey. Please can you direct some Canuck boot up a couple of backsides ‘cuz I really, really need some help. I’m serious, Keith, I really do and I know you can arrange it. So while the spring thaw is on and you’re not too busy can you please, please pull some strings for me?

I’m going to leave you, KD, to get some work done. Stay close…

- love, Susan

February 14, 2006

late Monday night, 13 February 2006 [12 midnight]:

Keith –

Hi, honey – hey ya’, dude – what’s with all the clouds and mist tonight, anyway? I couldn’t see the stars and that’s been happening way too often lately (in spite of the fact that we are in a drought and desperately need rain).

Well, I went to see Steve C this morning – I will tell you all about it when the time is right. Good meeting, lots to think about. (LOL – he gave me a very European peck on the cheek when I arrived and when I left – I got all schoolgirly about it.)

Because it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow and in celebration of the fact that Warwick fixed the sound on my PC, I’m going to put in the lyrics from “All I Know” – I probably put them in last year but, heck, I’m going to repeat them anyway.

"All I Know" - by Jimmy Webb

I bruise you, you bruise me
We both bruise so easily, too easily to let it show
I love you and that's all I know.

All my plans have fallen through,
All my plans depend on you, depend on you to help them grow,
I love you and that's all I know.

But the ending always comes at last,
Endings always come too fast,
They come too fast but they pass so slow,
I love you and that's all I know.

When the singer's gone let the song go on,
It's a fine line between the darkness and the dawn.
They say in the darkest night there's a light beyond

But the ending always comes at last,
Endings always come too fast,
They come too fast
But they pass so slow,
I love you, and that's all I know.
That's all I know, that's all I know.

I was devastated when you died, Keith, and I didn’t even know it at the time. When I look back and see myself, I realise that I was a mess. And I thought that I was handling it pretty well – LOL! (I guess when my hair started falling out in chunks and I lost all that weight, I should have worked out that something was going on!)

But life is what you make it and how you deal with the hand you’ve been dealt. Now, I reckon the hands haven’t been real good just yet but the fat lady hasn’t even begun to sing (and I’ll shoo her off the stage if she tries). Something special is waiting for me (can you see it yet?) ‘cuz I’m special and it took knowing you for me to realise that.

Got to go – been having way too many late nights. I brought home some work from Uni – proofreading the formatting of reference lists for some coursework materials but I am not even going to open them up. Warwick came over for dinner and did some chores around here which was a big help. And I’d rather spend my time with Wozza than doing unpaid work for that bloody mob that I work for (said like a true Aussie).

BTW: what do you reckon about me getting my navel pierced?

K, Hon, love you and miss you as you know. (Playing ZZ Top’s “Stages” right now – it’s on my iTunes “Songs for Keith” playlist.)

‘bye, Hon…

- Susan

February 13, 2006

late Sunday night, 12 February 2006 [11:45 p.m.]:

Hey ya’, coolest dude!

Nice of the moon to come out full on your anniversary – I’m sure she and the stars miss shining down on you.

It’s bloody late again so I’ll be quick… Spent a few happy hours in the Angler’s Hut on FAOL. REE was moderator until Vicki made him some of her famous orange cookies! DE (DecevR) and Q and Z all missed you. It was great to be with them all and they are so nice to me. Learned a lot today, stuff like what backing is, etc. Somebody reckoned I should get breathable waders as they are lighter but I can’t afford anything better than the cheapo K-mart ones that I am getting. Some of these guys have got real good jobs so it’s not a problem for them. Q is up and moving – he has bought a new business and it sounds exciting – fishing guide, rod repair, fly tying, etc. He’s going to Crystal Springs, FL. Sounds great, I hope he’ll enjoy it. The tarpon run near there and DE was about delirious about them – huge fish and on a fly!

