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Friday, July 8, 2011

A Letter to Kotex

Dear Kotex Marketing Department,

I must thank-you from the bottom of my heart for all of your efforts that you have put into your newest line of feminine products! My cousin had sent away for a free sample and low and behold, she paid it forward and shared a pad! She’s so thoughtful that way! Anyhoo...the bright packaging in pink and black with the swirly designs made me so excited for my next period to start, I simply just couldn’t wait!

The day finally came, sure enough right on queue! I woke up so sore I could barely walk but then realized that I had a new pad to try out, so I happily dragged my body out of bed, and practically skipped to the bathroom. It honestly felt like Christmas morning! I opened the cupboard to find that new little treasure and it took me no time at all! Why? Because of your brilliant idea to make that package stand out, that’s why! Your mothers must be so damn proud of all that brainstorming you did. No longer will my supplies for my “monthly” be hidden, I will proudly display them for all to see! When my guests ask,” Who’s got their period?” I’ll yell, “ME! That’s who!”

The best part of all, my dear friends at Kotex, was when I opened the wrapper. To my surprise you had already made your mark on that fancy new pad! Another brilliant idea! Why let the consumer use a plain old white bound up rectangle of cotton? Nope, not you! That swirly design you made was like a canvas for me to bleed on! Oh the art we made together that day, I wish I could have shown you, but well, I’m thinking that would have been totally inappropriate! Unfortunately I only had one to use and my cramps were still too much for me to run out to the store and get some. But for that hour and a half I had your product close to me will be something to remember and a memory I will share with my girls the very first time they start their period. I’m sure they will be just as excited to buy feminine products when they see the bright colours and cool designs that they now come in! I can hear myself saying to them in the aisle, “See girls, there is nothing to be upset about, having your period is fun, fun, fun!”

I wonder though, maybe you should start adding to your line of pads and research the incontinence side of things. I thought that when I hit that “change of life” I hear so much about that I will miss the fancy swirls and colors in my pants and might want to see it again in my later years. Maybe you could make them into water colors and it will be surprise every time I cough, laugh or jump, I will feel free to pee my pants and make art at the same time! Genius isn’t it?


Catharine Jack

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dementia Came For Tea

 Something I wrote with my dear friend Dodie and her Mom in mind, also for the people suffering with this disease.

My Dear Daughter,
The Doctor just left my room and told me some disturbing news, it seems I’ve let a visitor in and he doesn’t want to leave. They call him Dementia, a strange name if you ask me. (His parents must have been from that “free love” era.) I know you warned me about letting people in, but my visitors have been very scarce and I just wanted to have some company. I should have listened to you because the doctor says that once he comes to visit, he makes me his home and eventually takes over. Quite rude and shouldn’t be allowed, but they say there is nothing they can do to control him. I was told that if I write things down it can help when Dementia starts packing up my life, and it will put him to sleep for awhile. At this point I’ll try anything, so I wanted to write to you before everything gets packed away.
I think I’ve been here in my new place for about a month now, and the people here are really nice. They take very good care of me, but don’t seem to have time for sit for tea. But Dementia came and asked me for a cup and you know me, I opened my door and asked him to have a seat. You’ve been here to my new place right? He sat in my favourite chair and we talked for hours. I told him about when you were little and how beautiful you were. Your hair was so long and your brown eyes so big. I told him how you are the sparkle in my eye, how much I love you, and that you really are my pride and joy. You know that too, I’m sure. I haven’t seen you for a while so I don’t know if I’ve told you that lately. Anyway, Dementia believed my love for you, and opened up a box right in my room. I asked him what he was doing but he just continued to pack up your pictures and place them neatly in the box. When he was done, he said he was putting my pride and joy safely away for when I move. I didn’t want to be rude as I was enjoying his company; he is a really good listener. He is very easy to talk to, he never rushes me, never tells me I’m wrong and I don’t remember. He never corrects me and just lets me ramble.
Every time we talk, Dementia opens another box and puts my very precious items in it, labels it and takes it away. I don’t understand why he is taking me away box by box, and I don’t understand why he is the only one that visits anymore. He is making my room quite empty, and I can’t seem to recall the stuff he’s taken. I do know that I don’t want his company anymore, but he just keeps coming back. I ask the people that come into my room to remove him, but they just look at me with empty eyes and blank looks as though I haven’t said a word. It’s hard because these people are new to me every day so they don’t know me and maybe that’s why they can’t help. There is one girl that looks just like you, and I feel so hopeful when I see her.
I must hurry as I think I hear Dementia coming down the hall, he stops at a few of my friends rooms too so I only have a few moments left. I don’t know when I’ll see you again, so I ask you now for help. I know you’re busy and that you love me, but would it be okay if you asked Dementia to stop his visits, and kindly ask him for my boxes back? Don’t be rude of course; he seems to pack things up faster when you raise your voice. I wonder if you don’t come to see me anymore because my room is so bare and cold. I do not like it either, but he seems to think he needs my possessions more than I. I promise if you can get Dementia to stop, it will be more enjoyable to visit, easier to give me a hug, and less of a hassle to just sit and listen. I’m sorry for what I’ve done, if I could change it I would.
He’s here for the last two things I hold precious, my love for you and the rest of my life. He said I can give him one or the other...I’m sorry but I couldn’t let him pack away my love for you and made the decision he could take the other. You’ll find my love for you tucked inside your heart, hold it tight, and don’t tell Dementia where I left it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Back From Your Bad Mood

