Monday, November 28, 2011

Fashion Tips for Men and Women

Making a Great First Impression

It takes just a quick glance, maybe three seconds, for someone to evaluate you when you meet. The other person forms an opinion about you, based on your appearance, your body language, your demeanour, your mannerisms and how you are dressed. These first impressions can be nearly impossible to reverse or undo, making those encounters extremely important, for they set the tone for all the relationships that follow.
They say “A picture is worth a thousand words,”
and so the “picture” you first present says much about you.

What about grooming? Clean and tidy appearance is appropriate for most business and social occasions. A good haircut or shave. Clean and tidy clothes. Neat and tidy makeup. Make sure your grooming is appropriate and helps make you feel “the part”.

Smile and the World Smiles Too!” There is nothing like a Smile to Create a Good First Impression. A warm and confident smile will put you and the other person(s) at ease.


Pierre Trudeau, well-respected Prime Minister of Canada for several years, frequently wore a flower in his suit jacket lapel...his persona to the public 
always flamboyant!

A Sales Representative for a Real Estate firm in Mississauga, drove a pink sedan creating impression to his clients...a great identifying symbol which resulted
in a successful career!

For me, I wore hats to enhance my business profile and symbol of my career. 
In June 2011, I published an article...Real Estate's Hat which you 
may a description of these millinery accessories ...with often a “story behind the purchase”.

It is not my suggestion that you go “way out” to distinguish yourself, but as 
Verna Williams (Fashion Co-ordinator and owner of a successful Modelling Agency) once told me, “Always leave home... well groomed and well dressed...
it is unknown whom you will meet on your quick errands and appointments.” 
You can create this noticeable impression...whether wearing casual,
business or formal attire.

Many men and women would love to achieve this...But How? 
It is not difficult. Common sense reigns when it comes to Choice of Clothes, Colour, Accessories and Personal Grooming!

Colour is a basic ingredient. For several years, it seemed an important decision to have your “Colours Read” which would blend with your character, your skin tones, your eyes, hair colour. The advisor would define you as one of the four seasons...and supply you with “colours just for you.” I never once participated 
in this. It seemed that when I wore a colour and friends exclaimed, “How Wonderful the Outfit!” I realized, it was not the style was
the colour! The dress was a lavender...possibly perry-winkle blue with co-ordinated accessories together combined with hair styling, makeup...
all contributing to the ensemble. On another occasion, it was a navy blue suit 
with hot pink splashes of colour...or a camel- tone jacket and pants accented 
with lime green...a stunning combination.

The Wearing of Jeans

This clothing article has become a “staple” in every man and woman's wardrobe.

Tips When Purchasing
Try them on and walk around with them...they must feel comfortable.
Versatility is important! They are worn around the house, in the workplace, or casual outing.
Always ensure your “jeans” look good with sneakers, boots or dress shoes.
Look for “timeless washes”.
Look for tried and true denim styles.

Three Classic Designs
Original blue jeans (very versatile)
Slightly faded blue jeans ~ casual looking (great with sports jacket and shirt)
Dark denim: the straight leg adapts well for office with navy blazer & leather     jacket.

Guidelines for Men

Men frequently pay less attention to their clothes than women. 
“I dress the way I do, because I've never really learned how. Fashion just 
wasn't on my radar,” quotes a friend. “I should have more than one pair 
of slacks and one shirt nice enough to wear to an industry event without embarrassing myself. 'It depends on my personal style,' I'm told. But what 
if you don't know your personal style?” With the following guidelines 
he became conscious of styling that appealed to him.

Dress Suits:
You eventually want to own three suits. Your first suit should be either navy blue or grey, possibly with a light chalk stripe (like a pinstripe, but softer), and in an all-season medium weight. Either of these colours will fit into most social settings. Your second suit should be the one you didn't get the first time around. Your third suit should be black ~ not for funerals, but for black tie affairs.  If you work in a field where suits are the norm, you'll probably want more than three; once you've covered the basics, you can move on to more distinctive suits: (pinstripes, different weights, unconventional colours, etc.)

Suits are made of wool or cotton. Higher thread counts signify higher quality, but are ironically not as durable, so stick with something mid-range. Ask the salesperson to help you with this. (Yes, the salesperson. Suits are not self-serve.)

