Monday, May 28, 2012

Weighing Heavily

Blogging has taken a back seat over the last few weeks due to an inordinate amount of stress that has descended upon the house of KATcapers for various reasons which I won't bore you with.

Today is a short post to pay homage to a wonderful woman who is currently really unwell, lying in a hospital bed a very long way away in Canada and therefore out of reach of any sort of physical contact which we would dearly love to extend.

This lovely lady is my mother-in-law.  She was taken to hospital with pneumonia and has given us all a very bad scare.  Unfortunately even though her immediate prognosis is good now that the IV has been boosting her system with much needed drugs and sustenance, she is never again going to be the same women I have come to know as she is struggling with advancing Parkinson's.

In her wisdom she decided to not tell her son (Saint Mike) that she had been diagnosed.  Despite us suspecting that something wasn't quite right, she soldiered on far away avoiding Skype as much as she could. 

As the disease progressed, she has become noticeably frailer and shakier. 

Each time she visited us over the last few years we had seen age advancing and felt waves of guilt that she had to travel halfway round the world to see her son and grandchildren.

The last few days have been very distressing.  To know that the woman I have come to know for the past 17 years is now so disabled that she cannot feed, clothe, bathe or assist herself (and the pneumonia wasn't the start of this) is very sad. 

I can honestly say she has never had a bad word to say to me.  She has never been anything other than supportive and caring.  She has only shown anger in my midst ONCE and that was the evening we told her we were moving back to Australia (after spending almost 2 years in Canada trying to adjust to my homesickness).  She was like any mother - devastated at the thought of her son moving so far away. 

Did she hold it against me?  NO!  She has visited us countless times and never demanded anything of me.  She is the most unassuming, kind-hearted and gentle lady you could meet.  Her son adores her, her grandchildren have only fond memories of her visits and her daughter-in-law couldn't ask for a lovelier Monster-in-law!

I wish I could give her a big hug.  Instead, we've sent flowers and the girls are doing cards.  Saint Mike is allowing me to be irresponsible and insist that he gets on a plane to Canada asap....time is of the essence and getting home to be there for his mum in her hour of need is what he will want to remember...not waiting until she's even more debilitated or possibly no longer able to talk to him at all.

Ageing sucks.  Enough said. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Grateful for my very own Mr Miyagi

Sssshhhh!  There's a master at work.

He's a very small, very intense man of Korean origins (so my Japanese Mr Miyagi joke is quite politically inappropriate!!!)

He's our tiler.

He's putting KATcapers out of our 4 weeks (yes that's right) without a bathroom misery.

Am I GRATEFUL for our little Korean wizard?  You betcha!  If he wasn't quite so humourless I'd be lavishing kisses all over his wizened little head!!!

Our bathroom is the ONE and ONLY bathroom in our house.  Being without it has been a chore (is that the biggest understatement in the history of the world...or at the very least KATcapers?)

I'm not blaming anyone, it's pointless pointing fingers (or knives, scissors, nail files or any other sharp implement I get my hands on).

It's been better just to smile in the style of the Virgin Mary (or slightly less religious smily people) and retain some dignity whilst I do my ablutions in the laundry tub whilst the United Nations of tradespeople traipse past me every day!

My ass has been dragging itself out of bed even earlier than is usual (for my walks) so I could get my gear and run out the door (I'm pretty excited about the prospect of running water on my head and not my hands) as I drive over the 'bridge' to the gym and after getting my walk in cherish the five minutes or so I can manage under the shower before dashing off to work.

Ah the joys of renovating:)

Grateful Saturday you have never been blessed with such a heartfelt utterance!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2012


So my wallpaper arrived.

It's better in 'real life' than it was on Etsy and I was pretty excited about it there!!

Along with the one I posted about here, I also took possession of a few other metres of wallpaper that are equally delightful....

This coral toned one is the same design as the one I'm using in the hallway outside the the colours!

This is a gorgeous vintage paper that has flown all the way from France

Another US retro wallpaper

As you can tell, I've gone slightly MAD for retro wallpaper!!!  I think you can blame our stay in January at Lark House in Daylesford (first image is from one of the bedrooms in the house).  This beauty has just been sold so you can no longer luxuriate in it for a couple of random nights if the thought of this took your fancy.  I can only hope the new owners love the decor as much as I do and don't rip down all the quirky wallpaper decoration!!!!!

