Sunday, August 20, 2017

Journaling challenge day 3.

Thought I should post a link to where I found the list I am using or this challenge.  Better late than never!  30 day blog challenge


Really good. I am very thankful for the example they set for me in terms of parenting and also in terms of their relationship with each other.  I identified with my father more as I recognised a lot of my personality traits in him. I loved that he was so intelligent; fiercely intelligent.  And fiercely protective of intelligence.  If you were going to do something, it was worth doing it well. There was nothing half-arsed about him.  Having said that, he was a procrastinator extraordinaire! And amazingly creative and funny.  So funny.  I remember telling him once, when I was about 12, that I was a tiny bit scared of him when I was little.  I just remember the look of shock and pain on his face. I instantly regretted saying it, but it is a testament to him that he just said "I'm sorry you felt that way.  I hope you don't feel that way anymore."  And we just moved on. My husband often says to me that Dad is reaping what he has sown now that he is in a nursing home.  His children visit him often and make him things and take him out and spend time with him.  All because he was the sort of Dad who took the time to go camping with his kids, give them part-time jobs in his pharmacy in the Christmas holidays and most importantly, he laughed a lot with them.

I was very close to my mother and I actually liked her immensely.  I like to think that if we had met as adults, we would have been friends. I now only occasionally notice all the mother/daughter pairings when I go to the shops.  I guess having my own daughter has alleviated some of that pain. I now notice the grandmothers with their grandchildren. I used to feel terribly lost when friends would talk about spending time with their mothers.  When Mum died, I was beginning to realize that she might have something important to say.  That she might have wisdom to impart to me about life. That she could make me feel safe with just a hug, the way no-one else has ever done, nor probably ever will. It's that feeling of complete safety and utter love that I hope to give to my children.  Because I was more like dad than like her, I think we rarely clashed.  One of my sisters is more similar to Mum than Dad and she clashed with Mum terribly but had a very close relationship with Dad.

I love both my parents very much.  I miss my mother every day and I am currently trying to ignore the fact that I have already lost my father to dementia. I keep hoping he will get better.

I should probably mention my stepmother too.  Joan married Dad four years after Mum died.  It has not always been easy.  Mum's death left a huge, gaping, painful hole in our family, still felt to this day.  I'm not sure she was prepared to take on a whole family when she married dad. She does not have children of her own so it's not hard to understand why it was a steep learning curve for us all. I am so thankful to Joan for loving Dad and for looking after him while he has been getting worse and worse.  She faithfully visits him every day - something that I am both physically and emotionally unable to do.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Journaling Challenge Day 2.


Fear Number 1 - I am afraid that I will develop emphysema or dementia.

Pretty simple explanation for this one.  My mother died when she was 59, after a long battle with asthma and emphysema.  It took nearly five years for her to deteriorate to the point of death.  Five years of multiple emergency hospital trips due to flus, colds, viruses or asthma attacks.  Several surgeries to fix problems caused by the huge amounts of prednisone she was taking, including two hip replacements and the fitting of a colostomy when her large intestine *BURST*. Her skin became like tissue paper.  She was constantly covered in large, bloody bruises and bandaids. Her body was disintegrating before our very eyes.  So that's why I fear emphysema.  It's an horrific way to die.

I fear dementia because that is what my 83-year-old father currently has.  He has moved into a nursing home in the last twelve months because my stepmother can no longer care for him.  She has done an amazing job, but it was time for her to look after herself.  My father was an incredibly intelligent, well-read and wickedly funny man, as well as a gentleman.  It has taken several years for him to not be that anymore. The last time he knew who I was, was several years ago, and he hasn't said a full sentence in about ten months.  Don't believe people who tell you that "at least with Alzheimer's you won't know who you are and you won't know you have it."  That is the biggest crock of shit and I disabuse people of that thought whenever I hear it uttered.  People with dementia are very aware of what they have lost.  They are just unable to vocalise it. That's why they can get angry, frustrated and sad. I've seen my dad become frustrated at not being able to read a word on a sign.  He starts reading, gets to a word he doesn't know, gets frustrated then stops.  Then he goes back to the beginning of the sentence like nothing has happened and gets frustrated all over again.  People mistake that as being harmless, because the person with Alzheimer's seems to forget they were upset. But the feelings are not forgotten. They do not dissipate. That feeling of helplessness is now mixed with confusion because they can't remember why they felt helpless.  It's fucking awful. I think swearing is warranted and I don't apologise for it.

