Saturday, December 31, 2016


It's 2017, the year of positivity.  There, it's official, because it's in writing.  I'm not making any resolutions, because they're silly and bound to fail, and I'm not going to get tied up in that sort of negativity.  I have decided that I'm going to be happy, I'm going to do things that make me happy, and I'm going to do my utmost to make 2017 a great year.

I've got lots of things to look forward to - hopefully Mum & Dad visiting, and a trip home in August, if the leave gods smile in my direction - and I'm in an awesome house, I've got a great housemate and hopefully can find another, and it's going to be good.

I'm going to have lots of beach trips - I had lots last year too, WELL up on 2015's pitiful number, and this year will be even more.  I might even get to travel more!  That depends on my bank balance...

So much to look forward to, and so much to be positive about.  2017, here I come! 


Questions and answers that I found on Facebook...

1. What did you do in 2016 that you'd never done before?  I built a house, on my very own

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I didn't make any and may do... we'll see what tomorrow brings.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?  Yes!  Gorgeous babies Caleb & Jacob <3

4. Did anyone close to you die? No

5. What countries did you visit? NZ, Ireland & England

6. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?  Happiness

7. What date from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?  February 13, the day that for me, it all truly fell apart.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?  Getting back on my feet again 

9. What was your biggest failure?  Let's call 2016 a learning experience, I don't like the word "failure".  Everything happens for a reason.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Nothing significant!

11. What was the best thing you bought? The house!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? The real question is "whose didn't?" I think (someone else wrote this, and I think it's a good answer)

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?  I choose not to answer this question.

14. Where did most of your money go? Very definitely on the house.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?  Going to Ireland and seeing everyone at home.

16. What song will always remind you of 2016?  Songs don't really remind me of years.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: 

i. happier or sadder? Happier 

ii.thinner or fatter? Fatter 

iii. richer or poorer? Richer (although my bank account is poorer!)

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?   This is a tough one.  I don't know really.  Loved, travelled, laughed...

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?  Stressing

20. How did you spend Christmas? Double ROK at work.

22. Did you fall in love in 2016?  Not a chance.

23. How many one-night stands? Zero

24. What was your favourite TV program? So many!  OITNB?  the Crown?

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year? I don't want to hate anyone: some people aren't in my life any more, I choose not to hate.

26. What was the best book you read?  I really don't know.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery? Heathens - One Twenty Pilots - well not a discovery, I guess I just liked it.

28. What did you want and get? Lily. 

29. What did you want and not get?  To be still married.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?  Hacksaw Ridge.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I flew from Melbourne to Canberra and then back again and then back to Canberra, and I was 29 years young.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Being closer to family!

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2016?  HAHAHAHA!!!

34. What kept you sane?  Family & God.  Maybe that should be God & Family.  Friends.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?  None!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?  I don't get involved.  I have no voice.  (Not a voter yet) 

37. Who did you miss? My family SO very much.

38. Who was the best new person you met? Amanda 

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016?  People will always be there for me no matter what.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?   Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016


Yesterday was crazy, but awesome !  It's when Christmas came to the House of Kate, and although it wasn't without its moments, all in all it was a wonderful day.  
The table set up... and Lily

We ate far far too much (the bourbon baked ham I made was a definite hit) decorated what seemed like infinite gingerbread houses, opened loads of presents (yay for friends!) and ate yet more.  

Gingerbread houses: mine bottom right with the swimming pool
Lily ran around like a mad thing, usually pursued or pursuing the four year old, and was much more excited about her Christmas treats than her new toy - maybe another day!


I finally kicked everyone out at 2200 so that I could go to bed as today was a long day.  This morning I dropped Lily at the dogsitter's until St Stephen's Day as I'll basically be away 12 hours a day til then, which isn't fair on her.  It's weird to be home alone now... A bit lonely, but it is kinder to her.

I got this photo from the dogsitter:

Which is preeeetttty cute!

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Cake

I had so much fun decorating the Christmas cake today with Amanda.  I made my own marzipan and it turned out beautifully.


The cake wasn't completely flat but I'm ok with that!  The icing came next - bought fondant - I'm not that good.


And then it was time to create!  Amanda made some pretty little presents, a ginger bread man, holly and candy cane.


I made a reindeer, an elf, two penguins, a snowman, a polar bear, a marbled bauble, and my very favourite, a minion. (Which was Hayden's idea)




The polar bear is even coming out of his own little igloo.


All in all it was a very fun morning.


Friday, December 9, 2016


Day 3 of moving house... 1 car load at a time.  Lily has discovered my Christmas bears (2013,2014,2015 and 2016) and is busily destroying them while I unpack.


Little evil beastie that she is.  Everything fluffy is apparently hers.

There is a remarkable lack of chairs in the new house which makes me wonder what humans did before chairs.  Just loll on the floor like me?  

I got some shelves for the garage :


And have started unpacking the kitchen although it looks worse than before


And Lily has found the other bears...


And is incredibly pleased with herself.  wow.

And now I must go and unpack some more...

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The house is finished!

Yesterday I got a house. 

My very own, brand new, house.

It's a bit dirty though.  Apparently builders don't know how to clean houses.  Will was complaining, as we went around the house making sure everything was done right, that he had never had to do so many touch ups in his life.  Pity I'm a perfectionist then!

I did my first pre-handover inspection a week ago, on the 1st, and they were only just beginning to do the touchups and there were blue stickers everywhere marking what needed to be fixed (mainly paintwork), so Will had agreed to do a second one.  My handover wasn't scheduled until Tuesday 13th.

