Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Decorating Continuum

I'm conflicted.  That's a big statement for a Thursday morning isn't it.  Don't worry, it's not a human drama type's more the run-of-the-mill "being true to me" sort of conflict.

The Backstory
Recently, SM and I decided to put on ice our grand renovation plans.  Note the lack of a link to a post on the subject?  Ha ha, as I'm still in the "fresh new blog" stage...these backstories are yet to be written!

In lieu of doing the major reno, we decided to refresh our current environment and have been doing some painting and minor decorating projects.  I have a complete blog post in my head about the trials and tribulations of picking the 'right' white....but as many others are more qualified than I have covered this topic it shall probably never be typed! 

Suffice to say that when we bought our house over four years ago now, we picked the WRONG was more clotted (bordering on slightly spoiled) cream than white and over the years had taken on the hue of walls that endured a resident with a pack-a-day habit...yellowing and quite depressing!

We're now half way through painting the rooms and are now awash in Dulux Natural White 50% which has proven to be a much wiser choice of white for our house and the light it is blessed to receive.

Back To The Dilemma
As the drop sheets and paint brushes are relegated to the disaster zone that is our back patio I am gripped with the urge to do a little bit of "redecorating".  Another blog post to come will explore my frequent and sudden urges to move the furniture around, relocate pictures and dustables and generally recreate our space...this urge can strike with terrifying (to SM) speed and usually involves employing SM in the guise of my personal bit of muscle to get things moved to where I want them....only to move them again in what seems to him like a nanosecond!!

This time, my redecorating urge has been accompanied by a desire to "simplify" our space (sounds wanky doesn't it) and I have been toying with the idea of toning down my usually fairly wanton use of color.  I am becoming a bit addicted to websites that use a lot of white, tone on tone type of decorating.  However, whilst I LIKE them, I am not sure they're 'me'. 

On the continuum of decorating style (note this is not a reflection of my profiency in the area) I have the likes of Sibella Court at one end (revels in the eclectic, sticky-taping of ephermera up on my walls) and Martha Stewart at the other end (organized to an inch of my life, compulsive matcher of this and that). 

I mean no offence to either of these choices...they are both inspiring in their own way, it's just that neither of them is my 'preferred' state of being.  I think I'm loitering somewhere in the middle (why doesn't that surprise me).

If 'organized eclectic' is a tortology which I'm sure it is, that would be me!!  I don't mind a bit of ephemera but am not into sticky tape on my walls and love a bit of labelling but as I live with four completely uncoopeerative human beings (the normal state of husbands and children) it's more likely I'll remain in organized chaos than the other way round.

Depending on the day I will gravitate more to one end than the other and if you visit me frequently you would see the results!

Who's at either end of your decorating continuum?  I'd love to know!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Grandpa and Me

Our littlest KAT is turning four in a month or so and we are super excited about this milestone and the special little person that continues to evolve before our very eyes.  In a bittersweet irony, we bear witness to another anniversary in the lead up to the momentous occasion of this Birthday number 4....the anniversary of her grandpa's death.

Our junior KAT's life has been interwoven with her grandpa's since before she was even born and as the years pass, we are witnessing a rather interesting phenomenen.  Junior KAT has an imaginary friend.  We know he's imaginary because she's never met him, yet she speaks about him as though he is just around the corner, he is a constant companion and a very special friend of hers.  Yes, Junior KAT's special friend is "grandpa" and she talks endlessly about him....what they do together, what he likes, how much fun they have and the like.

At first I found the whole conversation a tad off-putting, a bit like the little blonde girl in Poltergeist to be honest...creepy!!! She would speak in such a literal fashion and many is the time she's related to a random stranger stuff about "grandpa" to which they nod obligingly, unaware that she never actually met him...sadly her other grandpa she hears little about and he's still alive, living overseas, SM is not as voluminuous in the anecdote department as I am!!

As time has marched on and her vocabulary has increased the stories are becoming more richly painted and I have come to enjoy them immensely.  They do not make me sad, instead I find it to be one of the ways that "grandpa" lives my atheist tendencies are becoming more pronounced, I relish the fact that she has absorbed by osmosis the "fun" grandpa (dad) that I and her sisters like to recall, and that she has translated this into an imaginary companion that is so dear to her and so alive to me. 

Yes indeed, there is an's called the imaginary world of a nearly four year old and how it keeps the precious memories of her mummy's daddy aliver and well.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Grateful for my very own Captain Von Trapp

Is it just me or does every girl need their very own Captain Von Trapp? 

I'm sure there's some thesis out there in the academic world on him as a symbol of female oppression and perhaps he does have some slightly misogynist traits (we won't even go near the whistle) but I choose to only focus on his admirable traits!

