Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hey All

So the brainstorming has begun for our new .com online magazine which will be up and running early next year! Lea has been pouring her heart and Soul into design, and I have a couple of features and A NAME on the go.
It will be the same sort of set out as this Blog only it will be a proper trademarked site for all you wonderful women. With a bit more organisation! We will be having all our regular contributors which you love reading about and more! So stay in touch and head to our online Forum if you would like a say in what the new site! Please do all suggestions welcome and feel free to email me if you would like to get on board.



Sunday, November 22, 2009

A cell phone bust

My friend, Kaari and I were out for lunch one afternoon when Jesse, her 11 year old son, texted her to let her know that he was done with classes for the day. She texted him back letting him know that she was wrapping up lunch with me and would be there soon to pick him up.

It was then that we decided that I would to shoot him off a text to have a little fun with him.

The following transcript is our text exchange:

C: Hey Jesse hows it going?

J: Sup watdo y want

C: Just wondering what your doing

J: Nothon much im just goin over to nix what er u doin

C: Do you know who I am?

J: Jason

C: no try again

J: Ashleigh oh ya

C: think a little bit older

J: Wat th hell

C: Pardon me?

J: K cut th crap wo are u

J: Are u justin

C: No It is Catherine and you are in such trouble.

J: Sorry so much i thought u were a guy from school so sorry your number came up as a number I thought was one of my friends so sorry

C: I am with your mom she is coming to pick you up right now

J: Ya so sorry bye

LOL so busted. Kaari and I had a good laugh about.....one of those tears flowen’ kinds of laughs.

Oh so good...

But, really, just to top it off, you should have seen him when he had to come for a haircut this last week! Just a little embarrassed...poor poor Jesse, couldn’t even look me in the eye. Had to give him a big hug before he could relax and chat like usual.

Just had to share that one.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Better Late Than Never I Guess

So I noticed that I never introduced myself properly to this blog or to the people that read it.
I'm not sure why I neglected to do so, I just did.
Here goes......

I am 21 years old.
I am an apprentice funeral director/embalmer.
I am in my last year of school for my degree.
I plan to graduate in May and get my license shortly after.
I like to write, although I am not a great writer.
One day, I hope to write a book.
One day I think I'd like to get married and have babies but right now I'm focused on my job and education.
I love to read.
I am a blog-reading fanatic!
I am teaching myself to cook and my roommate has been a very willing guinea pig.
I love tattoos.
I have 6. 
Or two, depending on how you count.
I try to write about interesting and funny things but sometimes the depressing parts of my life take over.
I have a lot to learn about life but I'm having a good time through it all.

Anything else?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


For a while now we have been aware of the fact that our beautiful Black Walnut Tree, in our back yard, has...well....to put it plainly....taken over. It has almost, I dare say, doubled in size since we moved in almost 7 years ago. It sits centre of out back yard and brings much shade in the summer, too many leaves for The Horticulturalists liking in the fall and much food for the squirrels heading into winter. It is a gorgeous tree that we have really really enjoyed. BUT this summer it proved to be a hinderance to The Horticulturalist’s new green house as it shaded the green house for a large portion of the day....not so good. It also took over much of the garden’s sunlight as well. Then there was the random falling branches...mmmm....yes not so safe in a back yard used by children.

So the decision was made, the man with the experience was found...one with the best price of course...and last week, on a sunny day...the deed was done.

It went so quickly, you could not believe how fast that guy jumped around that tree cutting her back. (We did not take her totally down...we just had her cut way way back.)

Quick it was, just like that, within 30 minutes her branches, of all sizes, were strewn all over the back yard and she stood a little sad looking and naked a totally new tree, in our, now, very open back yard.

But it had to be done, there was no question as her growth and size was over powering everything else's growth in the yard. Things that needed as much light as she did were just not getting what they needed. And so we had to let go, cut her back, and let in the light.

It is like that in our lives. Sometimes there are things we have to let go of to move forward to where we need to be. Sometimes we need to cut back on something or even someone to get our own head straight so we are walking a clearly lit path instead of something muddled and grey.