Have you ever woken up in a bad mood that lasted all day and even all week? And that week turned into a month maybe more? All the energy that was spent being mad at the world, mad at your friends, co-workers and family was completely wasted...don’t you think? It’s easy to get sucked into someone’s negativity and before you know it that negative feeling has almost consumed everything in you. But at some point in your life you have to take a good look in the mirror and decide if it really is the people in your life that need to change, or is there something in you that needs to change. “The difference between a good day and a bad day is YOUR attitude.”

I can blame my moods on so many things, Mother Nature, “that time of the month”; telemarketers, hormones or someone ate my last piece of chocolate. But the truth of the matter is, I am in control of myself, no one else is. Of course life hands out some unwanted events in our life and we all have the right to deal with them in our own time, and manner. But we don’t have the right to take others down with our sinking ship. There can be people in our lives that do make it suck sometimes, but there are certain people in our lives that want to be there, they want to hold you up when you feel like you’re falling. They want to know if you had a good day or why you had a bad one. They want to protect you from the people that are causing you pain. They also want to celebrate in the good days, good events and milestones. But over time if we are just negative all the time, soon those people will not be there when you’re finally ready to deal. And going through life alone is one very sad and scary endeavour.

After a very long and drawn out winter and many days of bad moods, I have never been more excited for spring. Spring is a new beginning, cleaning out closets, cleaning up the yard, and cleaning up my life. I’ve always been afraid of change, but every time I go with it, something good always seems to happen. The road may have been a rough one, but I feel I’ve been pretty blessed. My family and friends have cheered me on and held me up, and those that haven’t are just not a part of what makes me, me.

If only life were as simple as Facebook makes it to get rid of the negative, rotten people on your list of friends. Clicking “unfriend” for me has been so rewarding some days! “Delete friend?” You bet your a** I want to delete friend! With a click of a couple yes’ and BAM! That negative person is gone, gone, gone. Unless they are obsessed and hunt you down only to add you as a friend again! If you’re feeling like the world is against you, take some steps to make changes for yourself because no one else can do it for you. It will be hard, but as your mother has already told you, life isn’t easy. Start with your Facebook Friend List and start deleting or weeding, that part is fun and really easy. Then ask yourself what you may be missing out on, and do what you can to turn that bad mood into a lunch date with the person you miss the most.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's The Small Things

From the moment we are born and we take our first breath we are running out of the gates to begin our journey of life. Our parents do what they can to guide us in the right direction. They take pride in the small things, our first smile, our first time sleeping through the night, our first steps and our first words. Before they know it we are out the door and on our own, making new chapters in our lives from college to marriage to children of our own. Sometimes things don’t happen in that order and we may choose a path that our parents or society don’t agree with, but it’s our own path to take and that is a right of passage we can all celebrate in.

Of course not all parents have been as great as mine, and there were times through my teenage years when “I knew EVERYTHING!”, that my parents didn’t think I was very grateful. But they let me be who I was and make my mistakes and were proud of me regardless of my attitude. Life hasn’t always been chocolate and roses but as a family we made it through the tough times together, and in the end we know that we are always there when we are needed.