You never button the bottom button. Apparently, Edward VII got fat and couldn't button his vest over his belly, so now nobody does. On a three-button jacket, you button the middle; the top button is optional. If you have a jacket with 4 or more buttons, you obviously know what you're doing already.

A gentleman carries a handkerchief in his front breast pocket. You don't have to get fancy, just fold it square to fit and have 1/4” to 1/2” sticking out the top. Proffer it as needed.

Don't wear your sleeves too short or too long. 1/4” to 1/2” of cuff should show beyond your jacket sleeve.

Shirts with button-down collars are not dress shirts. They're sports shirts, so wear them with a sports coat. Polo players used to button their collars down 
so they wouldn't flap up in their faces while they played...this of course is an English practice.

If you unbutton your collar, remove your tie. You can wear a suit or sports coat without a tie ~ just ask Obama ~ but wearing a tie with an unbuttoned shirt
looks sloppy.

You can unbutton the top button always (provided you're not wearing a tie), the second button, usually, the third button only on disco night!

Wear your pants at your natural waist. Too high and you look like Grampa, 
too low and you look like a high school kid. Your waistband should sit 2 to 3 inches below your belly button.

Pants should almost touch the ground without your shoes on, Jeans can be 
a little longer, since they shrink a bit when you wash them.

One pleat, maximum. Its job is to maintain the crease sown the front of your pants. For pants without that crease (and many with it), pleats are unnecessary. For pants that need the pleat, they only need one (on each side).

Cuffs... 1” to 1 1/2”...or not. There's nothing wrong with cuffs...there's nothing wrong with no cuffs. They are understood, however, to be an older man's style ~ not in a bad way: think sophisticated, experienced, distinguished and conservative. For younger men, a cleaner line is generally preferred.

Shoes ~ Pay attention to these!
Buy the best ones you can afford, and take care of them. Polish them regularly 
(a few swipes with a wax-infused polishing cloth is often all it takes) and store them covered if you won't be wearing them for a long time. Shoe trees, it turns out, are important: they not only hold the shape of the shoe but the cedar ones absorb moisture (and thus odours) which helps to preserve the leather.
(Aside, women tend to pay a lot of attention to men's shoes. Keep that in mind when dating or interviewing for a job.)

Shoes are usually made of leather which breathes and adapts to the shape of your foot. The soles don't have to be leather, but the uppers do.

You need more than one pair of oxfords (lace-up dress shoes),
black loafers (slip-on-shoes), brown oxfords or brown loafers and you're set. 
A pair of ankle high boots in  brown or black can substitute for the loafers. Ox-blood (burgandy) shoes are harder to find but in theory go with everything.
It is safe to ignore white shoes!

The shinier the shoe, the dressier. Matte-finish shoes...nubuck (that pebbly leather), suede and distressed leather shoes are automatically compatible 
with jeans or khakis; shinier shoes might still go with jeans, but it depends 
on the rest of your outfit. If you can wear them with a suit, you probably 
can't wear them with jeans, and vice-versa.

Shoes should be the same tone or darker than your pants. This is the only rule you need to know when trying to figure out what shoes to wear. This is why you never wear brown shoes with black trousers, but you can usually wear black shoes with brown trousers.

Match your belt to your shoes. It doesn't have to be a perfect match, as long as you wear a black belt with black shoes and a brown belt with brown shoes.

Match your socks to your pants. Again, it doesn't need to be a perfect match - 
a little lighter or darker is fine. If you don't have socks to match your pants, 
you can match your shoes, or just wear black socks. White socks are for sports only!!! Unless, you are... a) wearing sneakers and  b) doing something athletic 
in them, avoid white socks!

Your tie should reach your belt. Anything short of your belt makes you look
like a rube.

Try a front pocket wallet or money clip. This will save wear-and-tear on your back pocket. This is very classy.

You're allowed one affectation. A fedora. A pocket watch. A bracelet or class ring. A vest. An expensive wristwatch. Pick one...but no more.

If it feels like these rules are arbitrary and stifling...they are! Think of it like learning how to paint: first, you do a still-life (arbitrary) using just one colour (stifling). Eventually, you move up to two and three colours, then maybe a 
warm or cool palette, and your subjects might expand to include figures or landscapes. Once you've mastered the basics, you can begin to press
against the rules.