There is nothing like feeling clear of where you are going, to feel the sun on your face, to see the path in front of you. To have those things we must continue to till our lives, tend to our needs, and feed our souls. You cannot feed your souls when you are covered or hiding. You cannot live while you lay scared in the dark. What is it that keeps you there? What is it that wears you down?

What ever it is, it is time to cut it back....it is time to let it go. It can even be something as beautiful as a tree that offered so much, and really was just doing what it was meant to do....but when something else suffers, when the balance is so shifted, when the other side withers, life will not remain, and eventually it leaves.

I am a very sentimental person. I become attached, I feel things deeply....everything matters.

I have learned that as seemingly painful as letting go appears...there is a deep amazing beauty that it holds. There is a freedom. I found that after I learnt that letting go does not mean cutting off or turning ones back. You can let go and still love...you can let go and still face that which you have let go of and pour your love and light into it. You still can enjoy it, be a part of it, exchange colours with it (The Shack). There is a place where the spiritual side of life takes over and allows for such things to happen....but it is us who bring it there. It is us who lay these things down at our Creators feet who then guides us to our place of freedom.

And in this process something new is born...a whole other experience, a whole other life level, a whole new world (Alladin)....and it is good.

I wasn’t sad to see the tree go, she had really taken things over. I am glad to see her still here and I am excited to see how she will grow these years to come. I am excited to see how the Horticulturalist’s green house will fair now with full time sun. I am excited to see the garden even do better next summer. I am also curious to see how much hotter the house will get without her shade. I wonder if the squirrels will not be around as much. But these are all mysteries at this moment...I am just glad to see the light.

This is the gift she gave us...beautiful Black Walnut Wood that we will use and sell for carving.

We had no idea that this is what her wood would look like...no idea of her “inner” beauty.

Cutting back will allow new growth and new life.

Cutting back can free inner beauty...the souls beauty

Letting go allows freedom.

Letting go allows peace.

Letting go is truly an act of selflessness and grace

Peace be to you

Peace be to you

Peace be to you


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Pain Truth Brings......

Today I feel like I've been slapped in the face and punched in the gut all at the same time.
I have this weird taste in my mouth and a sickly feeling in my stomach.
Its not the swine flu.
I'm not sick.
I'm sad because today for the first time ever I think I truly realized that you cannot change people.
No matter how hard you try and how much you beg and plead with them they are going to do whatever they want to even though you didn't give your blessing and you will be left standing, frustrated, wondering why they won't see what you see?
Why they refuse to understand even a tiny bit what you are trying to explain to them before they take themselves down this same path of destruction again.
I can't change her.
She may have raised me and taught me and provided for me but there was so much left lacking.
Is it wrong to feel like I was cheated of a proper upbringing?
I feel like I should have had a better raising.
Maybe then I would have turned out better and not so screwed up in the head.
I told myself that I wasn't going to write about her, that I was going to put her in a shoebox and shove her under my bed or in the back of my closet as far as she could go and never look at her again.
But I can't leave it alone.
She's like a scab begging to be scratched off, a moth that you want to smash so badly and then blow the dust of its wings off your hand.
I can't change her and this is something I believe I have fully realized today.
I just have to let it go.
Let her go.
Let everything go.
I can't try to straighten her out and live my life and be happy at the same time.
She made me choose this.
I warned her and she chose the wrong option so I had too.
Even though I miss her I can't go back.
I won't go back.
She's never going to change.
Perhaps you think its wrong to give up on someone, that you should never give up on someone unless their dead because only then is it truly too late.
I believe the time has come.
She may still be breathing but worrying about her is giving me a heart condition.
I've got to let this go.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

No Title

Yesterday at work we sat in the lounge and watched the Food Network all. day. long.
So when I went home after work I had to make a run to Target for food supplies.
The roommate and I made steak fajitas, pico de gallo, and fried cheese raviolis.
And topped it all off with a nice refreshing glass of rum & coke with just a hint of lime juice.
It was a good meal.
Excellent meal.
Only problem was both our "man company" weren't there to enjoy our delicious cultural bounty with us.

The Marine sent me an email last night.
He sounds really sad.
I want to post his email here so that you can read it too.
I wish that I could write like The Marine.
I love the way he describes things.
I don't know what he's going through and how he feels but the way he describes his feelings make me feel like I know exactly how he feels and I've never even been any where near his situation.
Here you go.

When I was in boot camp, combat training, Mojave Viper, and Iraq, holidays didn't mean anything to me because I had more important things to care about. I never knew what day of the week it was, and often didn't know the time, only what had to be done. Daylight and dark had no effect on my life beyond the temperature and whether or not I needed a light. Sometimes even those became less important than getting things done and I'd work with only a t-shirt in freezing cold and by feel in the dark. Usually the only sign that a holiday had come was the difference in the food I ate.
As tough as that seems it really never bothers me. Holidays only serve to make me homesick anyways; so if I never realize they've come and gone, who cares? The trouble is: that getting off of work today didn't mean a thing to me. We got off a little early, but I was still there at 4:30 this morning. Typically a weekend means going to Joshua Tree and getting away for a little bit, going out with friends, something to look forward to. But not this weekend. My ankle will keep me from doing too much hiking. My friends all left work before I did so I have no clue what they've got planned, and I'm less and less invited out.
I don't mean to bitch, but it made me sad to realize that I have the same mentality of a strenuous and stressful environment even though I'm here and don't have anything that pressing. I have the weekend off for crying out loud and I'm in the same mindset as though I were in combat just because I don't have much to look forward to.
It looks like they're stopping at five and I'm not happy about it. I feel like it should be me going and taking the risk. I don't like SENDING my friends to do that without me. I'm more experienced with ied's and idf than any of my friends that are going and I don't like to think that I won't be there to help them. It's discouraging.
But happiness will prevail somehow this weekend. Not sure how but it always seems to get better. No reason this shouldn't be any different.
Awesome, right?

Friday, November 13, 2009

I feel lost

Does anyone really have a balanced life?

Sometimes I’m surfing through the blogging world and I run across an unassuming blog. It’s a woman with 4 kids, the perfect house, the perfect clothes, the perfect kitchen/cooking tutorials, she works part time, volunteers in Mexico, has responsibilities with her church, takes her perfect kids to {dance, karate, soccer, piano} practice, loves her husband’s & goes with him on business trips.

It’s annoying. Because my life is full of just a few things:

  • Work
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Volunteering
  • Church

And I can’t even seem to keep of those in balance. I struggle to leave work on time and make room for a social life.

I am so dedicated to creating opportunities for growth in my career and higher education, I have to fight to make time to relax.

I feel so obligated to be a good [sister/daughter/friend/coworker/potential girlfriend] that I get over committed to activities.

So here I am saying, my life is out of balance.

Am I the only one that struggles?

I am at a point where focusing on advancing my career or education is an important step. So things are titled heavily in that direction.

I have always know that things what is the most important now, might now be in a month- that our lives shift based on our priorities.

I’m just starting to feel like: Where is the pay off?

Right now, iM not feeling like there are any. So maybe its time to clean the slate and start fresh.

How do you keep your life reasonable & balanced?

♥ Single Girl

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Green Smoothies

I truly believe that high quality ingredients are the key to health and beauty. I have blogged a lot about the importance of eliminating or limiting preservatives and toxins from the items we use everyday when grooming etc.

I also find this to be true with nutrition. Health supplements and drinks are quite popular. The problem is that they are often loaded with sugar, or better yet a chemical sweetener. Most of these brands are also loaded with a lot of preservatives and they have been over processed.

What I find interesting is that we are living in a time where the obesity rates are at an all time high, but yet most people are malnourished. Scary.

A few years back, I read a wonderful book called '"Green For Life", by Victoria Boutenko. The book is about green smoothies. You simply mix greens and fruit together (see video) and drink. I have been making these drinks on and off for 3 years, and they are tasty...really! They are quick and easy to prepare. They are also great for someone who doesn't want to eat their greens. The best part is that they are preservative free and more nutritious than any supplement you can buy on the market. You can drink them anytime you want. Some people do green smoothie fasts, and others simply drink them whenever they feel the need. There's no right or wrong way to do this.

We just celebrated Halloween and I have a lot of extra candy on hand ;0) I will be dusting off my blender and making my smoothies to get back on track.

All the best,


Monday, November 9, 2009

Not My Favorite Activity Today AKA Let Me See Them Fillings!

Today I have to go to the dentist to get my teeth cleaned.
I am not excited.
I've been going to the same dentist for, oh, five years now and I still don't like it.
But I keep going there because I'm comfortable there.
I'm very routine-y and the serial killers that follow me around waiting for their perfect opportunity to knock me off know it.
Very routine-y.
There's just something about going to the dentist.
I know its a necessary thing, and I want my teeth to keep being just as beautiful as they are.
Its not the pain.
Although I do twinge a little when she's scrapin' away and make little "oh! I'm in agony!" sounds when she goes a little too far.
Its not the wondering if I'm going to have any cavities.
I drink a lot of milk.
A LOT of milk.
Its not the waiting in the waiting room with all the little kids bouncing around.
Everyone that works there is super friendly.
But I hate Hate HATE having to lie there on my back in that weird chair with my mouth hanging wide open while some old lady with a funky too-young-for-her hairdo, too many holes in her ears, and clown makeup scrapes away my plaque that plagues and spits all over my face while she yells at somebody in the other room.
I think my biggest hangup with this scenario is the whole "lying on my back" part.
I feel vulnerable in that position.
I feel like anything I don't want to happen to me could happen to me while I'm lying on my back with my mouth wide open.
Can't some genius design a different chair so I don't have to lay suppine?!
Do you hate the dentist too?
P.S. The title for this post was brought to you courtesy of the nasty old perverted fart I saw at Burger King last year. Apparently, that's his line of choice for picking up super hot babes that work the counter. Ugh.

Emma Thompson's 'Journey'

Emma Thompson's 'Journey'

I don't know how much I would like to think I knew about all this.

I feel so sorry and horrified for all those women/men who are being trafficked for sex.
Check these other articles out:
Online Resources to Help End Sexual Exploitation
Slavery in America: An Undeniable Truth

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hers and His Diaries


Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a bar to have a drink. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it.

Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much. I asked him what was wrong. He said, 'Nothing.' I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset. He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it.

On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can't explain his behavior. I don't know why he didn't say, 'I love you, too.' When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent.

Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. To my surprise, he responded to my caress, and we made love. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep - I cried. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.


My Snowmobile wouldn't start today, but at least I got laid.

Thursday, November 5, 2009




Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Disappointment Lounge...Stories from a mom navigating herself through the teenage years and loving her son in spite of the dumb things he does...