For the past five years I’ve been struggling with the decision that God made to take my dad home at such an early age. We weren’t done with him yet, how could He possibly need him more than we did? There were grandchildren to be with and one that had yet to be born. For me in particular, I still need my Daddy even though I am all grown up, nothing replaces a hug from him or the words, “I love you Kid.” How could God take such a great man and leave the not so great ones here? A question that I will never know the answer to until it’s my time to go home. Through the years, I’ve become somewhat at peace with the fact that he is no longer here and am thankful that he didn’t suffer as long as I’ve seen some suffer. It’s the small things that help me get through the day.

I started working at the Senior’s lodge and in the few shifts I’ve had, I’ve realized that this is exactly where I am supposed to be. Time is all we have and it can go by fast or it can go by very slow. It’s what we do with that time that makes our lives worth living and sharing. My heart is finally softening towards others that still have their Dad in their lives. I was a jealous person watching others enjoy their time when mine was cut short. And I pray for those that are taking their time with their aging parents for granted. We all get busy and we all forget, I am just as guilty for having time slip by so quickly. (Don’t worry mom, I will be there to look after you!)

It’s great to be able to help the people at the lodge and even more rewarding that with a simple smile and a soft touch I know I’ve made a moment of their day a good one. The small things in life are what we remember most, and when they are taken away they are the moments we miss the most. A hug, hearing I love you or just sitting in silence with the ones you love. We have a lot to be thankful for in our lives and sometimes we tend not to remember that. As bad as your day may seem to be going someone out there could be having a worse day than you. Remember the small things and life could be a little easier to get through.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Are You Being Heard?

Have you ever felt as though you are speaking yet no one is listening?  Besides your spouses and your children of course, that goes without saying, I’m talking about conversations you have with co-workers, friends, family that leave you wondering, what just happened there?  In honor of International Women’s Day I thought it would be great to do some reflecting on how I conduct myself.  I question how one sided I can make a conversation, how self centered do I come across?  I know there are times where I really want to just blurt out my news or my rant before I hear the other person’s news, but for the most part I do listen least that’s how I see it!
We’re all going through good times and bad times and really crazy stressful times, and sometimes listening to another person’s woes are just not of interest to us.  But if you think about it, that person called you for a reason, was it to hear all about you?  Or was it because they needed an ear?  Do they have something to celebrate?  Do they really want your advice?  Or was it so you BOTH could just talk and you BOTH could listen.    
Our “stuff” sometimes feels like it is more important than other people’s “stuff”, and it can be really annoying, when you feel like you’re not being heard.  Or you’re made to feel like your problems are not as bad as you think they are.  Who are we to determine what is a bad problem and what is not?  
I find when I actually listen, whatever I am going through can wait, and it takes my mind off a bad situation for a least a little while.  Not that my situations are not worthy of discussion, but I’ve found that listening and waiting for the right time and place give me time to reflect.  Like am I really that mad that my kids can’t find their socks?  Or am I really that stressed out that Desperate Housewives has been repeats for weeks?
I treasure all the people in my life that trust me with their problems, ask me for advice and they can take it or leave it.  I love being an ear for others, I don’t always have the right words, although I do wish I can make their heartache go away.  Though I don’t have that power, I feel like there is nothing better than the comfort of an old friend that will listen and cry with me.  Laugh with me until we cry, agree to disagree or just get mad at me because I’m being stupid.  
A good friend and with a good ear is like warm stew on a cold winter day, with a great big piece of garlic toast on the side.  There are many people in my life that make up my great stew, and I hope to be that same big piece of garlic toast on the side for them.  I take the time now to apologize for times when I was self centered and didn’t listen to all you had to say, or didn’t give much praise where it should have been.  I promise I was just distracted by missing socks and repeats on TV! 
All kidding aside, thanks to all that have been there for me and inspired me to be a better friend, wife, mother and daughter.  Without you I’d be really really empty!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pot Roast And All The Gravy