I watch another good film that you probably missed – “Rabbit Proof Fence”. An Australian film with probably a low promo budget in Canada and the US. That’s one thing about missing you – I used to love to give you presents of things that I thought that you might like. I remember that night on the 18th of Feb when Don M and I wrote back and forth and he found out about that star in Ursa Major that I got you. He thought it sounded like the most excellent thing to give you. Yeah, a lot of people say all that “name a star” bit is a load of crap but I thought it was cool and I know you did, too. I remember you saying, “You have made me a very happy man.” Well, that was one of the things that God put me here to do – to be good to you. He knows for sure that you deserved it, too. We should have been together for longer ‘cuz I really meant to spoil you rotten and had only just begun – lucky dude! {{winks}} LOL!

OK, honey, going to go. You take care and I’ll see you tomorrow.

Love –

- Susan, your own Tiger (hands off, Gerry & Kim, he’s mine now! LOL!)

February 12, 2006

early Sunday morning, 12 February 2006 [12:15 a.m.]:

Keith –

Well, I guess I lied – I didn’t go to bed when I said I would and spent the dawning of the twelfth out looking at the stars.

When I went out there, I think I saw a shooting star out of the corner of my eye. If I did it will be the first since I saw that one when Warren was driving me down to Picton.

The moon is full, again it seemed to wax so quickly. There are quite a few clouds and it is quite still – you can even here the crickets chirping – something you don’t normally hear here in Auburn. I felt you loving me back – it was almost as if there was a physical pressure, like a 44-gallon drum of honey, being poured over and flowing down over me. We’ve always been able to reach out to each other, haven’t we? It was nice to feel you close, especially today.

So now you have been gone from me for one whole year – and I don’t miss you or love you any less then I did back then. Today I was marvelling at the way my hair all started falling out last year – if anyone would have asked me, I would have said that I wasn’t stressed, just sad, but my body told a different story.

I think last year I was in shock at first – I said that I knew you were dead, but my heart and head just hadn’t gone along with it. That’s why I was able to give that student presentation on the 18th as if nothing had happened and in spite of the fact that I had those e-mails from Don M the night before. A part of me knew, of course, but most of me just couldn’t accept it.

I wish that I could play some of my music but I still haven’t bought a new sound card. I want to listen to ZZ Top and some of the other music that reminds me of you – like that Uncle Kracker song that we liked. I’ve got the iPod, of course, but I really want it blasting out of the speakers and making stuff on my desk vibrate. Damn, damn, damn that I don’t know what ZZ Top song you played on your pickup truck stereo on the 9th.

By now one year ago, Ken would have packed his stuff and left. You were brave, and selfish, too, to send him home and carry on alone. I know how and why and pretty much when and at first I couldn’t believe it, it didn’t seem like you at all – after all “you can never fail if you never quit”. I’m sure some people would have thought that you quit – I guess in some small way I think that you did, too. I don’t blame you at all though – it’s that “walking in your moccasins” thing. I know that if I had been with you, I would have helped you and we could have worked out some way of keeping me one step ahead of the law. I don’t want to be as strong as I am but I am and I know that I would have been a help to you – it just upsets me so to think of you being there, facing it alone. Well, not alone in spirit for there was Jessi and Don and Ken and Clayton and me, all with our hearts and minds tuned to yours and giving you the strength you needed. I’m pretty sure that Alison wouldn’t have agreed to it but it wasn’t her call – God knows the woman is pretty damn controlling at the best of times. I’m sure just the very idea of it really yanked her chain. I don’t know if I could ever be close to her no matter what may happen in the future and in spite of the love that I used to feel for her. She didn’t do the things that you asked her to do and that doesn’t sit very well with me. I try sometimes to see the similarities between you two but I come up empty handed every time. Oh, well, doesn’t matter, I don’t have to have anything to do with her.