Fear Number 2 - I am afraid that I will reach old age and not have achieved anything noteworthy.

I guess this is a pretty standard sort of fear that many people have.  I like to "should" myself - that indulgent behaviour where I tell myself off for not having done this or that or the other. That I "should" have felt a certain way, said a certain thing, been a certain person.  In essence, I talk to myself in a manner that I wouldn't dream of talking to the people I love and care about.  So why do I talk to myself this way?  Possibly because I'm scared.

Fear Number 3 - I am constantly afraid of making mistakes.

Because my memory is cactus, I live in constant fear of forgetting something important and of letting down someone I love.  I feel like I can't be relied upon, when I desperately want to be reliable.  When I was 40, I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).  I had gone to a doctor because of my terrible memory, general fuzziness and a general slowing down of my cognitive ability and executive functioning. I thought I had early onset dementia (see Fear 1).  So after being treated for nearly two years for ADHD, I have improved immensely, but I still don't have a crash hot memory.  The problem is that it is inconsistent.  I can't guarantee what I will be able to remember and what I won't be able to remember.  So sometimes I will put everything into my phone reminder and other times I won't because I think "I will remember." Sometimes this backfires and I go through the whole cycle of self-blame and self-loathing.  "Why can't I just remember things like other people?" I am able to hyperfocus on things like craft or Game of Thrones, and remember minute details.  This makes it look like I just don't care about the every day things I have to remember.  It's so not like that.  A disabling fear envelops me when I have to do planning or financial work; it's paralysing.  I'm just waiting for me to make a mistake.  All day.  Every day.  Constantly on the alert. Unless I am crafting or reading or listening to podcasts.  Doing these things allows me to take a sideways jump out of my head for a bit and to find joy.  It's really important.  I know it looks like I'm skiving off, but I'm not.  If I don't have regular breaks I can't handle the day-to-day.

I could go on, but there's my 3 major fears and why I fear them.

Love to all, Kat x

Journaling challenge

I've been wanting to get back into blogging, so I am going to do one of those annoying journaling prompt lists.  This is the first challenge of the most interesting/least irritating list I could find. Enjoy!

Day 1.


  1. I have blue eyes like my mother.
  2. My feet are long but narrow, thus making shoe shopping expensive.
  3. I do not enjoy cooking, although it is probably what I spend most of my time thinking about, planning and executing.
  4. I was very competitive when I was a child.
  5. I have a little grey streak of hair at the back of my neck.
  6. I am scared of old people and nursing homes.  I blame all the enforced visitations we had to do while in grade 7.  
  7. I have ADHD, anxiety and depression.
  8. I have been very good at hiding these conditions from others.
  9. My ears are quite small.
  10. I don't like wearing dresses to work.  In case I fall over while on playground duty.  This fear born instantly upon sustaining a horribly embarrassing "workplace accident".  More than once.
  11. I like the idea of being feminine, but rarely the practice. (See point 10.)
  12. I am really good at avoiding uncomfortable and/or awkward situations.
  13. I am intelligent.
  14. I startle easily. (See point 7.)
  15. I am the youngest of six children, with there being 14 years between me and my oldest sibling.
  16. I am petrified of getting dementia or emphysema.
  17. I am still friends with a lot of primary school classmates.
  18. I love fantasy-based sagas - Game of Thrones, Lord of the Ring, Harry Potter, Skulduggery Pleasant.  (And probably lots of others that I can't think of right now - see point 7.)
  19. I am a serious Anglophile.  And yes, I capitalized that intentionally.  That's how serious I am.
  20. I play the piano accordion.
Over to you!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Today I want to write about grief.  How you think you can be coping really well and although you really miss the person who is gone, you no longer have to drag yourself through every happy event in your life for which they're not there.  I thought I had arrived at this magical, and apparently mythical, place in my grief for my mother.  I am not even close to being at this point.  It is not even in sight.  I have not left the house.  I haven't even had a shower or dressed or tied my shoes.  I'm still in bed, with the lights off and the doona over my head.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.

What is it that triggers grief?  I find it really interesting.  My mother died when I was 17, after a four year battle with emphysema.  It was a horrible way to die and my beautiful mum struggled and fought against it to the bitter end.  I know she did it for me and my siblings - I am the youngest of six.  Now that I am a mother I totally understand why she fought the way she did and I would too, God forbid, if I found myself in a similar situation.