I have discovered a new place for moms....moms of teenagers that is. It is called “The Disappointment Lounge”. Now, you really want to regulate how much you come here and how long you stay but TRUST ME you will be coming here if you have a teenager!!! Sad but true, out little beautiful sweet beings turn into teenagers which are a breed of humans that smell, are unmotivated, and have this sense of entitlement that can really drive you out of your skin!!! I know you must be wondering what brought me to my new found room....well it starts with a fifteen year old boy who we are attempting to let go of so he can find his own way in the world...this is not as easy as it sounds. Maybe some of you have gone through this ...and maybe some of you have yet to enter this place. For those who have been here, any wisdom is greatly appreciated, for those who are not here yet....remember my story, be not afraid and value where you are at. So, this past Saturday was Halloween here in Canada and the rock Star wanted to go out and hang with some newer found friends from his new school.... We have met these boys and we have no complaints in particular about them. So the deal was for him to give out candy at our house and then he could go out with his friend for a few hours after. Steve drove him to the party and he was to call us at a certain time to get picked up. All of that went well....BUT....the thing that brought me into this new room was the fact that he came home smelling strongly and I mean STRONGLY of cheap cologne. Do you remember that trick...you are smoking so you slather yourself in strong fragrance of some sort to cover it up. Now keep in mind The Rock Star is 15 almost 16 (in January) so the curiosity of such things is right on the mark for where he is at. It is not that which has brought me into the lounge...it is the need to lie about it. He had the most grande story about the over scent of cologne and why it was....there even had been an out door fire at the party he was at but there was not sent of fire on him as the cologne was so strong!!! If the story had not been, so tragically, my own sons story of deceit,t it would have been hilarious...unfortunately for me it was indeed my son telling the tale to save his @$$. Thus I could not, at the time, laugh in the moment...I instead entered the place I now called “The Disappointment Lounge”. I looked at him shaking my head, and with out raising my voice I ask him why he was doing this to himself...lying that was...do you REALLY think we are buying this story??? The story went like this...someone left some cologne by the fire so him and his friend wanted to use some and when he picked it up he realized that is was leaking and it leaked all over his hands...but he had no idea whose cologne it was or why it was there on the bench....by the fire....with no one around......mmmmmmmmmmm using the famous word my friend Bridget uses....muh!!! I told him to just go to bed....yup just go to bed....really, no , just go to bed....... Poor Rock Star...the worst liar in the world. You almost feel sorry for him....almost. So a couple days have pasted and I am no longer in The Disappointment Lounge, though I have a feeling that I will be occupying it again sometime...hopefully later then sooner. I realize that this is going to be my challenging season of parenting. You know how some have a hard time with babies...some with toddlers...some with adolescents? Well mine is the teen years...this is a big time to learn, grow and try to keep my mouth shut as much as possible. So how did this one get resolved? Well I went for a run....and thought and thought and thought....forgetting to access my Spirit...I call her Arlene, but that is another story for another day....anyways after making myself crazy for the first half of my run I looked up and saw the suns beams streaming through the clouds and Arlene reminded me that he was God’s first and The Rock Star’s life was in God’s hands....that was good information. So I handed him over....once again I thank you, once agin I pour out my life.... So what does a mother do? Well she takes her son out for a hot chocolate and donut a couple nights after”the incident”. We don’t talk about said incident...it has been talked enough, now it is his choice to sink or swim. Instead we just hang...I find talking with a teenage boy can be a hit or miss, that night it was a miss....BUT he seemed to like it and we had some alone time together. Then we went and rented some movies for the week...picked them out together and actually agreed on all of them...yup, a miracle.
Oh son of mine

how I do love you

how hard it is to watch you fall

and not pick you back up again

you are too big for my arms to carry

too tall for me to look you in the eye

too loud for me to take you many places

but you remain

as always and forever

my sunshine

my heart

my life

By Catherine Basso


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's About That Time!

My children are now old enough to do most things for themselves, or at least help take care of each other. They range in ages from 20 to 10-years-old.

Now that they are no longer babies, I feel it's finally time to buy 'Real Dishes,' and glasses to-boot.

Don't get me wrong, we do have 'Real Dishes,' but no more than two actually match. There is a Corell plate or two, along with a few other random patterns. Safely tucked away in my china cabinet, is a four place setting of 'Real China,' my grandmother gave me as a wedding gift. For a years now, we've used paper plates for convenience, and I'm planning on giving that up.

I haven't had drinking glasses in... in... It's been so long I don't remember. Plastic tumblers are the norm for drinking, around our house. In the early years as our children grew in size and number, plates and glasses would get broken from being dropped on the floor, or shattered by flying flatware, being hurled into the sink.