This is only the beginning of my wallpaper addiction - I have a plan to use retro wallpaper to cover some rather dire mirrored wardrobe doors that we are blessed with...cheaper than replacing them (that's my story anyway).  I will be doing a combo effect but need to be very careful in curating my selection so that it all 'hangs' together (ha love that pun!!!!)

Don't despair - the coral wallpaper is NOT going to be combined with the blues/greens...I just couldn't leave it on Etsy:)

Lark House image from here

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Yesterday I had to make a dash to the Post Office to Express Post a birthday present for my gorgeous niece. 

The fact that yesterday was her actual birthday and strangely the present had FAILED to transport itself to the post office, hop in an envelope, address itself, stand patiently in the queue (consisting of people doing anything BUT mailing a letter or package).

There I was faffing around with which envelope I could put it in and then reaching for my pen to write the address on it.  Of course this involved some multi-tasking as I manoeuvred myself into the queue whilst simultaneously writing the address details.........................and then............

S. M. U. D. G. E.

Cack-handedness strikes again!!

The definition of this affliction is as follows:

cack-handed [ˌkækˈhændɪd]
adj Informal
1. left-handed
2. clumsy
Yes folks, I'm a Leftie (not in the political sense) but in the brain predisposition sense:)
According to that universal font of information Wikipedia, I am part of the roughly 10% of the global population that is a Southpaw.
That would be 10% of the population that spends most of their life with an ink stain on the outer edge of their left palm.
The same people that develop a look of intense concentration when mastering the opening of a can of soup!!
If they're like me, they have acquired an appreciation of the fine tip pen (which unfortunately was not what I reached for at the post office) and can wax lyrical on the annoying habit of birthday cards to be made of that cardboard with the waxy/shiny finish that makes ink slip off it like a toddlers bum on a waterslide!!!!
You can therefore imagine my frustration as I'm standing in the queue pondering the smudged address label on my Express Post satchel.  The conundrum - do I leave the queue (to get a 2nd satchel) and therefore lose my place?  After all this is a take-no-prisoners lunch-time city Post Office!!
No, instead I presented myself at the counter in due course with my ink-smudged satchel and my ink-stained hand and inside cursed the stupid felt tip pen and my cack-handedness!
Consider this the first in a series of posts on the merits and not-so-meritorious aspects of being a Leftie:)
In case you're in any doubt this is one of the not-so-meritorious (is that a word?) sides of the equation!!
Come back next Thursday for my next instalment!!!
Are there any other cack-handers out there in my readership???  Come on, out yourself!!!
image from here

Monday, May 7, 2012

Annie's Coming My Way

A couple of weeks ago I stumbled upon the most amazing blog

Bec creates the most divine dresses.  She has a seemingly endless supply of fabrics and her gorgeous frocks spoke to me.

She has an etsy site and I've been hanging out for her to open it up to new customers...and the other night she did!!

I have now ordered my very own Annie dress in this fabric

I'm predicting there will lots of twirling that will happen when I'm wearing it!

I'm a bit apprehensive that it may not fit me when it arrives...but I don't think I'll's so beautiful and such an expression of my individuality that I may just be happy to hang it up on my door and stare at it:)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

bursting out

This wallpaper is currently winging it's way over to me from the US.  I bought a few metres of it on Etsy and am going to paper the wall outside our bathroom with it.

I am super excited about it.

The colors are just up my alley and as it's only a feature wall I figure I can get rid of it in a month if I hate it.

We're currently in reno mode and our bathroom and laundry are in various states of demolition and construction. 

As with all reno projects it's had it's moments but I am not going to dwell on the low points as we've waited five years to do something...anythin in the reno arena so I'm not looking the reno gift-horse in the mouth:)

My vision for the bathroom is a wall of green mosaics something in this tone

But only one wall - the one facing you...the other three walls and the face of the bath are in lovely big (30x60) white tiles. 

The laundry is accessed through a door adjacent to the alcove where the wallpaper will hang and it's splashback is going to be the same type of mosaic but in a lovely yellow something like this pantone color

I think the ladies at the tile shop were even more excited than me about my color choices...they get a bit bored with all the people wanting Hampton-style neutral blah (no offence).

I was on the phone to my sister in the UK this morning and I could tell my colour choices (as well as the planned use of wallpaper are not her cup of tea!!!!) 

In case you're wondering, Saint Mike is with me when I talk about wanting to create a 'happy' and energised space for our KATs...I have no room in my life for blah and he is totally on board (maybe a bit fearful of the yellow tiles in the laundry but it's just a splashback!!!)

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