So I am therefore very grateful that I have been blessed with my very own Captain Von Trapp, 'SM'.  He has all Georg's (that would be pronounced 'ghee-org' for those non-S.o.M. fans) bestest qualities:

  1. He has done the equivalent of walking over the Swiss Alps with me, supporting me through many years of up's and down's since the birth of our three girls....a lesser man would have jumped into his benz convertable and run for the same hills
  2. He's equally versatile in the musical department (although cannot play the guitar), he can sing along to just about anything in full voice whether it's a Glee showtune, a Wiggles number, a Bon Jovi standard or his own signature tune "Rainbow Connection" (he actually owns the Kermit version!)
  3. He has been blessed in the height department and knows the perfect time to offer his shoulder to his very own Maria to lean on it heavily
  4. He's loyal to the end, no matter how many metaphorical curtains I turn into frocks (this translates to any number of questionable decisions in my life), he can always manage to smile and tell me it will be okay
  5. He rocks a suit - work or dinner suit...if ever there was a man that belonged in uniform it's my very own Captain Von Trapp
So on my first occasion of doing the fab Maxabella's Grateful blog hop, I celebrate him in all his unique and special forms - husband, father, best friend and the horizontal tango companion that he is!!

My Crossword Obsession

I have truly entered the twilight zone.  Aside from my obsession with blog-hopping, I am now obsessed with getting my daily "fix" of the Sydney Morning Herald quick crossword.

In my former and achingly long ago life as a childless, career-minded, exponentially thinner version of myself, nothing gave me more pleasure than doing the crossword over a morning cappucino at the cafe downstairs from my fancy pants work location in the 'city'.

The enjoyment of summoning up the correct answer from the dark recesses of my brain was delightful.  Similarly, the frustration of getting completely stumped was in hindsight a salient lesson in parenting...frustration at not knowing the 'right answer' goes with the territory!!

The reawakening of my crossword geekiness is something quite was an added bonus of spending an entire week in San Francisco this month hanging out with one of my oldest and bestest girlfriends.  Every day I would endure my own personal hell - going to a gym full of Silicon Valley fitness junkies and then as a reward we would trek off to the Palo Alto Starbucks (okay not great coffee but the company was worth it) and sit and do the crossword....each of us had our own copy and it was a race to see who could finish first.

Now, on the one hand this is truly a sign of me being the WRONG side of 40, but on the other hand I think it ROCKS!!  Kid-free, husband-free, no after-school activities to rush to, no work to stress me out....I had a week of heavenly respite and got to give my brain a kick up the butt as well as my body!

As an avid reader (in spite of and despite young children) and a keen writer, crosswords to me are the intellectual equivalent of diving down into the deep blue water, my senses are completely heightened.  I won't lie though, in the same way that diving down deep in the water with my incredibly buoyant body, delving into the dusty and cobweb infested recesses of my mind is a lesson in those 'realistic expectations' I was mentioning yesterday!!!!

To add to my delight, for the first time yesterday I managed to COMPLETE the crossword!!!  Every clue answered, every box filled...................ah the joy, I had to call Captain Von Trapp to brag :)

Have you rediscovered something that you've let lapse?  I'd love to know!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The singular virtue of perspective


Over the last couple of years, my favourite mantra has been "realistic expectations"...I haven't always succeeded in having them, but as they say - anything worth pursuing is worth waiting for!  Fortunately, I've managed to make some significant inroads and now succeed more times than I fail in this department.

With 2011 now almost half over (far out brussel sprout), I've realised that I've adopted a new mantra, "have some perspective".  As I can be guilty of a fair amount of navel gazing, or in the slightly less subtle language of SM - "you just need to get your head out of your own arse"(thank you darling husband!!!!) this concept really, really resonates with me.
This singular virtue of perspective is that it doesn't mean that my problems aren't 'real' or that I have a legitimate reason to be upset/distressed/frustrated or in fact sometimes verging on the hysterical about them (okay perhaps that last one is a slight overreaction), it just means that when considered in light of how my 'problems' fit into the broader issues of our community/city/country/world I don't have much to be upset about!!

This observation has also helped me to get a better handle on the people that I come into contact with and whether they are really my sorts of peeps.  In the circles I have found myself in through my (and I totally own it) choice of school location, there are an abundance of mums (sorry not picking on them just they are the parent I'm usually dealing with) that don't seem to have "a life" outside of their insular little enclaves/schools/gyms/cafes.  I've now realized after years of wanting them to want to be my friend that they  are not the types that I should be focusing on being "friends" with any sense!!  I know, you're now shaking your head and making the daaah noise, I'm a bit slow on the uptake sometimes!!!!!

Anyway, moving on....keeping things in perspective is a way to help me not sweat the small stuff and be grateful for the joy and happiness in my life....and there is a LOT of that!

Love to know if you have a mantra and if so does it help you?

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