It’s that time of year for me when cabin fever sets in hard, and I begin to question my own self worth, what I’ve done for society and what I can be proud of. A girlfriend of mine said it best, “I’m having a pity party and you’re NOT invited!”   This is not a “pity” party so you can keep reading!  It’s just a “am I normal” party and yes you are invited! 
I have been looking for a part time job in town to get out of these four walls and change up the daily routine that has become so very mundane! I’ve filled out an application and made up a resume.  That resume was a hard slap on my ego.  To me, it pretty much said I have nothing to offer your company in the way of skills....but I can make a mean pot roast and some kick ass gravy if you’re interested.  I can fold laundry like a machine and sometimes put it away, clean a toilet in 35 seconds flat all while texting and saving the world’s problems with one phone conversation with my sister down the street!   The world is in economic crisis and I say get some coupons people, get some coupons!
My life skills have grown yet my working, technical skills have not.  My work experience ended 8 years ago, and that makes me feel like I’ve been lost by society with no T4 to hand in. I have filled my time with raising my family, building a comfortable life with my husband and surviving all that life has decided to throw my way.  And yet I STILL question what have I done to deserve this happy life?  But to an employer that reads....Wow you’ve been at home in your pj’s blogging, how great for you.  But you don’t have anything on paper to offer.
My kids are my greatest accomplishment no question. And I know what I’m doing staying home with them is a blessing, that goes without saying. I have no certificates to hang on the wall, but I have two girls that I can bring with me everywhere and display proudly as they hang off the grocery cart whining that they want to go home or they want candy!  Two girls that will fight freely in public over who is the smartest and who is the tallest, and freely tell me in public how much they love me once I’ve given into the candy scream.( No it’s not that bad, I love them to no end whether they are good or bad and they make me proud with each passing day that there was no monumental meltdown!)
When my husband comes home he has news from his day in the outside world and it’s interesting.  He asks me how was your day, and it’s the same answer...good.  Elise and I colored, we made bread, we played Little People.  Then she got bored and I did laundry, cleaned this that and the other and I’m going to do it all again tomorrow.  I made a decision on supper and actually managed to shower.  I did my hair and put on some make-up, to which I was asked, “Why do you look so fancy today?” Reiterating the fact that I am in a really bad rut! 
Cabin fever has set in the same time every year for me.  This winter has not been a good one, so cold and rotten and I’m ready for spring.  A new season, some fresh air and a fresh perspective.  No need to send out the cavalry, I’m not going to do anything drastic.  Just hoping the phone rings soon and the news will be, “You’re hired.”  And the day I actually bring home a pay cheque, will make me feel like I’ve contributed, as the government can start freely stealing money from me once again.  And to celebrate I’ll make a pot roast with lots of gravy, and finally be proud of every bite and think to myself, “Damn you’re good.”

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Emma's Box of Patience

My daughter has been asking me for a story just for her.  This was a hard one!

"When is Christmas ever going to get here?", Emma asked herself as he paced in her room back and forth back and forth.

"I'm so borreeed, bored, bored." She sat on her bed with her arms crossed and her head down. "School is on a break, dance is on a break and Mom says she needs a break. What good is a break anyway? All a break means is that I'm bored!"

Emma got off her bed and went into the kitchen. She found her mom cleaning up and said, "Mom, I'm bored."

"Really? It's only the third day of Christmas Break and you're bored already?", asked her Mom.

Emma let out a BIG sigh and said, "Yes. There is nothing to do."

Her Mom listed off a bunch of things she could do but Emma said no, no, no to all of them.

"Never mind," said Emma. "I'll find something."

"Good thinking, use your imagination, "said her Mom.

Emma went back to her room. "Use my imagination. Hmm....what can I come up with?"

"Oh! I know! I'll pretend I'm a princess locked in a closet and I'll wait for my prince to come and rescue me!"

She climbed into her closet, found a small spot on the floor where she could sit and hid behind the clothes. "This is perfect," she thought to herself. "Now I'll just wait and my magic prince will use his x-ray vision and find me!"

Emma waited and waited and waited. And waited and waited and waited. After a long while Emma decided that this wasn't a game for one, she better go get her little sister, Elise, and she could be her prince.

"ELISE! Where are you?", Emma shouted from her room. Let's play Princess and Elise!"

"W-H-A-T?" Elise shouted back from the playroom.


"W-H-A-T?" Elise shouted again.

"Why don't you go to the playroom and speak to her there Emma," her mom said sounding annoyed.

"Okay." Emma went to the playroom and explained her game to her little sister.

"Uh, no thanks. I no wanna to. I playing Little People. You wanna play Little Peoples and Elise?"

"NO, I don't! HUMPH!", Emma turned on one heal and stomped back to her room.

"Christmas Break is boring! Who needs Christmas Break anyway? Christmas is NEVER going to get here."

Emma's Mom came into her room after she heard the commotion. "What's the problem Emma?"

"I'm so bored and now Elise won't even play with me. She makes me so mad sometimes. Little sisters are no fun and Christmas Break is no fun!"

"You won't think so in a few days. Just find your patience and you'll be surprised what patience will bring you."

"What? More presents?!" Emma asked with a smile.

"You know that Christmas isn't just about gifts." Said her mom.

"I know, it's about giving, Christmas spirit, Baby Jesus and the final countdown to being good!"

"Well yes you're right about those things, but being good is a smart idea for the whole year, not just the week before Christmas. Patience brings you love and joy and your own sense of magic in your heart."

"You mean I can really have magic? It's really real?" asked Emma.

"Magic is in all of us, we just have to figure out how to use it."

"Do you have magic Mom?" Emma asked.

"I like to think so," said her Mom as she kissed her on the top of her head.

Emma thought long and hard about patience. "Patience means waiting and waiting and Mom says good things will come. I don't know what patience looks like though. How can I find it if I don't know what it looks like?"

Emma began to search her room, "Is it under my bed? Is it in my closet? Is it behind my table?" She decided to look around the house, "It's got to be here somewhere," she said.

After hours of looking and searching and exploring Emma became very frustrated and went to talk to her Mom.

"Mom, I've been looking all over the house for my patience but I can't find it! What does it look like EXACTLY?"

"Oh Emma, it is not something you can see or touch. Patience is something that is inside your heart and your mind."

"Okay, then what EXACTLY does that mean?" Emma asked even more frustrated than before.

"Hmm.. remember when you wanted to get your ears pierced and we said you had to wait until your birthday?"


"Well you waited six long months and then your birthday came and you got your birthday wish. So for you that time patience came in the form of pierced ears. It is different for everyone. For me it was waiting for you to be born, you were two weeks overdue and I thought the world was going to come to an end if you hadn't come out already! And then I got a call from the hospital to say that it was time to get you out! So patience for me was finally holding you in my arms instead of my belly."

Emma giggled.

"Patience can be the moment you finally learn that special step in ballet or tap, or when you figure out that really long word in school. For some people it's that moment when the Doctor says they are better after hurting for a long from being sick."

"Oh. Okay I think I understand. Practice means patience and waiting means patience. But why do you say, "Find your patience", if it's nothing I can see or touch?"

"I guess I mean practice your patience and you'll see it that way. I have an idea.", said Emma's Mom. She gave Emma a square red box with a lid and a white bow on top. She opened it up and inside was a white shiny lining but nothing inside.

"What's this for?" asked Emma. "There is nothing in it."

"This box is a good place to keep your patience and see it grow. Close your eyes, make a wish in your mind and then whisper it in the box. Close the lid tight so it doesn't escape. When you're waiting for something to happen, like in this case Christmas Day, and you feel like you're losing your patience, take the box in your hands and squeeze the lid on tighter and tighter. That way it will remind you that the day is coming and not to let go of the magic it will bring you."

Emma smiled took the box and went into her room. She took the lid off and whispered her wish inside, just as her mom explained. "I wish for Christmas Day to get here, to see my cousins, and family, to eat LOTS of chocolate and to open lots of presents! But don't tell mom that last part!" She closed the lid as quick as she could and put the box on top of her dresser.

Emma stared at that red box for days, picking it up and squeezing it every now and then to make sure her patience wasn't escaping. Finally it was Christmas Eve. ONE MORE SLEEP! "You can do this." Emma said to herself. At bedtime she and her sister put out cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. Mom tucked her into bed and kissed her on her cheek.

"How's the patience going Emma?"

"Really good, it tried to get out but I stuffed it back in and now we have one more sleep!"

"Good news!" said her mom. "See you in the morning, but not too early right?"

"I can't promise that Mom!"

Emma fell fast asleep and dreamed of snow and treats and presents. Before she knew it she opened her eyes and she could feel that Santa finally came. She rushed out of her room and woke everyone up.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!" she yelled as she jumped on her parents bed.

Emma sat and looked around the living room after the presents were all open and smiled. She was happy she had her patience with her and thought she should share it. She went to her room grabbed the red box and gave it to her mom.

"What's this for?" asked her mom.

"Well I was thinking and I thought you could use it too. You know when you say that you are about to lose your patience when you're getting mad at us?"

Her Mom nodded.

"Just shove it back in here and hold it tight, that way you won't actually lose it and we won't get into trouble!"

"I'll do my best Emma. Thank-you. I love you. Merry Christmas Baby."

"Merry Christmas Mommy."