Weekly Blog No 20 – Preparing for the Inevitable


As I seem to be gaining more health issues, I thought it would be wise to give some consideration into “preparing for the inevitable”. I’ve been doing things on and off for the last few months including entering information into my Katipedia. Link to my earlier blog. Challenge No 2 – Katipedia

I do need to tackle these things when I am of sound mind. I’ve had various conversations with my husband but now it’s time to put things down on paper. Over the next few months I will be planning my funeral, finalising my will, discussing my health care wishes and organizing my financial records. I really don’t want to add to my husband’s grief with him trying to decipher our records to meet my wishes.

This week I held a Q & A on my Facebook to family and friends, there was no bars. No question was considered a stupid question. I’m sure some people think I’m  complete nut case but I wanted to drive awareness of this horrible disease and give people the opportunity to ask me what they are really thinking. I have copied some of the  questions and my responses.
Q. What do u miss doing and why?

A. I do miss work terribly as you know. I did love building relationships, problem solving, helping people meet their construction goals and having responsibility. Maybe I could start a foundation to help people with education in the construction industry.

Q. If you could have one wish what would it be and why?

A. My one wish would be that there is a cure for all cancers. I would Imagine that is the same response for all cancer patients and people who have lost loved ones to cancer.

Q. Kat, you know I am not afraid to ask the difficult questions that probably a lot of people wouldn’t dream of asking. Given that there is no cure for your cancer we are faced with the inevitable truth that this will, at some point, kill you. Are you making preparations for when this day comes?

A. I have given a lot of thought to certain things but most of them are still in my head and not on paper. I’m going to actively get some of them done over the next few months to give me a peace of mind.

Q. Is there anything throughout this NETs journey that you would change, if you could..apart from the obvious?!

A.  I would ask doctors to listen to the patient as they know their body best. Cancer units shouldn’t expect the patient to do their own research, one leaflet through the mail is just not acceptable.

Not every person could even face what I’m doing, unfortunately for me I go back to my work principles by planning. Yes I’ve been called brave and yes maybe I am, however I don’t want my husband to have any added burden. He’s going to be heartbroken and I need him to look after himself and Lottie my little dog. I’ve had a good life and I’m totally content with what I have achieved in my lifetime.

Memories will continue through my family and friends❤️


Weekly Blog No 19 – Thanksgiving in Banff


A few months ago we decided this Thanksgiving we should go somewhere to have a break. My husband has worked really hard and of course I’ve had non stop medical visits. Carcinoid cancer can cause me some challenges and new symptoms seem to appear every week, nevertheless it was important to make memories. I was looking forward to a turkey dinner, fresh air and observing the autumn/fall colours. It’s been a while since I’ve been to Banff and its only a couple hours drive at the most. Saturday morning was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and the skies were blue. Along the route came the views, here’s a couple of photos on route.IMG_0001




We stayed at the Rimrock Hotel as they were offering a Thanksgiving menu.

 The hotel was amazing, on a mountain surrounded by mountains.

We went on the Banff Gondola, which was just a 5 minute walk from the hotel and we were blown away by the views.




The Sunday in the front lobby of the hotel, we were met by these guys.




Sunday we took the bus down the town and explored the shops of its delights. We had a lovely meal in an Irish pub, divulged a steak & guinness pie and a bottomless glass of Irish cider.


Banff 3

Banff 4


Copyright 2014 Zebrakat

Weekly Blog No 18 – London Tourist 2015

Even though as a child I lived in SW1 London, I was way too young to appreciate what was on offer on my doorstop. My memories are not of Big Ben or Westminster Abbey but more of St James’s Park and the barber shop sign across the road. Later in life my husband worked in London, yet it was a case of get in and get out of the busy city. Since moving to Canada, it has become clear that I didn’t cherish what the UK had to offer in respect of tourist sites.

St James Park

Whether you’re living or working in the UK, you do tend to go about your daily business and not admire whats right in front of your eyes. I wish I had utilised my mobile/cell phone to capture more photos of up and down the country but I was always rushing from one construction site to another. I’m always saying I don’t have regrets but maybe I’ve just found my first one or two lol.