I turned up for the second pre-handover inspection.  Will was holding a big white box with a ribbon around it, and after we walked inside he said "this is for you" and "congratulations" and handed me the keys.  I was shell-shocked.

It took us about three hours to go around the house making sure everything was OK.  I had vaguely wanted to pay for an actual handover inspection to be done by a professional, but had only got around to arranging it yesterday - for the 13th - so it turned out being too late, so I was just extra picky myself.  The builder did have to get an external building inspection done for certification, so that will have to do.  I now have six months to find defects - such as cracking in the corners from drying - and then at the six month mark they will fix it all.

We did write a few things down that Will didn't have time to fix.  He did lots of paint touch ups - such as the front left pillar where the driveway people had scraped it - and around power sockets and such like.  He put silicone under the mirrors in the bathrooms, knocked a little dent out of the sliding door track, and cleaned filler off lots of places.  He couldn't fix the warped laundry cupboard shelf, which the manufacturer has been contacted about, or re-tile the WC sink in time (that contractor comes today). 

I didn't even take any photos.  I think I literally just stood there, unsure of who to tell first, and wanting to dance on the spot.

It was 1400 by the time I left the house, and I hurried back to Zillmere, my mind in a whirl of what to do next.  Having messaged various friends, K&T were keen to go Christmas shopping with me and we headed to North Lakes to find me a Christmas tree (hurrah for Kmart).

We then went back to the new house and while K had to hurry to attend a party, T slept on the floor in the media room and Hayden and I dusted, vacuumed and mopped.  When K got back shortly after, we all put the Christmas tree up together.   For some reason, K thought it would be a good idea to put up an inflatable pool - she says it's for the Christmas party on the 23rd - so we put that in the spare bedroom and sat in it to eat mince pies and chocolate after all of our hard work.  It was such a fun evening.

And now, it's morning (after a very restless night of SO many random dreams about the house going wrong) and I should motivate myself to take another carload up to the house and start organising it!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Archery 2016

Tonight was the club breakup at Lakeside Bowmen.  I invited a couple of friends along who I'm hoping will get in to shooting.  They seem keen - they just don't have any equipment at the moment.

It was a fun night, despite storms hitting just before I arrived.  We sat in our cars - next to each other - for a few minutes before deciding to brave the craziness and make a mad dash for the club house.  Thankfully I had a towel in my car to wrap around me and Kaitlyn had umbrellas - even so our feet and legs were completely soaked in the mere seconds the dash took!  The thunder and lightning was incredible, and I watched the storm roll through on my weather radar, warning people that there was a second larger storm following the first, so we were able to keep some chairs dry until the second had passed!  

Dinner was roast chicken, pork and ham, salads, followed by dessert - I had cheesecake.  Very satisfying and not a bad deal for $13 a head.  I also bought some raffle tickets but didn't have any luck!  There was no auction this year.

Last year I was annoyed to have received first place in my archery category, being the sole participant, as I saw the trophy as a 'consolation prize'.  As a woman, I want to win just as much as the next person - maybe even more so - but it seems meaningless if my gender means I'm not competing against anyone!

This year, I explained to Those That Are In Charge, that I did not want the ladies' trophy.  I knew that once again I was the only woman qualifying for the award, and requested that I be put in the men's group, even if that meant I won nothing at all.

I ended up getting third place, C grade, which I was very pleased about!  The difference between that and second was just 60 points (out of a possible 2400, I scored 1936).  There are 4 grades, A, B, C and D, with A being the best, and I am very happy with my progress!


I also got the shield for the club championship - Ladies Sighted - and although I don't know if anyone else qualified, I am still happy as it is my personal best for the year - 684 out of 800.  It was slightly confusing to see the winner last year got over 1100, but apparently they changed the format from a 2 day shoot to 1 day.



I also got first place (out of one) for the 3D shoot.  Hurrah... lol.

Anyway all in all it has been a successful year, and I look forward to improving next year - perhaps even with IFAA - and I have just increased the poundage of my bow from 36 to 40 - so that gives me a good reason to practise, as I need to re-sight it.

One of my arrows in the 3D pig.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 1st, and I haven't even bought an Advent calendar.  It's been that sort of year.  It's hard to feel Christmassy at the minute.  I mean, I even volunteered to work Christmas Day because... well there's no reason to be off, really.  However I have organised a Christmas party on the 23rd to hopefully get a bit more "cheer" into the place, and I am hoping that my friends help me to decorate the new house as soon as I have the keys.  The little white tree here is valiantly trying to remind me of the time of the year, but it's not really working so far.

I had the pre-handover inspection today.  It was a bit of a waste of time.  Amanda went with me, as she is also a perfectionist and I felt she would be very helpful to point out little things!  However, they hadn't done the builders' clean yet, and the painters were only just starting to do the touch-ups so there was just so much to comment on that it was hard to know where to start.  Everything was just small touch ups except for the WC, where they had put entirely the wrong tile on the sink splash back!  However, that shall be fixed, despite the supervisor complaining that he would have to drive the whole way to Rochedale for the tiles.  Sorry mate, but it's written in the contract, so I'm going to get what I paid for! 

He did say that I could go again next week to hopefully do a second pre-handover inspection!

The 13th, aka the Key Date, is drawing ever closer, and I have most things organised now.  Still one blind to purchase - a 2.4 metre media blind which is extravagantly expensive but I can't really see any other option.

And so it goes...