In fashion, as in art ~ style emerges not from a lack of rules
but from a mastery of them, from making them serve you...
instead of the other way around.

Fashion Tips for Women

It is So Easy to Buy a Dress (Suit, Blouse, Pants) on Sale...because it's a “Good Deal”! Yes? No? Before heading to the Fitting Room, or laying down Cash or Credit Card,ask yourself: 
       Do I really need this?
        Is it for a special occasion?
       Will this style be in fashion a few years from now?
        Is it a “classic”? That I can re-invent in time with various accessories?
       Will it co-ordinate with the rest of my wardrobe?
       What do I have to accessorize it?
        Is the colour suitable?

Love What You Wear! Wear What You Love!

Wearing a sweater that is delicious to you,
cheers you up by just being inside of it.
It celebrates Life! When it comes to clothes, Love it...or Leave it!

Dress your body graciously ~ with no regard whatsoever to sizes.
Dress yourself for the body you are in currently.
Shop for and wear apparel that fits you right now.
Your essence is not a “6”, a “12” or an “18”.
You are a fabulous person and what matters
is that you look fabulous in your clothes!

Use accessories (scarves, bags, belts and jewellery) to add emphasis
and draw the eye to the areas you most want to highlight!
A soft scarf or earrings that dangle and move well, will draw attention
to pretty eyes, a warm smile or chic haircut!

It has been my discovery, that Accessories “Make the Outfit”!
Select a complementary colour to give pizazz to your ensemble.
If you re wearing a design print, choose the main colour...or colour within
to provide that extra splash of excitement in your choice of accessories.
Shoes should be complementary to the clothes you wear.
Make-up need not be excessive...I use mainly blues and greens for my eyes.
Brow pencil, mascara, rouge and lipstick to match may also be used.
Hair ornaments...clips, bows, even feathers that today are so enhancing!
Nail polish, if used, should look freshly painted and look well with the outfit.

Let Not Your Age Be a Deciding Factor! Whether 20, 40 or 80...Fashion is In!
Looking and Dressing Younger After 40 means
Falling in Love with the Woman You this Present Moment”!

Experience the “WOW” Factor!

In January 2011, after visiting a dear friend in Jo Brant Hospital, I stepped off the elevator at the main floor level. Exiting from the other elevator at the same time, was a man dressed immaculately in navy blue suit, white crisp shirt, blue and grey tie expertly knotted...WOW!
My eyes travelled to his shoes: Black! Then back to his upper body: hair well groomed...then a recognizable face. The feeling was reciprocal! Our paths
hadn't crossed in over five years. The quick appraisal of each other had taken only a few seconds.
(You Never Know Whom You're Going to See!).
Simultaneously, we expressed this “sudden surprise encounter”. Don was in Commercial Real Estate, and I in Residential. We had a working relationship whereby we could tap into each other's expertise when needed. Taking a few minutes, with a Tim Horton's coffee near the front doors, we reviewed our current status. Don still daily works his Flamborough farm; his son is now married with children; his wife in good health!

Many years ago at a Business Women's Networking meet, an “instant friend” appeared at the table where I sat. Having just returned from a motorcycle ride
to and from Kingston, our discussion ranged from motorcycles to business
and family. She was...and still a Joy to my Life! With a smile as broad as a rainbow...gracious, warm and charming...eyes that twinkle when she talks...dressed smartly...very chic appearance...she was intriguing! WOW!
A few years ago, we reconnected. Our lives have “moved on”. Our children have matured with families of their own. From our businesses, we've both retired. We are now experiencing:
New Goals...New Aspirations...New Special Men in our Lives!
How Stimulating and Rewarding to Renew this Friendship!

Some persons, when they walk into a room have a “special aura” that attracts and commands attention! Often the meeting is in a casual atmosphere...yet the presence of the man or woman has a decided effect . It may not be the clothes...but rather the demeanour, the mannerisms, the sureness of walk, the overall general appearance...which always...speak “body language”.
Then the voice and conversation confirms that...This is a Special Person!

First Impressions are Significant!”

