The Day I Threw Away My Pads!

By: Kathy Trainor

I had a hysterectomy for medical reasons on 3/17/2016. A surgery like this comes with a great deal of emotional turmoil. For most women, the uterus is something that they feel defines them as a woman, much as their breast do. We know it doesn’t but it feels that way at times. The periods that go along with the uterus are rather annoying but you learn to accept and often love them at times.ever-since-the-hysterectomy-i-walk-down-the-tampon-aisle-and-just-laaauuugghhhh-0825f

I knew I would no longer have a period after my surgery. At first thought, I was YEAH ~ Happy Dance. Then, as the day approached, things changed. I remember thinking :

I won’t have to by pads or tampons anymore. That is kind of cool and odd at the same time.

I won’t need to worry about swimming and what could happen in the summer. That was really awesome.

I won’t have any more children. Though this was a thing we know we were ok with.

No more cramps. That is a win-win!

There was something about having a period that reminded me that it’s a normal cycle of life though.

I had my surgery and things went wonderful. I feel healthy and really feel a sense of liberation from the monthly friend that visits. Yet, I still felt a void. I mean she (my period) had been with me for almost 20 years. Never really one that I enjoyed but always a sense of womanly respect for her goals in life.

It was about 3 weeks after surgery, and my husband asked me when I was cleaning the bathroom and he saw the pads under the bathroom sink, “Hun, don’t you think you can throw your pads out now?”

I sat back and thought about it and replied, “YES, I can, but I am not ready.”

He just walked off and didn’t say anything. I started to think: Why do I still have these?  I don’t need them. I really never wanted them. Why can’t I just throw them out?

I closed the sink doors and walked away. I just was not ready yet.

Today, almost 9 weeks after my surgery, I was ready. I had just talked to a bunch of women the night before at a work function who knew I had had my surgery. They used the word liberating a great deal. They were right. I was liberated. I was also thankful for the time I had with my period and the pads that were that security blanket for me during this time of transition.

Today, I was ready. Today, I threw out my pads. Today, I am uterus free and healthy. But I am also giggling as I do this saying  YEAH~ Happy Dance. 

If you had a hysterectomy, when did you toss your pads? 

Posted in Health, hysterectomy, Kathy Trainor, Period | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

5 Places to Look for FREE FUN This Summer!

By: Martianne Stanger

In the past week, my family has released endangered red-bellied cooter turtles…

…enjoyed climbing on all sorts of DPW equipment and collecting some freebies…

…watched a police dog exhibition, clamored into police vehicles, potted plants, had faces painted, enjoyed hots dogs, hamburgers, and more…

…all for FREE! 

How? Simply by keeping our eyes and ears open for the many free community events that spring up from May through September in our area. For, truly, once summer weather springs forth, so does a plethora of opportunities for free family fun!

Many of those activities are not posted quite yet, but they will be soon, no doubt. Five places I tend to look for them are:

1.  The Department of Conservation and Recreation Events Page

No matter what part of the Massachusetts you are from, you can find beautiful state parks nearby. Many of these host walks, talks, and family-friendly programs that, in my experience, are anything but crowded. From guided hikes, to critter-catch-and-release beach walks, to historical and environmental talks, my family has enjoyed a wide variety of free programs run by our state recreation department. All have been worthwhile and fun!

2.  The Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center Events Page

For at least four summers running, our family has enjoyed Junior Ranger programs, guided walks, and informative talks offered by the Cape Cod Canal Visitor Center. The rangers are GREAT with children and the evening programs, geared for a more mature crowd, sometimes are appropriate and interesting for children, too. The full summer schedule for such free offerings is not out yet, but news of the free and fun Boating and Water Safety Day on June 25 is already available.

3.  The Mass Wildlife Events Page

There’s a big 150th anniversary celebration coming up on June 4, plus there are loads of free fishing events and more already scheduled.  Take a peek at the event calendar to see what might appeal to you.

4.  Small History Museums and Community Groups

I tend to keep a running list of great little places and groups I have heard about and to check their webpages and Facebook pages regularly. In doing so, I find out about such free-and-fun events as the annual Plymouth Outdoors National Trails Day, where you can enjoy guided walks, demos, and more, and the Strawberry County Festival in Rehoboth at the Carpenter Museum on June 5 where you can dive into history with hands-on fun.

5.  Local Library Websites

So many local libraries offer fabulous, free programing during the summer.  Movie nights, kids’ shows, workshops, and more abound and are often open to residents from other towns. So, be sure to check out the events page of your local library and of ones within driving distance of you, too.