One other thing bothers me about that night – do you remember Christmas Eve and you were in a terrible mood and you had to drive down in the night to Vancouver and the roads were terrible with ice and snow? I remember you started out on Highway 97 and I wondered why you had to travel in the night. I couldn’t ask you because you were in a cranky mood and said that you didn’t want to talk to “people”. That night I sat up for hours – I was your guardian angel that night. I hovered over you every kilometre of the way and watched as you made your way along the road. I wonder now if you could feel me with you then – I never thought to ask. I was so close to you then. But the night you died that didn’t happen even though you would have needed me. I was upset, sure, and all strung out from spending the day in Chinatown and thinking constantly of that flight on Air Canada that I had been booked to be on. I would have made the dash from the airport at Van to the Greyhound depot and gotten to 100 Mile House a little after 3. I would have been smiling tentatively on your porch by a quarter to four – instead, I was stuck here in Sydney feeling completely impotent. You got what you wanted but I’m pretty sure it was a mistake – too bad we don’t have a second chance.

OK – enough negative stuff. I’ll try to be nicer next time. Just know that I’m doing pretty good, considering. Remember when you asked me if I was going to be all right without you? Well, I promised that I would and I think that I have been. I know you don’t want me to grieve but I can’t help it. Somebody told me that the deeper the grief, the more the missing person was loved. I love you very much and it shows. I don’t seem to love you so much in a romantic way anymore, it’s changing. You are more and more my mentor, my hero, my teacher, my best friend. Of all the men I’ve met in my whole life; I love you most and I respect you most. Our relationship was great for both of us, we both got so much out of it and it meant so much. Do you realise how empowering that was for me? I deified you and yet you took the time to be good to me, to teach me, to show me that I only deserved the very best. Apart from Warwick, you are the best thing that has ever happened in my life.

So I’m going to go now and do what I said I was going to do hours ago – get ready for bed. Thank you for coming to me when I was in the backyard watching the moon. It’s good to feel you close like that again, it’s been awhile.

I hope I dream of you tonight – would you dream a dream of me? I’ll be your Tiger and you can be my Grizz and whatever one of us needs the other will have.

Always and forever –

- your Susan

February 11, 2006

Saturday night, 11 February 2006 [10:00 p.m.]:

KD –

Well I was a total sloth today – managed to do some laundry and some hand washing and got the front verandah vacuumed. The expensive old Electrolux has just about had it and I can hardly use it at all. Why is it that everything is breaking down and I have to replace just about everything? [Especially now when I am trying to get things (like the airfare!) ready for your trip.] They rang me up today and contact lenses are going to set me back almost $700!!

I watched "Whale Rider" today and I cried when the whales were beached. I think you’d like it but I doubt that you’d have seen it as it is a New Zealand film and probably didn’t get too much promotion in Canada. I also watched Brandon Lee in "The Crow" – I’m sure that you must have seen that.

I tried to work out today if I’m grieving or if I’m depressed. I’ve got every right to be either, or both, of those. Anyway, because it’s that horrible weekend again, I am keeping a low profile and not getting up to very much. I hope that Don M will write soon.

I tried to get Kingsley from Victoria to go outside tonight, find Ursa Major and deliver a message to you – can you believe that he doesn’t know the constellation? Far out! He’s a pretty good bloke though and you can’t expect everyone to like the things that we like after all.

Honey, I’m going to finish here. I’m going to go to bed early tonight – I tried twice to sleep during the day today but I just couldn’t fall asleep. I’ll do what I have to do so I can get in bed and take a sleeping pill and sleep. I just don’t want to be awake when the 12th of February get ushered in. I am sad enough as it is, I just don’t feel like being awake and aware when it comes.

Oh! there was one thing that I wanted to tell you! Earlier in the week I found a picture frame with sections in it for five small pictures, ranging in size from 4 x 4 to 2 x 2 inches. Last night I resized copies of your photos and put them in the frame and it looks terrific. That alone was worth the price of the printer I got! I used the picture of you from January 2005 in front of Alison’s house with Kisa, that one of you with Kisa that was on Lavalife and the one responsible for me meeting you, one with Dac taken when you were in Vancouver, one of you (a really old one – you look skinny!) with a three-pointer hanging up and you’ve got your rifle taken in a garage somewhere (Abbotsford?), and one where you’re looking pretty self satisfied in your float tube (how bizarre – you’re drinking a Coke!). I had some glossy paper and printed them in best quality (took forever – I just went and fixed dinner and it was still going when I got back. The frame is just made of plastic but the black surround makes the colourful pictures look great. I want to get a larger frame that I can put some of your (and my) favourite shots in together – like Quesnel Lake, that old house in the snow near you at 108 Mile Ranch and that one of Kisa that you sold. The little frame had two silver medallions – one that says "LOVE" that I have left on there and a little one that said "Love" and had a heart – that little one will be perfect to go in you scrapbook.

Jeez, I have so much that I have to work on: the house is a dump and needs lots of work, I need to be working on my literature review for my Masters’ and I need to work on you scrapbook and the one for Jessi. (I ought to be going to the gym, too.)

But for now I’m going to do nothing at all save a little reading before I fall asleep. I’m pretty sure there are stars out tonight and I will go out and send you a hug. I’m pretty sure that I won’t be out there for long ‘cuz I know I will cry so you’ll have to drag yourself away from what ever it is that you are up to up there and come and hug me back.

I miss you so –

- Susan

Friday night, 10 February 2006 [11:45 p.m.]:

Grizz –

Hi, hon, how goes it?

Did you ever see the 60s film "Billy Jack"? I got it out on DVD and watched it tonight and of course it reminded me of you and of Clayton. How is he and your Dad and Grandpa? I’m sure you fine dudes are having a high old time as you deserve. Great thing about Heaven is that you don’t ever need a licence to hunt or fish! Enjoy and don’t worry about those of us down here – when the time is right, we’ll see you again.

One year ago today you went to Paul’s and spent the day riding Sunny. I have to wonder where Sunny is now seeing that Paul sold the ranch. It is hard on animals when we don’t really have a way of telling them what has happened to the people they love. I know it was hard on Kisa.

I have decided that I am going to contact Don R again. I am also going to put my profile up on RSVP again because there are one or two people that I would like to contact. But, out of respect to you and this being the anniversary, I am going to wait until after Valentine’s Day to contact anyone. That was the nicest Valentine’s Day card that I sent you last year and I never knew if you received it. I kind of think that you did. I hope so. The card had a lovely way of saying "I love you" but my message on it was definitely saying goodbye and, in a way, giving you permission to leave. You were such a sweetheart and so good to me – I don’t think that very many people (Ken, maybe?) realised. You were such a private person sometimes – and saddled with somebody like me who makes a point of letting it all hang out – LOL!

I only wanted to make a short post tonight so I will leave it there and let you get back to your huntin’, fishin’ and beer drinking! The only thing that makes this bearable at all is the thought that you are in no more pain and you don’t have to see yourself losing your natural abilities – like your vision and stamina. You know that I would have done anything to take the pain away or to somehow win you a cure. I Promise that I will try for others.

‘night for now you handsome Canuck! Stop every once in awhile and think of me and I will know it. I try every single day to honour my Promises. I love you with every heartbeat and miss you with every breath.

One day I will be there… and I don’t think that it can come soon enough.

All my love –

- Susan

February 09, 2006

Thursday night, 9 February 2006 [10:00 p.m.]:

Hey ya’, my KD –

Hi, hon. I’ve just been sitting here and I read the notes on our two ‘phone calls this day last year. You got so mad when I said that I was coming on Saturday! Phew! No wonder I gave in and cancelled my flight.

But later when you rang me, we had the loveliest talk – really, I think it was our best conversation (and that includes Messenger and e-mail). You were having the very best day and were so full of energy – and you played me the ZZ Top song on your truck’s stereo system. You were funny and sweet like usual.

Honey, I’ve got to go – if I don’t I am just going to get all upset. I have already started to cry and I am trying to be strong. I know that you don’t want me to cry and be upset so I try hard not to. And if you read this, Don M, you don’t have to tell me that, I’ve known it for more than a year, yeah?