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written November 26, 2011
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Treasured Trees of Canada

Due to the vast area of Canada, a tree that is common in one area, may be completely absent or unable to grow in another location.  Many warm-temperate trees can only be grown on the mid-Pacific coast.

Conifers and Deciduous Trees

All trees in Canada can be distinguished as being Conifers or Deciduous.
Conifers are often called evergreens or needle-leafed trees.
Conifers are also known as softwoods.

Deciduous trees are often called broad leaf trees
because they shed their leaves in autumn.
Deciduous trees are also known as hardwoods.

It is amazing to discover that Canada has numerous assorted and diverse trees,
together with several types within the species.

Conifers:  Cedars, Cypresses, Firs,  Hemlocks, Junipers, Larches,
Pines, Sequoias, Spruces, Tamaracks, Yews
Deciduous:  Alders, Aspens, Beech, Birches, Catalpas, Chestnuts, Crabapples, 
                       Dogwoods, Elms, Euonymous, Hackberries, Hawthorns, Hazels,
                       Hickorys, Hollies, Hornbeams, Katsuras, Kentucky Coffee, Lilacs,
                       Lindens, Magnolias, Maples, Mulberries, Oaks, Rowans, Russian
                       Olives, Sassafrases, Service Berries, Sweetgums, Sumacs, 
                       Sycamores, Tulip, Walnuts, Willows, Witch Hazels.
Trees of Stature and Prime Significance

Multi-Century Cedars (Canada's Largest, Oldest Trees)
Less than 100 km as the eagle flies from Sooke, lives the ... Cheewhat Lake Cedar ... in a remote location on southwest Vancouver Island, just inside the boundary of Pacific Rim  National Park.  This Western Red Cedar is 182 feet
in height and 60.2 feet in circumference.  It is the second largest known tree
of its type on the planet. The largest cedar is the ... Quinault Cedar  ... on the Olympic Peninsula overlooking the Juan de Fuca Strait.

Cathedral Grove ... on Vancouver Island...
is a rare and endangered remnant of the Douglas Fir  eco system. A major concern has been the rapacious clearing of ancient forests...for global wood products. The biggest trees in the Grove are about 800 years old and measure 250  feet in height and 29 feet in circumference.  The Western Red Cedar
lives to an age of 1500 years or more. Regulations are now in place for Protection! “You Don't Know What You've Got ... Until It's Gone!”

Great Bear Rain Forest
One of the largest contiguous tracts of  temperate rain forests left in the world
is on British Columbia's mainland coast in Great Bear Rain Forest.  It is characterized by some of the oldest and largest trees on Earth ... the most common are Sitka Spruce, Red Cedar, Western Hemlock and Douglas Fir.
These trees can tower up to 300 feet and grow for 1500 years or more.  The
southwest coast of Canada drips with water and wetlands:  West to the Pacific Ocean, North to the Arctic boreal forests, East to the crests of the Coastal  Mountains and south into Washington and Oregon. The size of the Great Bear Rainforest, also called the North and Central Coast forests, is roughly 25,000 square miles. The area is home to species such as cougars, wolves, salmon,
grizzly bears and Kermode (“spirit”) bear, a unique subspecies of the black bear, in which one of ten cubs  display a recessive white coloured coat. Coastal Rainforests are characterized by having proximity to both ocean and mountains.

Rain Forest Recipe:  Rain and lots of it (or other precipitation e.g. snow,drizzle,
                                 mist, fog).  The area must receive a minimum of 250 cm of
                                 moisture (about 100  in.) per year.  BC's coastal maritime
                                 climate keeps the landscape wet most of the year giving
                                 minimum of about 100 cm (120 in.).

“White  Oak” on Allview Avenue in Burlington, Ontario
In an October posting of “Autumn Trek”, I commented on this beautiful sunny
day of viewing and photographing a White Elm which is now recognized as a Heritage Tree.  The tree is 30 m (100 feet high) with a circumference of nearly 500 cm (16.7 feet)and estimated to be at least 300  years old.  This giant elm
with wide spreading branches, now bears a commemorative plaque on its stalwart trunk!  Many leaves of russets  and wines still hung on the massive
tree illuminated by  the afternoon sun. (I just could not resist inserting this
“plug” for a local tree.)

Canadian Heritage

Trees have played a meaningful role in the historic development of Canada
and continue to be of commercial, environmental and aesthetic importance to
all Canadians.  Maples contribute  valuable wood products, sustaining the maple syrup industry and help to “beautiful the landscape” three seasons of the year.  Maple is highly prized  for lumber building and cabinet making.

Since 1965, the Maple Leaf has become the centrepiece of the National Flag of Canada and the maple tree creates the pointy leaves that have become the prominent Canadian  symbol.

Maple  Leaf pins and badges worn by Canadians abroad
are recognized highly by people around the world.

This tree which grows in our valleys,
on our rocks ...
and when it is tall and strong,
does not fear storms
and overcomes the North Wind
which is unable to shake it!

The Maple is the King of our Forest!
It is the emblem
of the Canadian people.”

Denis-Benjamin Viger
(19th century Lower Canada politician)

Provincial  and Territory Official Trees of Canada

         Alberta ... Lodgepole Pine                         Nova Scotia ... Red Spruce
         British Columbia ... Western Red Cedar   Ontario ... Eastern White Pine 
         Manitoba ... White Spruce                     Prince Edward Island ... Red Oak          New Brunswick ..Balsam Fir                   Quebec ... Yellow Birch
         Newfoundland ... Black Spruce                 Saskatchewan ... White Birch
Territories: North West-Tamarack; Nunavut-none yet; Yukon-Sub-alpine Fir  

Hopefully of interest, I divert to other Provincial and Territory Emblems:

Provincial and Territory Official Flowers of Canada
           Alberta ... Wild Rose                                 Nova Scotia ... Mayflower
           British Columbia ... Pacific Dogwood       Ontario ... White Trillium
           Manitoba ... Prairie Crocus                       P.E.I. ...Lady's Slipper
           New Brunswick ... Purple Violet               Quebec...Blue Flag
           Newfoundland ... Pitcher Plant                 Sask... West. Red Lily
Terr:   NW - Mtn. Avens;  Nunavut - Purple Saxifrase; Yukon - Fireweed

Provincial and Territory Official Birds of Canada
Alberta...Great Horned Owl                Nova Scotia ...Osprey
                  British Columbia...Steller's Jay            Ontario...Common Loon
                  Manitoba...Great Gray Owl                 P.E.I...Blue Jay
                  New Brun...Blk. Cap Chickadee          Quebec...Snowy Owl
                  Newfoundland ... Atlantic Puffin         Sask...Sharp-tail Grouse
Terr: NW-Gyrfalcon; Nunavut-Rock Ptarmigan; Yukon-Common Raven

As Canadians...Let Us All Take Pride in and Enjoy Our Canada
... Our Provincial Symbols and Emblems
that Nature has provided!

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written November 18, 2011
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Tourist Prayer"

Friends, who recently returned  from a "re-positioning cruise"   related four 
or five "glitches" that occurred in their twenty-nine day travel.
It therefore seems appropriate to submit this article ...
suggesting that when traveling, it is alwaysa positive asset
to have "Divine Intervention" on your side  ...
and in your travel mind.

     Heavenly Father, look down on us your humble, obedient tourist servants who are doomed to travel this earth, taking photographs, mailing postcards, buying souvenirs and walking around in drip-dry underwear. We beseech you, O Lord to see that our plane is not hijacked, our luggage is not lost and our overweight baggage goes unnoticed.

     Give us this day, divine guidance in our selection of hotels. We pray that the telephones work, and that the operators speak our tongue, that there is no mail waiting from our children that would force us to cancel the rest of our trip.

     Lead us to good, inexpensive restaurants where the wine is included in the price of the meal. Give us the wisdom to tip correctly in currencies we do not understand. 
Make the natives love us for what we are and not for what we can contribute to their worldly goods.

     Grant us the strength to visit the museums, the cathedrals, the palaces, and if, perchance, we skip an historic monument or fountain of note ... to take a nap after lunch, have mercy on us for our flesh is weak.

     Dear God, protect our wives from “bargains” they don't need or can't afford. Lead them not into temptation for they know now what they do.

     Almighty Father, keep our husbands from looking at foreign women and comparing them to us. Save them from making fools of themselves in nightclubs. Above all, please do not forgive them their trespasses ... for they know exactly what they do.

And when our journey is over, grant us the favour of finding someone 
who will look at our home movies and listen to our stories, 
so our lives as tourists will not have been in vain. 

All this we ask You 
in the name of Conrad Hilton, Thomas Cook and the American Express
... Amen

Prayerfully Yours ... Merle Baird-Kerr ... November 23, 2011
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Bridge Humour

There are many, many and many more humourous stories around, worthy 
of relating to friends. These are a few I have collected on various topics 
which I share with you...knowing one or more will enlighten your day
and put a smile upon your face.

(To non-bridge players, the terminology in this game 
“may sound quite suggestive”.)

They Call it Bridge” or “Why the Cleaning Lady Quit” !

A cleaning woman was applying for a new position. When asked why she left
her last employment, she replied, “Well Sir, the wages were good, but it was the most ridiculous place I ever worked.” They played a game they call Bridge, and last night a lot of folks were there.

As I was about to bring refreshments, I heard a man say, “Lay down and
let's see what you got.” Another man said, “I got strength, but not much length.” And then, another man said to a lady,” Take your hand off my trick.”

I pretty near dropped dead just when a lady answered, “You forced me. 
You jumped me twice when you didn't have the strength for one good raise.” Another lady was talking and one said, “Now it's my turn to play with your husband while you play with mine.”

Well, I just got my hat and coat and as I was leaving, I hope to die if one of them didn't say, “Well, I guess we can go home...this is our last rubber!”


Number One Desire!

A man is stranded on a desert island for ten years. One day he notices a speck
on the horizon and he watches intently as it draws near. “It can't be a boat,” 
he thinks. “It can't be a fish.”
Suddenly, a beautiful woman emerges from the sea wearing scuba gear 
and a wet suit.

Hi, there,” she says
He was so amazed. “ did you get here?”

Never mind,” says the woman as she unzips the left pocket of her wet suit 
and hands the man a cigarette.
Wow! This is terrific! I haven't had a smoke in ten years!”

Enjoy,” says the woman as she unzips the right pocket of her wet suit and 
gives the man a flask of whiskey. “I can't believe it! It tastes so good!”

Next the woman starts to unzip the long zipper that runs down the front 
of her wet suit. “Now...I've got something you really want!

What?” he says, “Don't tell me you've got a deck of cards in there too!”

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written October 10, 2011

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It was in June of this year that I published “The Exciting World of Bridge”.
In it I included several humourous situations that I had observed
and experienced during play at the numerous games
in which I participated...unbelievable humour!

Next posting in this series is ... Business Humour.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Advantages of Living After 50!

Canada's National Child Day ...
is held November 20th each year as enacted in Bill C-371
otherwise known as the Child Day Act by Parliament of Canada in 1997.
It commemorates the United Nations' adoption of
the human rights of all children and youth”.

My file has the above notation, about which I intended 
to develop an article to blog-post. What Happened??? 
No one seems to have any knowledge about this legislation!
Perhaps, “Family Day” (in Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan) 
observed the 3rd Monday of February... replaced the foregoing.

At the other end of Life's spectrum are what children often call “old people”
In lieu of paying homage to youth today, I take the liberty to write about ...
The Advantages of Living after 50!
An Online Bridge Partner sent the following to me in January, 2010.

























Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written November 20, 2011

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A Farewell Letter From a Genius
(known as Gabo in his native country)

Born in 1928, in the small town of Aracataca, Colombia 
(northwest corner of South America) in the banana zone of his country, 
he received the Nobel Prize in Literature on March 6, 1982.

He is recognized as a Major Colombian novelist and short story writer.

Retired from public life for reasons of health, he has a form of terminal cancer. He sends this farewell message to all his friends and colleagues...and asks that all who read this document will forward to many of their friends. Several of his comments are set against a backdrop scenery of major world cities. (Try to picture in your mind, an appropriate image to give his writing reality...and to impress upon yourself, the significance of his words!)

Here are a few of his comments:

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become
and granted me a little bit more of life,
I would use it to the best of my ability.

I would sleep less. I would dream more, because I know... that for 
every minute we close our eyes, we waste 60 seconds of light.
I would walk while others sleep.
I would awaken while others sleep.

To all, I would say how mistaken they are 
when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, 
without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love.

I would give wings to my children,
but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves.

I have learned so much with you all.
I have learned that everyone wants to live on the top of the mountain
without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken
and the form used to reach the top of the hill.

I have learned that when a newborn baby holds with his little hand
his father's finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.
I have learned that a man has the right and obligation
to look down at another man,
only when that man needs help to get up from the ground.

Say always what you feel, not what you think.
If I know that today is the last time that I am going to see you asleep,
I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord
to let me be the guardian angel of your soul.

If I knew that these are the last moments to see you,
I would say, “I Love You!”

Nobody will know you for your secret thoughts.
Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them.

The following are a few other quotes I found ~ thank you Carolyn 
for the above!

What matters in Life, is not what happens to you ~
but what you remember...and how you remember it.

It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams
because they grow old.
They grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.

The heart's memory eliminates the bad
and magnifies the good.

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written February 10, 2010

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Animal Humour

Children usually ask and tell these type of jokes...
but since there is “a child” in each of us,
I share these with inspire a smile...possibly even a laugh!

How do Dogs turn off the VCR? pushing the paws button!

What looks like half a Cat?
...the other half!

Why are Birds poor?
...because money doesn't grow on trees!

Why would anyone hire an Elephant?
...because they like to work for peanuts!

Do Fish ever go on vacations?, they're always in schools!

What happened to the Frog when he parked on double yellow lines?
...he got toad away!

Why should you never tell a Pig a secret?
...because they love to squeal!

Who always goes to bed with shoes on?
...a Horse!

What do Bees call their spouses?

How do you start a Teddy Bear race?
...ready, teddy, go!

Why do Bees hum?
...because they don't know the lyrics!

Smilingly Yours ... Merle Baird-Kerr ... November 15. 2011

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"Laughter is The Best Medicine"

Humour is defined as: an amusing quality that intends to incite laughter
and to indulge the whims of others.

Benefits of Laughter!

        Physical Health Benefits:                           Mental Health Benefits:
        Boosts immunity                                        Adds joy and zest to life
        Lowers stress hormones                            Eases anxiety and fear
        Decreases pain                                           Relieves stress
        Relaxes your muscles                                 Improves mood
        Prevents heart disease                               Enhances resilience

Social Benefits
Strengthens relationships
Attracts others to us
Enhances teamwork
Helps defuse conflict
Promotes group bonding

Best of all...this priceless medicine
if Fun, Free and Easy to Use!

Over the years, I have accumulated many stories filled with humour.
In reviewing these, I discovered they automatically categorized themselves 
into many facets of our daily lives. It is my pleasure to share these with you, 
my special readers, and will post them frequently.
Also, posting today ... Animal Humour.

Other topics include: Bridge, Business, Family, Female, International,
Medical, Political, Religious, Senility, Theatre and Word.

Following each reading, my wish is:
“May we all live Healthy
and Happily ever after!”

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written November 13, 2011

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tears of a Woman

A little boy asks his mother, “Why do you cry?” “Because I am a woman,” she answers. “I don't understand,” he says. His mother hugs him and replies, 
“and you never will.”

Later, the little boy asks his father, “Why does Mommy cry?” 
“All women cry for no reason,” is all his father could answer him.

When he became an adult, he asked God, “Why do women cry so easily?”
and God answered
When I created woman,she needed to be special.
I created her shoulders strong enough to carry the weight of the world
and soft enough to be comfortable.
I gave her strength to give life; the kind that accepts the rejection
that often comes from children.
I gave her the strength to allow her to go on
when everybody else gives up.
The kind that takes care of her family, despite illness and fatigue.
I gave her the sensitivity to love her children unconditionally...
even when they have hurt her deeply.
I gave her the strength to endure her husband in his faults
and to stay by his side without weakening.
And finally, I gave her tears to shed
whenever she needs them.

You see, my son, the beauty of a woman
is not in the clothes she wears,
nor is it her face or in the way she does her hair.
The beauty of a woman is in her eyes.
It is the door in her heart...the door where Love resides.
And it is often through her tears that you see her heart go by.

Lift the spirit of other women!
Let the world know ...that
All Beings are Beautiful!

To those who have made you smile when you needed it most...
To those who would have you see the good side of things
when you only saw the worse...
To those whom you want to say how much you value their friendship
simply say,
Thank you for giving me
a glimpse of a better world.”

Have a Wonderful Day!

(the foregoing sent to me from Carolyn)

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . September 16, 2011
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011


This Birthday message is addressed to a long-time Bridge Friend and Artist.
Her husband invited several to a Celebration Lunch . 
For her, I wrote this bit of prose with philosophy for all.

IF I were an Artist,
I would paint of the glorious sun...
orange and tinges of pink.
Of Earth's silvery star as it creeps the eastern sky,
and casts its magic on peaceful Lake Ontario waters.

IF I were a Sherpa,
I'd take you on a climb...
Mount Everest and McKinley,
Kilimanjaro or Aconcagua.
Experience the conquest cresting the peaks.
Celebrate with candles the 360 degree views.

IF I were a Travel Guide,
we'd board a Worldways flight
to romantic isles of Bali, Capri or Bora Bora.
If in Napa or Sonoma Valleys,
hot air balloons we'd soar
o'er the vineyards lush and the Pacific's blue ocean.
A Memory for your Day.

IF I were a Philosopher,
I'd write a few lines as quoted by famous others:

I'm at the age when my back goes out more than I do.” (Phyllis Diller)

The first sign of maturity is the discovery 
the volume knob also turns to the left.” (Jenny Wright)

Again, strictly a case of mind over matter;
if you don't mind, it doesn't really matter.” (Jack Benny)

You know you're getting old 
when the candles cost more than the cake.” (Bob Hope)

You can't turn back the hands of the clock....but you can rewind it.” (Anonymous)

   Forget the past, you cannot change it!
     Forget the future,you cannot predict it!
      Forget the present...I didn't get you one!
Friendship is the Best...Happy Birthday, Dear Friend!

Written with “finesse” especially for you, September, 2009

Merle Baird-Kerr

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Happy Birthday, Dear Son

In contemplating your life over the years, I am confident you will recall many experiences (both significant and otherwise) during each birthday year. I recall numerous interesting events, but shall highlight three age stages.

THE BOY...and how happy I was and your father at the time of your birth in
November, 1964. Indeed, it was a very chilly morning when I went to Hamilton General Hospital. Your father had to leave to return home, at the Doctor's request. Five hours later, you were born with chubby little cheeks and a well formed body! In your pre-school years, I took you to children's plays, taught you to ski at Chedoke and with lessons there a year or two later. I recall one incident when you stated, “My skis won't do what I want them to do!” Nearby was Kiwanis Arena where you learned to every Canadian boy should. A highlight of your young childhood, was travelling with me during January and February to Chile to visit your Father's family when you were four years old. You entered King Road School and later Maplehurst Public School. There is so much more I can recall, but to sum up these years, you were a very delightful child.

THE TEENAGER began schooling at M. M. Robinson High School and certainly enjoyed the “change of scene” in Brant Hills, to where we moved. You developed interests in music, the computer world and building new friendships. Summers, you took rowing lessons through the Recreation Department held at Lake Ontario's waterfront. When Dorothy and I went to Camisle to play 9 holes on its scenic course, you would walk the fairways with us using a cut-down iron or putter. Following High School, you began studies at the University of Windsor. How sad I was to see you leave for months at a time, but home for summer jobs.These years (like every teenager), you were “spreading your wings.”

Lastly, THE FAMILY MAN...who returned from University with an adult attitude and a “new look on life”. In a couple years you met Beth who would become your wife. With programmer and analyst knowledge, you embarked on “contract jobs” working in Arkansas, California followed by a brief assignment in New Jersey and currently in Pennsylvania. Above all, you have been a wonderful husband to Beth and with her, had three wonderful children. You truly have been a remarkable father to them, giving to them as much “quality time” as is possible.

You always were, and are My Favourite Son as your sister is my Favourite Daughter. You have not only been my son, but also a privileged and wonderful Friend...helpful and so respectful in numerous ways. If you were here tomorrow, I would entertain you with Lunch at a favourite place and celebrate with traditional cake and candles.

Happy Birthday, my Son and Friend...have a Wonderful Day
and a Wonderful Year!
Sending you much Love.....MOM

Merle Baird-Kerr ... written November 2007
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