My husband & I plan to return to London hopefully next year as tourists pending my health. My health is giving me some challenges at the minute so I hope it doesn’t prevent me from taking this trip. I’m going to go down memory lane and see where I lived, christened as a baby and St James Park where I played with my brothers. I’m open to suggestions too, I love history especially the Victorian and British war times.image

Westminster Cathedral

Another consideration is afternoon tea at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, a place my mother worked and lived. It would be great to see behind the scenes of the hotel with her and to relive her memories too.


Grosvenor House Hotel


Afternoon Tea in the Park Room

A London Theatre musical is a must do when you go to London  As I am a lover of all music, I am likely to sing along and toe tap to the songs. I have seen a few shows in my time from London to New York to Las Vegas the list is endless.

I would be grateful for any recommendations of places to visit.

Copyright 2014 – ZebraKat

Weekly Blog No 17 – A Book Collection Personality


This week I felt it was a good idea to make tidy my book shelves. I have a little star sticker on the book bound, which represents those I haven’t read as yet. The sticker is removed once the book has been read, a very easy solution to have I or haven’t I read this book.

My books are categorized by subject but not in alphabetical order, however the author is in alphabetical order within each category. Where I have numerous books by the same author I will line up the books on the shelf according to height, tallest being first. I can see some people laughing now and me questioning myself, do I have an OCD. Before you answer that, we all do somewhere in our lives. I certainly know I have a few around my house. Now that you have all stopped laughing I will continue. Whilst undertaking the task I soon realized that books must represent your personality in someway or another, nevertheless I felt the need to list the categories and one word to represent my personality.

Construction Books – Methodical

Interior Design Books – Creative

Cookery Books – Foodie

Travel Books – Adventurous

Self Help Books – Self Discovery

Romance Books – Endearing

Biography Books – Appreciation of someone’s life

True Crime Books – Inquisitive

Health Books – Mindfulness

Art Books – Artistic

History – Awareness

Reference – Open to learning

My list above shows that I have a wide range of subjects on my shelves and my personality traits are :- methodical, creative, foodie, adventurous, self discovery, endearing, appreciation of someone’s life, inquisitive, mindfulness, artistic, awareness and open to learning. Although I could have used additional words to describe my personality I thought I would ask my friends & family on Facebook if they felt that these words represented my character. The overall response was to add more words to my current list for example caring, loyal, determination, consideration to others, fabulous and trustworthy. These words surely illustrate my book collection personality too. Maybe a book collection really does say a lot about somebody, i wonder what cd’s and dvd’s says about somebody.

Copyright 2014 Zebrakat

Weekly Blog No 16 – Lottie’s 4th Birthday

I thought it would be fitting to talk about my little dog this week as it was her 4th birthday yesterday.

Lottie is a Morkie, which is a maltese and yorkie cross breed nevertheless when you mixed these two cuties





You get this a bundle of fluff with big brown eyes just like this.


Lottie is currently 4.5lbs, with big brown eyes and only 7″ high off the ground. She has a diet of Royal Canin and treats. She’s hydro allergic dog, shreds no hair and is a very low maintenance. She loves cuddles and attention so she’s a true lap dog. I will show some photos from the last 4 years.


Lottie as a puppy with her first jumper/sweater, her first gift from a friend. Cute in pink

imageLottie had the cutest face and left ear used to always flop down. Her big brown eyes always tell a story.

imageLottie making herself comfortable on my office chair and still to this day she sits there with me edged up to the front.


Lottie taking a dip in the local river in the scorching weather.


Lottie attempting to brush her teeth but hasn’t figured out yet it’s the other end she needs to use.


Lottie playing hide and seek on a friends couch.


Lottie playing peek a boo.


Lottie loving cuddles, which she gets buckets full of free cuddles.


Lottie checking out Scampi & Chips.


Lottie on work experience for the day.


Lottie doing a back scratch or yoga on the new lawn


p style=”text-align:left;”>Lottie is a true companion, she has got me through my good days and bad days. A dog is very therapeutic and I do believe she has prevented me from getting depressed through all my health issues. A dog is truly a mans best friend but in my case a woman’s.

Lottie photos Copyright 2014 Zebrakat

Weekly Blog No 15 – Recycled Cable Reels

This weeks challenge was to recycle two industrial cable reels into usable yard/garden furniture. I was able to source a couple of cable reels from a local contractor and decided to go ahead with my vision. I knew that I wanted the cable reels to look as rustic and as original as possible. This meant that I wasn’t going to fill in all the holes, remove nuts & bolts or remove any old staples. I wasn’t going to replace any cracked or missing timber, install any additional timber to improve the piece and I certainly wasn’t going make too many improvements to alter its original form. My vision was a little paint and some rope.

I had decided that I needed a couple of side tables around the yard/garden, one beside the bbq and the other one in between the sun loungers. As my existing garden furniture was either dark grey to black in colour, I wanted to keep the colour theme throughout the garden. I chose a lovely shade of dark grey exterior grade matt finish paint to cover the pieces and I wanted the rope not only to get an industrial look but also to represent cable on a reel. I have to say I love to paint and find the process very therapeutic, there’s something very satisfying with changing the look of something.

As the weather has been lovely the last couple of weeks, I managed to do the painting outside, whilst listening to Capital Radio London. The London travel news is most pleasing when you are hundreds and hundreds miles away, no long traffic queues for me.

Photo 1

Photo 1

 The cable reel in its original state prior to painting


Photo 2

Photo 2

The cable reel after 2 coats of exterior grade paint and prior to the rope finish.

Photo 3

Photo 3

The cable reel central column completed with rope and clear varnish finish.


Photo 4

Photo 4

The cable reel table in-situ between the sun loungers.

I’m happy with the completed look, however sad that summer is nearly over and I’m not going to fully utilize the piece this year. I should maybe consider taking orders for the unique piece; you could have the colour of your choice with or without the rope.

Weekly Blog No 14 – Landscaping

This week I thought I would share with you a project that my husband & I have been working on for the last few months. We have been lucky to endure some great weather to complete the hard landscaping, which we assumed was beyond our expectations for this year. I can only take credit for the landscape design to the yard, however my husband has done all the hard labour with some input from neighbours & friends on certain tasks.

In Canada, a yard/garden are pretty similar in design consisting of a deck, some planting and lawn area. Brits love a yard/garden to contain a patio area, lots of planting and a lawn area. Canada is the country of snow and freezing temperatures so when designing a yard/garden this has to be considered. Grass is only green for about 3 – 4 months before turning brown and laying underneath snow.


The yard/garden before the work commenced.

Firstly we wanted a boundary fence to divide us between our neighbours and provide a screen of privacy. When this was installed I was able to give more thought to the overall landscape design. I was able to determine the position of sun throughout the day and also the potential shaded areas within the yard/garden. We decided to include a deck in the design even though the area is in the shade all day. We shall build the deck next year, as it adds value to a property in Canada and is a selling feature.



The boundary fence in situ.

We wanted to add some Englishness into the design by inserting a patio area for entertaining. Therefore we used hard landscaping for the following purposes a bbq, table & chairs, comfortable seating and a fire pit for late nights. I actually designed the yard/garden around this area as this was going to be my most utilized space. I didn’t want the typical curves in the design but I did want to create some straight lines to dovetail the architecture of our house. As you will see from the photo below I have managed to design a patio area for our requirement, a lawn area, planting beds, proposed shed area and finally a proposed sun lounger area.




The yard/garden starting to take shape

This area I am going to put raised planters/boxes along the fence line to grow vegetables


My husband is completing the pavers around the planting areas and in the sun lounger area. We have more work to do and will complete the rest next year as we are satisfied with our achievements this year. We have to buy some additional yard/garden furniture to full the space as well.


Weekly Blog No 13 – Saskatoon Farm

After an exhausting week of scans, my husband and I decided to take a trip down Highway 2 to a place called Saskatoon Farm. I am assuming the farm was named after North American fruit. Saskatoon berries are grown on dense bushes in Western Canada, a dark purple fruit, which tastes both sweet and nutty. It is staple food with multi uses, jams, syrup and pies the list is endless.

Saskatoon Farm is a property with multi uses, a garden centre, a shop, a party venue, a chicken pen and a café. The farm has created various buildings that resemble a street scene in old town. I have taken various photos around the farm to show you its beauty and appeal to many visitors.


Copyright 2014 ZebraKat

Street Scene


Copyright 2014 ZebraKat

External Seating

I think they have really capture the old town feel.

Copyright 2014 ZebraKat

Home Accessories

This is a small section of the home accessories, they have arranged the accessories into colours and themes. I brought two pieces of art for my home so that my Great Room & Laundry could be katjazzled.

Copyright 2014 ZebraKat

A beautiful bride & groom just married

We were very fortunate to see a bride and groom who just got married at the farm in one of the greenhouse areas.

Copyright 2014 ZebraKat

Chicken Pen

I love chickens, it reminds me of happier times on my grandparents farm in Ireland.

Copyright 2014 ZebraKat

Another Beautiful Building


Copyright 2014 ZebraKat

Totem Pole

Another couple of photos around the farm, certainly worth a visit.

Copyright 2014 _ ZebraKat

Weekly Blog No 12 – Family Tree.

Family Tree

Family Tree

I do appear to be falling behind with my blog entries lately as I am struggling with various cancer symptoms. Cancer is causing me some limitations; nevertheless I am finding it both difficult and very frustrating at times.

This week’s challenge was to continue the family tree as I am intrigued by the information that is discovered. I am intrigued to see if my family worked in mines, farmland or is there something else I will discover. I love family history and I am a fan of the TV programme “ Who do you think you are”. My parents were born in Ireland and moved to the UK in their early twenties for employment.

I am looking forward to investigating the family history through British Rule, The Great Famine and Land War etc. I am just waiting for more information from my Auntie to continue my mother’s side. On my father’s side, I have to ask some questions before I can proceed further.

In the meantime, I have started my husband’s Scottish family tree; however he has been led to believe he also has Irish roots. I am curious to see if he is related to some Scottish King or Queen, ok I’m being a little ambitious.

I have managed to discover on his father side there is a generation of coal miners and he is very much Scottish so far, as I am in the early 1700”s. He has relatives that have served in the Great War & WW11. His Christian name has been used from generation to generation; likewise I have both my grandmothers Christian name too. I have a feeling that his grandmother, which is his father’s mother may be the Irish link and only time will tell.

I will keep you posted on the family history.


Weekly Blog No 11 – Caring for Goldfish

Scampi & Chips Copyright 2014 - KMcG

Scampi & Chips
Copyright 2014 – KMcG

This weeks challenge is to look after 2 goldfish, oh no Im becoming a fish mom. After last weeks news, my husband brought me 2 goldfish as part of my anniversary gift. I’m glad to see my husband listens to me, as I have been talking about goldfish for a very long time. His ultimate goal was to put a smile on my face and it did.

I bet you’re wondering why the names Scampi & Chips. Well years ago my husband & I would meet for lunch in a quaint pub in West Haddon, Northamptonshire called the Sheaf Inn. We would always order the same meal scampi & chips and maybe a sherry trifle too. We always enjoyed our meal beside the open fire and eventually become regulars such we were treated like family not customers. A beautiful place and excellent customer service.

Here’s a photo of the quaint pub.

The Sheaf, West Haddon, Northampton.

The Sheaf, West Haddon, Northampton.

This is going  to be a learning curve as I’ve only had goldfish when I was a child, after winning them on a game called “hook the duck ” at  Billy Bates Funfair in the UK. Billy Bates Funfair was an annual event at local parks around Leicester

Hook a Duck.

Hook a Duck.

I wanted my goldfish in a bowl not a tank, however that decision could change with time as I am already learning that it makes more sense to have an oxygen pump into the bowl to keep the goldfish alive.  I started  decorating my fish bowl with grey stones, some greenery and a London phone box to impersonate the UK. An idea sprung to mind, if I’m unable to see all the places I want to travel too because of my cancer, I’m going to have fun with Scampi & Chips.  My goldfish are going to travel the globe for me, when I clean the fishbowl  I will change the ornaments too. The goldfish bowl ornaments will represent another country every water change for example the Eifflel Tower, Paris. I may expand on their travels in weeks to come but in the meantime, the goldfish are chilling with the Carcinoid Cancer mascot, the zebra and I’m still on my learning curve.

Scampi & Chips supporting carcinoid cancer.  KMcG 2014 Copyright

Scampi & Chips supporting carcinoid cancer.
KMcG 2014 Copyright