Honestly, with just a small investment of time spent browsing online, you can ensure you and your family enjoy a wide variety of educational and enrichment experiences out in the sunshine at nearby parks or basking in the a/c of libraries and community centers. We are so blessed to live in proximity to loads of beautiful spaces and free places and events to enjoy.

Please take a moment to share your tips or links for finding free, local fun to enjoy!


Posted in Activities, Children's activities, Community Events, family activities, Martianne Stanger, summer activities | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Mom Jobs

By: Kathy Trainor

Mom jobs are when you have jobs that only a mother can think of doing. You know those things they only do. The gross, down and dirty jobs. We both get over worked, no pay and then on top of that no sleep. But sometimes there are things that just moms do. I know many amazing dads out there but moms take the cake with the gross jobs. Below is a list of ONLY MOM things mom do as a job. Have you ever done them? Did you spy dad doing them?u5536_602x312.jpg

1. Mom jobs are when you use your hand to wipe boogers. The run it on your clothing or car seat. Snot bubbles are no match for moms.

2. Mom jobs are when you stick your nose in random places. Is that puke? Did you just poop? There’s only one way to tell. Noses up!

3. Mom jobs are when you get elbow deep in the toilet—clean and dirty. From Thomas the Train to a toothbrush, we don’t need plumbers, well, at least not everyday.

4. Mom jobs are when you smell body parts. Butts, pits, hair on a kid or self. Yep, that’s poop! Nope, I didn’t shower today.

5. Mom jobs are when you wear stained clothes. Yes, I know I have spit-up on my pants. I can smell it, too. Yes, that is Ode De Puke your are smelling; don’t worry, I got a few hours of sleep last night to make this look happen.

6. Mom jobs are when you are booger pickers. I mean come on, who else is going to fish that stuff out. Kids can’t see it. Moms normally do have a limit and will not pick other children boogers. Unless you are working as a child care teacher, then it is free game. Those moms are the best booger pickers in town.

7. Mom jobs are when you use hand as a vomit bucket. Why we think this is going to work and we try each time to catch it no one will ever know. It is mom’s involuntary action she does at the sound of a gag.

8. Mom jobs are when you give 2 sh*ts. They check texture, volume and even color. They can spy poop from a block away and know kids in a corner are brewing something special just for them.

9. Mom jobs are when you spit—spit shine on dirt and grime. Because as bad as we look,  we have to have a clean kid as we walk into grandma’s house.

Last, but not least:

10. Flying arms. Back seat of a car to break up a fight. Front seat of a car as you hit the breaks. Falling off stools and swing. Moms are quick!

Posted in children, Kathy Trainor, Mom Jobs | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Bring On Summer

By: Tanya PimentalSummer Field.jpg

As Memorial Day approaches this weekend, I find myself in the same state of disconnect as I do each year at this time. It’s now when I start to be less attentive to making school lunches, daily reading reminders, and bedtimes. The warmer weather and the added hours of daylight tend to make it harder to keep track of what time it is and, quite frankly, I often need reminding of the day of the week.

I may be in the  minority, but I wish school ended the Friday before Memorial Day and then they had off until the Wednesday after Labor Day. This would be the ideal summer vacation. We could spread out our summer bucket list a bit and not get bogged down with fitting it all in. After this weekend, I long to not have to rush folks out the door and make sure their homework is signed. The truth of the matter is that we will be racing onto school grounds to avoid a tardy slip for the next three weeks.

Here is the kicker though, year after year, the kids have an end of year project due in June.  I’m all for a good project and love working together to get crafty. But, teachers out there, please hear this plea. Make the last project due in May! No one wants to be working on Science Fair projects after school or making Habitat Dioramas. We want to be outside in the fresh air without a care about what is for dinner. I am done making sure everyone’s showered and in bed at a reasonable time.

To give you a better idea of our current state, we started off the year with three new lunch boxes and a few old ones mixed in. As of last week, we have somehow managed to lose all but one Ninja Turtles lunch box that my preschool daughter is now toting to lunch bunch. If the other two need lunch, then we steal dad’s lunch box or use a paper bag. I’ve really been pushing the buying of lunch with encouraging words like, “Try it! You may like it!”  Even though I know they will likely just not eat lunch and in turn get a doughnut after school followed by endless snacks until dinner which they won’t eat because they are too full from the snacks they needed because they hated the school lunch offering.MeKids

Kudos to those moms out there still sending inspiring notes in the lunch boxes and those still full of steam for the A-Z days of random attire to create school spirit. Here’s hoping my kids and those around us remember how prompt we were at the start of the school year and how much more on the ball we were when we didn’t have summer just beyond our reach. I’m starting to compile our summer bucket list and, hopefully, the allure of beach days ahead will pick up my spirits. 

