Monday, July 30, 2012

weekend roundup

Oldest KAT enjoying a pain au chocolait on Saturday morning

Back from our jaunt to Melbourne.  It was the best of times and the worst of times.

The best because I spent extended uninterrupted time with Oldest doppelganger, mini-me (all the best bits thankfully) and my oldest friend (and her husband who's also a pretty 'spesh' friend).

The worst because my arm throbbed in sync with the music and just generally ached like buggery!  It was a sign of how this was wearing thin with me when I spilt a drink on myself on the flight back and burst into tears!!!  Some unexpected but much appreciated TLC from the kind Qantas hosties made me feel much better...a pillow to support my arm and a few tissues were a much-needed salve for my frayed edges.

We were looked after by my oldest friend, who met her husband at the youth group through me (my one and only claim to fame in the match-making department).  She and I go back even further though, we have known each other since we were pre-schoolers (met a Kindy).  She knows me better than anyone and is personally acquainted with many of the skeletons in my closet!!

That's her on the left, me on the right and our other friend in the middle - College Ball circa good do we look!!!

The Reunion Mass was great....I had an embarrassingly good time.  I sang my heart out. I remembered harmonies I haven't sung for over 20 years and at the supper afterwards time dissolved the intervening years as I laughed and chatted.  In the end I had to be dragged out by Oldest KAT as she was hungry and were retired for a good old Melbourne 'counter meal' (NSW readers will be shaking their heads at this term...think pub food!).

Practising before-hand.  I'm the tall one behind the boy in red...he's the sweet young son of an old choir friend.

At the supper we even got to watch ourselves on the screen as someone had a copy of the televised mass from about 1989 I think.

I'm standing next to the thoroughbred in pink....she also happens to be my younger sister!!!!  I captured this image just as the credits were appearing...all over my face (you get the picture though).

We sounded just as great at yesterdays Mass as we did 20 years ago....still got it!!!  A lady came up to me afterwards and said "I remember you, I used to come and listen to you every used to be blonde didn't you"!!!!!! thin, so naturally blonde!!!!

The years I spent as part of the 5 O'Clock Group were formative in many ways - aside from the singing, the camaraderie, the spirituality, I met a boy who would become a long term boyfriend and eventually we'd become engaged only to agree to part 3 months before our wedding...sad but the best decision I ever made:)  I must post about that at some point!

"Hanging out" with the 'boy' in the presbytery kitchen!

A 15yr old me.

A great weekend.  A trip worth taking even with a bung arm:)  A chance to reconnect with people and a time that will always be special.  I was lucky to find my way to them and I'm lucky to have the chance to find my way back to them on occasions like rediscover a 'me' that I'd forgotten to some extent.  A 'me' I'm proud of and that I can shed a tear that I didn't appreciate her when she was in her prime:)

Life's like that though isn't it.  Hindsight has 20-20 vision!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

getting the band back together

Me and my dodgy arm are off to Melbourne tomorrow.  That's unless my orthopedic surgeon doesn't nix my plan to fly.

Oldest KAT is coming along as my nurse/dresser/face washer/pants pull-upperer.  She is suitably excited about getting a trip with mum.

The purpose of the trip is to participate in a reunion mass as part of the anniversary of the church I attended as a young-un. 

In those days I was an active member of the youth group at the church and sang in the youth choir on a Sunday evening...we were called 'the 5 o'clock group'. 

We were probably as cringe-worthy as this classic duo from Four Weddings and a Funeral...and yes I did sing at plenty of weddings (by request) and got paid to warble various Carpenters tunes and the odd Ave Maria!

We were lucky to have more than our fair share of talented instrumentalists and vocalists and it was the days when the catholic church were more liberal with music and we were known for combining classic folk music with contemporary church music...we got so popular we were chosen for a televised mass one time and the congregation was often 800 plus.

The worship was always paramount though and every Sunday night we would retire after dinner (often pizza) to the presbytery lounge room and plan the next weeks music.

They were great times.  They were great people. 

We had a 20th year reunion 5 years dad was there, it was a couple of months before he died.  We had a great time....he had played guitar for some of my time in the choir.  It will be hard to participate on Sunday without him but I know he'll be there in spirit.

We will have a practise before the mass...I will feel the joy I have always felt when I sing and doing it in my old church will make my heart even fuller.

Have a great weekend:)

Monday, July 23, 2012

a sneaky shed

Saint mike is building a sneaky new shed....I'm hoping it will be less "shed" more "retreat" as per the above image!

A few weeks ago if anone had used the word 'building' in the context of my chartered accountant/white-collar/business consultant husband I would have quietly chuckled.

It's not that he's not capable it's just that it's never been his thing...the whole 'DIY dad' caper. 

Something has changed though.

He got it into his head that he would have a go at building a new shed since we had asked the builder to demolish the old absbestos-filled one that was cramped, spider-infested and leaky.

We'd toyed with one of those ugly metal ones but he agreed that it wasn't very inspiring.

After watching a bunch of youtube video's he decided to have a crack at every spare moment (when he hasn't been nursing his clumsy wife) he's been building.

He worked out how to put footers in and build his bearers and joists

He's installed the floor...and at that stage I advised that with three girls at the very least he's built them a dream stage!

The KATs are loving helping daddy out and unlike my recollection of my dads DIY projects there's NO swearing, cursing or tools thrown in frustration! 

Like everything SM undertakes it is conducted in a calm, controlled and anxiety-free zone!!

This weekend whilst I guzzled panadeine forte at appropiate intervals he continued to work on it and we ow have stud frame walls and ceiling joists!

Our very lovely neighbor is acting as mentor and snazzy tool provider and they make a great team:)

The structure is bigger than the old shed (sssssshhhhh) and will act as shed (tool storage/workbench at one end) and spare room/retreat at the other end. 

He has re-used the old sliding door for it and there will be a deck/porch for the muskoka chairs

It's going to have cement sheeting with timber battens to match the gables on the house.  It will look like it's been there for years.

It will have a raked ceiling like this one and we will install a rainwater tank to catch the storm-water...

I'm so proud of him...can't wait to show you updates!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

i can't fly

Like Lazarus I have returned.

As I indicated in this post I had lost my blogging mojo.  A short break and time to reflect has helped me to see that there is enough reason to continue and most of those reasons are to do with how KATcapers records the 'me' that my girls will appreciate having insight into in the years to come.

That being said I have a slight handicap when it comes to blogging in the short term....I had a bit of a fall the other day (that may be an understatement).

I fell down our new front steps...see below image for the scene of the 'incident'

Somehow (I'm at a loss to explain how), I stepped out of the gate at the top of the stairs, closed it, went to turn and walk down the stairs and fell. 

There's 10 travertine stone steps.  I did a rather bad impersonation of a bird (more like a flightless duck) flying down about 7 of them.  Somewhere at the bottom various parts of my anatomy made contact.

The bruising and gash on my left shin suggests it hit about step four, my thigh got up close and personal with step three and my left arm did an admirable job of protecting my head, making contact at step one before I bounced down onto the concrete paving at the bottom of the stairs.

My screams of agony drew the attention of my lovely neighbor who stayed with me whilst an ambulance was called.  There was copious amounts of screaming and at this point the impersonation was more a dead ant - rolling around on my back clutching my leg with my good arm and holding my left arm protectively up near my boob (when people tell you that you KNOW when you've broken your arm...they're spot on!).

43 years and this was my first trip in an ambulance that didn't involve a child.  That green pipe thing is GOOD stuff!

A few hours of agony ensued masked by copious amounts of laughing gas and a few jabs of morphine (at least I think that's what it was).  X-Ray confirmed a broken arm (just below the elbow).

By 7pm I was being collected by Saint Mike and the wide-eyed KATs who were quite unsure what to make of mummy in an emergency bay bed.

I've been greedily consuming panadeine forte for the pain and haven't made it out of bed for any length of time as falling down a flight of steps creates pain and tenderness in pretty much every bone in my body!

The bruises are emerging and are a technicolour testament to the fact that I can't fly!!!

oldest KAT thought it would be amusing to show you this shot:)  I'm not sure what's worse - my facial expression, my enormous boob or Sally in her favourite position perched on my chest!

It could have been much worse.  I'm lucky I was acing forwards!!  This also means that I had a nano-second to see the bottom of the stairs approaching knowing it was going to hurt BADLY!!!

My bed rest will hopefully give me time to post some more, although hen and pecking with my non-favoured right hand is not very efficient....

Anyway, I'm glad to be back, to appreciate my forum for sharing the me that I don't always appreciate as much as I should and for knowing that my posts are appreciated (including by the non-commenting relatives that read!!)

Monday, July 9, 2012

July so far

A week is a long time in the house of KATcapers.

This time last week I was mourning my dad and anguishing over the fact that he's been gone from us for five years.

This anniversary also fell quite messily in the midst of a crazy time at work and the craziness that is school holidays. 

Today, a post in pictures of the first week of July...

My orange letterbox was installed by my ever-patient husband.  It now matches our orange front door.

Youngest KAT and I made a boat from an egg carton...I'm rather chuffed with this craft effort!
You can find the inspiration here

I finally got my wallpaper up....loving it!

Wallpaper feature wall with laundry in background - loving my sunny yellow tiles.  Wallpaper was put up Sunday arvo whilst Saint Mike had a nap...thank you Youtube for the 'how-to' video!!!

Youngest KAT broke out her inner roar!

All this in my down time having had the most frantic few weeks at work...evidenced by my diet coke intake has been frightening!!!

Over and out from me.  Nothing else to see here.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Time Stands Still

Five years on.

Youngest KAT will reach that milestone having never met her grandpa.  She is now older than Middle KAT was in this photo with grandpa.

Oldest KAT is now a young women.  Grandpa only knew her barely out of her toddler years.

We've all aged.  Dad hasn't.  In my mind he is exactly as I last saw him.  Grey but not old.  His blue eyes as bright and his moustache as ticklish as always.

His anniversary sneaks up on me.  I think I'm fine and then I fall in a heap.

The tears are constant and salty.  The pain is physical, my throat is raw and my heart is so heavy.

Today I contemplated not wanting to see another one of these anniversaries approach.  It is harder every year when my mind thinks of all he's missed and all we've missed too.  I'm not a better person for this pain.

If it's possible I feel more vulnerable and permeable.  Why does grief sting so?  What purpose does it serve to continually return to this point. 

Twelve months of trying to live in the moment only to be back here again...back in that moment.  That moment when my world became a place where I did not want to be without him.

I have so much, but at the moment it's him I want.  Just to have him to talk to, to hug, to tell him how much I love him.

Then there's my mum.  How hard this is for her.  It breaks my heart.

These photos wouldn't meet the 'standard' that blogs should supposedly strive for.  But they capture a moment in time that I would give anything to repeat.  My parents, together....with me and with my family sharing the moment.

Those moments you don't realise are precious at the time.  Irreplaceable.

I love you dad.  I miss you.
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