I'd love to entertain, and all of my guest eat from matching place settings, and not have to drink from plastic tumblers. Now that the children are 20, 17, 13, 12 and 10, surely they can handle real plates and glasses. I'm on a quest to find new 'Real Dishes.' I'm looking for something not too fru-fru, but modern, and reasonably priced, that we can all enjoy, for more than six weeks.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thank You Korea

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(From the upcoming book: Lessons from the Monk I Married)

I can’t forget Korea….I am reminded of Korea every time I look at my husband’s smiling face. Korea is a part of me. I never expected that. I never planned to go to Korea. I graduated from college with a degree in Professional Writing and a minor in Spanish. I lived and spent time in Spain, Mexico, and South America, but didn’t have much of an interest in Korea.

I remember when I was working in a health club in Seattle, Washington after college. I was desperately seeking some kind of peace and silence. I spent all my free time at the club reading books on Buddhism and meditation. I have no idea why. I would go to the break room and turn out all the lights and just sit in there in silence. One evening, right before closing, I was sitting alone in the towel area reading the last couple pages of Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by the Japanese monk, Shunryu Suzuki. It was late and there weren’t any people left on my floor of the club. Suddenly, a woman came up to my floor from the pool area (The club is actually a multi-story building in Seattle). It felt like we were the last two people left on earth. She said, “Bye Kathy, today is my last day, I’m going to Korea with my boyfriend.” I said, “Korea?” and she explained that she wanted to travel and her husband is an English teacher in America and got offered a job in a university in Korea, so they planned to leave soon. We chatted a bit and then she left. There was a silent eeriness when she left. I was the only one in the club. I just kept repeating “Korea.” There was something familiar about that.

It was summer 1994 when I first heard the woman from the pool talk about going to Korea. A year later, I was there. A couple friends from college were teaching English in Kyoungju, a historical city located in southeastern Korea, an hour from Pusan. One of them called me and told me about a teaching opportunity there. I knew I had to go. Kyoungju is located close to a large Buddhist University called Dongguk University. It wasn’t unusual for me to have Buddhist monks and nuns in my classes. At the time, I was fascinated by monks because I had been reading so many books about Buddhism and had such a strong interest in meditation. Shortly after my arrival in Korea, I traveled alone for hours by bus to a remote temple called Songkwangsa.

It sounded very interesting and is one of three famous temples in Korea that represent the Triple Gem in Buddhism. The Triple Gem includes: Buddha (Enlightened One), Dhamma (Enlightened One’s Teaching) and Sangha (The Community of Monks or Lay People who practice this Teaching). Songkwangsa is the temple that represents the Sangha. There is an international training center there and you can see Korean monks as well as monks from other countries. I went because I believed I would meet an important monk there. I never did…at least not at that time. I did take a picture of a procession of monks coming out of a large temple door. After, I took the picture…I got on the bus for the long journey back to Kyoungju.

Months later, a monk showed up at my English school where I was teaching. He was unusual. He wore his hat, but not on his head. He had it lying across the top of his head. I knew right then that this monk was different. He ended up signing up for my friend’s English class. He could tell she was interested in learning about monk life, so he invited her out for noodle soup. Knowing my interest in Buddhism and meditation, my friend also invited me to come along. We went to a noodle shop on the edge of town near a slow, meandering river. We sat there slurping our noodles while the monk recounted his adventures in India during a pilgrimage to the sacred places of the Buddha. He smiled and laughed and sometimes he was silent for long periods. We all became friends rather quickly. My friend and I would wake up at the wee hours of the morning and ride our bicycles through the city to a meditation room above a little teashop where we joined other Koreans for meditation led by this monk.

Later, after we became good friends, I discovered that I had known this monk all along. He was in the picture I took of the procession of monks coming out of the temple door at Songkwangsa temple. He was the only monk facing me directly. Here we were, miles from that temple, meeting again. We had no previous connection, other than this photograph.

Seven years after I met this monk, we got married. The journey between then and now is one I am retelling in a book entitled, Lessons from the Monk I Married. There was a reason I went to Korea….these days I feel there is a reason for everything I do. I am thankful to have gone to Korea to meet my husband and I am thankful for finding a wonderful blogger who lives in Korea and has asked me to blog here. Sometimes the road we didn’t plan to take, take us exactly where we need to be. Korea, I thank you for that!

By Katherine Jenkins