When I look back over my life I compartmentalise it into sections.  The first section is Before Mum Died, followed by After Mum Died.  That's it.  Just the two.  Sometimes I fool myself into thinking that I am in this new section called Over Mum's Death. That I have this thing that Americans like to call "closure".  As I get older I am more and more convinced that closure doesn't exist.  Otherwise, why would I be able to float along in life, just doing my Mothering thing, following routines, making lunches and looking after my family and then - BANG!  Grief delivers a sucker punch right in my guts and demolishes my diaphragm.

This happened most recently, two days ago on my 40th birthday.  Yes, I know what you're thinking.  "She couldn't possibly be forty!" and "But she's so vibrant!" and "She still has all her own teeth!"
But, my friends, I did.  And it knocked me for six.  The amazing thing about our subconscious is that it prepares us for events even when we don't know they're going to be significant.  Upon reflection, I started thinking about Mum over the last month as I approached this milestone.  I wondered how she felt when she was forty.  She would have had five children between 12 months and 11 years.  That's very different to me - I only have two children being 8 years and nearly 11 years.  The fact that both our oldest children would be 11 was kind of cool - I haven't realised that we must have been the same age when we had both had our first child.  That made me feel connected.

But when I woke up on my birthday, I just felt sad and drained.  I didn't know why.  I thought I should be happy but I didn't want to answer the phone, I didn't want to speak to anyone and I even contemplated cancelling my lunch with my sister.  Little old introvert me was backing into her cave at a rate of knots.  I hate that feeling where it is physically impossible to smile.  I feel like such a misery guts and it is an effort to talk to people.  I feel like such a burden to everyone because they know I'm sad and I know they know I'm sad but I don't want them to talk to me about it because then I'd be more sad.  And what if my being sad makes them sad.  *shudder*

Anyway, by the end of the day, I realised that this sadness, on what should be a fun and exciting celebration of a milestone, was due to the fact that my mother was not there to share it with me.  To celebrate with me.  To see that her baby made it to forty.  She would be 83 this year.

The last time I had such a strong grief response was when I turned 34 because I had been alive without my mother as long as I had been alive with her.  So I could say that I had lived without my mother for half my life.  For some reason that was significant.  But after that birthday passed, I really enjoyed my 35th - 39th birthdays.  Didn't have such a painful grief response as I had had in the past.  I put this down to the 34 years milestone.  After my 35th birthday, without having those grief feelings, I thought "yay! I have sorted out this Grief Thing once and for all!  I am free of my grief and can now get on with my life!"

Wrong!  As I get older, the more I want to connect with my mother, so I am anticipating that between now and when I turn 59 (the age at which she died) I am probably going to have some more Grief-days. And 60 might be the toughest.  But who knows?  I sure don't.  And I thought I did.

Thanks for reading :)

Monday, April 1, 2013


2013 is here well and truly.  This is my family's year of health.  I start a Whole 30 eating plan tomorrow.  I am doing this with Mr Beaded Lady and my next-door-neighbour.  You can read about the Whole 30 plan here.  Basically it is based on the Paleo Diet and I am quite scared!  Seeing as I am doing it with two other people I'm sure it will be fine.

Here's to a healthier me.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Sewing list for Miss E

Miss E loves skirts and dress, not too fond of shorts and pants.  So I would really like to whip her up some lovely simple dresses to get her through the holidays and beyond.

Here's my list for her . . .


And how cute is this??

Source: via Kathryn on Pinterest

I have lots of doilies, so this one should be high on my list!

This one could use up some old tshirts lying around . .

I think she would love this . . .

And last one . . . .

That should keep me busy :-)

Sewing list for me.

And hello again!  After another long absence, I am back on my blog and all inspired to get into the whole sewing thing again.  Our final ever renovation/extension has been completed and I have my own little room in which to craft away the coming September/October school holidays.  What better way to get back into blog-land than to make myself a list of sewing projects?  So here goes in no particular order . . .

Number 1
I need to finish this shirt from Hot Patterns.  I made a practice one a couple of years ago and I love it.  Time to make a real one!
Number 2

I think this top looks really simple to make and could be quite flattering. Only one way to find out!

Number 3

Another wonderfully easy to follow tutorial that I'm hoping will get me churning out a few work shirts.

Number 4

This one I'm thinking could also be a work shirt if made in nice enough fabric.  What do you think?  Otherwise I'll be churning them out in a few different colours ready for summer.

I will post pics as I finish a project.  Only 5 more sleeps till holidays!