Thinking constantly of you – I am doing what I can to stay positive. I’ve got a good idea about that second Promise that you asked me to make. I’ll write you tomorrow so take care. Know that I love you now and always will. Go be with Jessi, she needs you.

- S.

February 07, 2006

Tuesday night, 7 February 2006 [9:00 p.m.]:

Hey, there, Fat Fingers!

Here it is, such terrible things were happening this time last year, and I’m calling you "Fat Fingers" and teasing you – oh, well, I bet I made you smile!

The most amazing thing has happened!!! (You probably have to live in New South Wales to appreciate this, or the Southern Hemisphere at the very least…) Today while I was driving in to work I saw a jacaranda in bloom! This is ridiculous – it’s into February and we had an early season this year as well. It was at the intersection of Vaughan Street and Harrow Road and it happens to be one of the tress that I had picked flowers from to take to you and Clayton. If I remember to take my camera in the morning, I’ll take a photo of it.

Honey, you got back from Mexico a year ago today and it was the most awful day. You got on Messenger really late (like usual, you night owl) and you thought that you had missed me. You started to say goodbye to me – it was awful… I caught you in time before you logged off and it was a very sobering conversation – at least you told me that I was your friend, that you needed to know that I was going to be OK without you and you told me that nobody else could love me as much as you do – you completely blew me away.

But what you didn’t say, until the very, very end of the conversation, was that you had retinal haemorrhages and you had lost your vision – you, the hunter, had gone blind. Oh, honey, and I tried to keep up your spirits – I could never, ever think of you as being anything less than positive – so I told you to go outside anyway and face where Ursa Major would be and wish on your star even though you couldn't see it. I hope you (and Ken) didn’t think me heartless, cold and uncaring. But I just never thought of you as someone who would want to be fussed over and I was trying anything that might keep you from getting too depressed. You are my very Treasure, Keith, and it’s so hard and I loved you and I still love you and I miss you so very much.

I didn’t hear from you on the 8th but you were great on the 9th – I think maybe the fact that you had made up your mind about what you were going to do sort of freed you and I’m so glad we spoke those times on the 9th. Anyway, more about that in my post on the ninth.

I have to close now and work on my resume and covering letter for my job. Things are so bad at work right now: first the job application thing and, unbelievably, Jill gave me just today a whole new section for the Cardiac Sonography subject and they are due in students’ hands by March 3rd. I simply cannot believe it as she knows I already have Physics & Instrumentation 1 and 2 (2 is mostly done), Vascular Sonography and a tidy up of Sono in OB/GYN already in the queue ahead of it – how can I possibly get it all done? Kerrie is the only one who could possibly help me and she is swamped herself. Anyway, enough of this bitching – while this stuff is all really small fish compared to what’s really important in life, my job with the Uni is threatened right now in spite of all that I do (and have done) for them. ‘nuff said.

Tearing myself away ‘cuz I have to work on the job application – I’d rather sit here and feel closer to you (I feel close to you always but work does tend to take you off centre stage a bit) but I have to go.

I think of you sleeping, your breathing shallow and even, with your back to me, lying on your left side. I crawl into bed next to you, careful not to wake you. I push my back up against yours and feel your breathing vibrating through me. I close my eyes. And I sleep.

If I say, "I want to see you again", people will think that I am crazy, that we have never met. But you and I know that we have and that we will do again.

Good night, my love –

- S.

February 06, 2006

Monday night, 6 February 2006 [11:15 p.m.]:

Hi, KD –

Last night the moon was a perfect half. Tonight it was already that little bit fatter. The fruit bats came sailing in like a 1950s movie about the Jap’s attack on Pearl Harbour – wave upon wave.

One year ago you were still in Mexico and I was hoping like hell that you were having the time of your life. I always only ever wanted the best for you, hon, and I am so sorry the way it all worked out.

Tonight I am going to leave it there – I think I might try and start a letter to Don M – feeling a little fragile at the moment so I am not sure if I can manage to get one out to him or not. But I would like him to know that I am thinking of him and wishing all the best for him, too.

Sleep well –

- Susan