Honestly speaking, I feel like any school days after this weekend are the demise of my good mom confidence levels. If you too feel this way, don’t feel alone. And when my kids are pouting about having nothing fun to do in a month, I’m going to try really hard not to take back my wish to make summer a few weeks longer.

Posted in End of School Year, school work, Summertime, Tanya Pimental | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Honorary Grandfather

By: Sandra Churchill

Our-fingerprints-dont-fade-from-the-lives-weve-touchedDignity… grace…wisdom…patience…and a joke or two… These traits sum up my image of a quintessential grandpa—and a wonderful gentleman in our community named Joe. He was a role model in our parish, an active community member, a retired teacher, and a selfless volunteer and friend to families, teens, singles, children—in short, anyone who crossed his path.

We lost Joe suddenly after Easter and have been feeling his presence—and absence—in daily scenes that characterize small-town life: trips to the dump or to the library, glimpses of his face missing from meetings and errand runs, and his so-monumental absence in the church pew.

Joe was the grandfather I never got to meet, a wonderful, gracious gentleman who enjoyed seeing our children as they grew from infants to curious toddlers to serious teens and ambitious college students. He was always quick to praise our daughters as altar servers or lectors, singers or avid honor students; as well as, our young son as he succeeded as a pint-size cable TV journalist, karate student, or budding role model himself.

His loss is much bigger than one might think, given he is not a relative or next-door neighbor. His absence hit home in recent weeks how much we all need role models in our community. My husband was in awe that Joe carried a “joke in his pocket” everywhere he went—and never seemed to repeat one! He had a twinkle in his eye when the kids shared a joke in return, and we found out later on that he not only was a retired elementary school teacher, but had earned his PhD as well. What a humble man who never seemed to brag or condescend to others.

By his mere presence, Joe seemed to call all of us to better behavior, more patience, greater compassion, and a wisdom that comes with years of experience and gentle living. Joe was a frequent attendee at library story hours when our daughters were young, as he was a steady care-giver for his young grandson. He was a church lector and even inspired my husband (and years later—our oldest daughter) to follow in his footsteps.

This gentleman was kind to his wife and daughters, adored his young grandson, and always had a smile and lent a hand to those in need. One librarian once joked that he was so patient with his grandchild that he “made Mr. Rogers look mean”!

He is missed by all of us every day. I still cannot believe he is gone from our daily routine, but am touched by all the ways he showed us how to live. We love you Joe and are grateful not only for the ways you touched our lives but for our own Grandpa Angel in Heaven.


Posted in Grandparents, Loss, Sandy Churchill, Untimely Death | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Yam and Corn Salad

By: Kathy Trainor

  • Screen-Shot-2014-06-26-at-2.37.33-PM.png1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 1 can of canned Yams
  • 1 can of canned corn
  • 1 can  black beans ( drained)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion ( you can use white if needed)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup  fresh cilantro (chopped)  ( if using jarred and not fresh use a little more to add to taste )

To create the dressing, whisk oil, both of the vinegars, mustard, lemon juice and seasonings in a small bowl until well blended. Place in the fridge to set while you make the other parts of the salad.

Drain the yams, then cut them into small pieces. This may become a bit sticky, I suggest you put down corn starch on your cutting board so you can prevent some of the moisture.

Next, in a large bowl, mix the yams with corn, black beans, onion, feta and cilantro. You will want to place this in the fridge when done so it can set.

Right before serving, mix the dressing and Yam Salad together and you will have a fresh and quick variation on your average corn salad.  

Nice and light for spring

Posted in Cooking, Food, healthy salad, Kathy Trainor, Recipes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day Thank You



Our Signature Moms blog would not be possible without the dedication and creativity of our mommy bloggers.

We at Signature Healthcare would like to take a moment to extend a heartfelt thank you and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day!

Taking time out of their busy lives to share their stories and wisdom with all of us is a sacrifice and commitment that we greatly appreciate.

Happy Mother’s Day, ladies!

Posted in Holidays, Mother's Day, signature healthcare, Signature Moms Blog | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment