Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lost and Found


I was a public school student in the village of Burford. Walking home one afternoon, I noticed a $5.00 bill on the sidewalk in front of the Printing Place. 
As a good Christian child, I spoke with the shop owner who knew me as a local farm kid. “I've had several customers here this afternoon with their newespaper advertisements...who'd all claim the money was theirs,” he told me.
Do you know the saying, 'Finders, Keepers'?” he asked.
 I was thrilled to have FIVE DOLLARS!


Early in our marriage, with both of us working, my Saturdays were busy with household chores, shopping, preparation for dinner guests on Sunday and developing “lesson plans”for the following teacher week.

Following breakfast one Saturday, I drove to the Grocery Store; from my list I purchased three bags of food items and placed them on the back seat in the car. Hurriedly, I then stopped at a wonderful Bake Shop in a small plaza near home. Knowing I'd only be a couple minutes, I dashed into the bakery to buy one of 
their delicious, decadent chocolate cakes for a guest's birthday! After parking 
at our apartment building, I opened the rear side door to retrieve my groceries ... ALL WERE GONE!
(In haste, I had gone to the Bake Shop, neglecting to lock the car doors!)
In terms of money today, the grocery value would be about $100.

A Deal Gone Sour

When you are a Sales whatever business...not all your contacts are productive. You win some...You lose some! It's tough to lose...
when every $100 or $1000 and more, is important and necessary for your survival. The most exciting Real Estate property I had “For Sale” was an island 
in the St. Lawrence River in American waters, yet touching on Canada.
On it was a castle built around 1900, but now needing great repair. Several enquiries and viewings failed to develop success. Considered an “Open Listing” entitled any realtor selling the property would receive the substantial commission...the incentive was most inviting! For two years, I marketed it...on my estate catalogues...personal contacts with movie actors, company presidents, noted musicians, etc. Originally listed at 8 Million Dollars, the owners in Florida, adjusted the price to $4,000,000. Co-operating with an American Broker in Alexander Bay, NY we finally had an accepted and signed offer in May, with a closing date within six weeks. This from a Medical surgeon in Florida who had viewed the exclusive property on my website.
WONDERFUL!...but not for long...
his deposit cheque did not arrive! The Buyer was a Fraud!!!

The castle, eventually sold to a conglomerate company (three partners).
You may find it interesting to view “Singer Castle” on the Internet...a very 
unique property.  Sight seeing cruise boats travelling through The Thousand Islands occasionally stop here with visitors to view the 8-acre property originally known as “Dark Island” due to its dense trees and rock.

A New Owner

At a craft show at Appleby Mall I purchased a beautifully sculpted necklace and ear rings. Fashioned from metal, they depicted textured autumn leaves...
hanging from a gold neck wire were five individual leaves the colour of our
rosy red maples in fall. The drop ear rings had a single leaf of same colour hanging from a gold-plated spiral. Very spectacular was the set! Wearing these one day while shopping at Mapleview Mall, it wasn't until I reached home that
I realized my necklace was gone. How? It had a large wire loop that fitted into a circular ring. Perhaps it caught on some clothing I was considering to buy at the Mall. Telephoning the two shops, the personnel checked the fitting rooms, the front counter...but Nothing! Why should I be surprised? 

The ear rings I still cherish and wear... with the recurring memory of the fine necklace I lost. The belongs to someone else!

Snow Job”

In Real Estate, I worked most Sundays with Open Houses. For a few years I sold prestige homes for Kimoak Developments. He custom built one as a “Show Home”. Then with enquiries, and as an architect, he custom designed and built for clients. He constructed this Model Home on a prestigious court with gently rolling land...a red brick Georgian-style residence...which was mine for three hours every Sunday afternoon...or shown by appointment.

It was a cold, frigid January day with 8 to 9 inches of snow on the ground. 
Three Open House signs were needed for directions to the site. Settling myself inside for “visitors”, sadly I noticed the wide hammered-gold wedding ring was missing from my left hand! WHERE? I wondered! I checked the car trunk...
I checked the front seats...I checked my colourful brochures of the home...
LOST! January, February then March when towards the end of the month, the snows began to melt. When I set the Open House signs in place, last Sunday
of the month, the sunny rays cast a sparkle on something on or in the top ground surface, adjacent to the sign. Would you Believe???
There was my ring...beautifully preserved!

Hidden from View

Bermuda is a beautiful island to visit. We enjoyed the pink-corally sand beaches, the inns, the restaurants and the mopeds for touring the island's touristy spots. When we left from the airport to return home, we purchased a stunning aquamarine birthstone ring. The stone was set high in a crown-like setting. Superb, it was! I wore it frequently.

At my Real Estate office late one evening, I was copying information for
clients. Back at my desk, realizing my ring was missing....I checked the copy
machine...the stand it rested on...the nearby desk...the floor to and from my 
desk to the copy area. No Find! I was disheartened! I left a note at the reception desk with the ring description. No News!

A couple months later, the service technician for the copier, checked it, refilled with ink...ensuring it was in good working order. VOILA! There was my ring! How did it get into the machine? It was damaged around the top spiral that clawed the stone in place. The aquamarine was not marred in any way. A
jeweller was able to repair the setting and re-set the stone.

We did lose moped keys on the sandy beach...
but that's another story of intrigue.

The Locker

Pending a move to a newly built home in North Burlington, I purchased a bedroom suite, a set of “everyday dishes” and a couple table lamps. With no 
place to store these items for two months until my “move date”, I had them delivered to the Condominium site where I began my Real Estate Sales career. There were plenty of lockers available; then with a blanket to cover them, I locked the slatted door. I felt assured the articles would be safe. On the date
of moving, a van waited at the Condo entry. But ALAS! NOTHING was in the locker! The locked door had been slashed and removed!

Gas Cap

You may have read “My Incredible Journey” published previously on blog. In November 2001, I drove my son's Honda Odyssey van from California to Hamilton, Ontario. I had toured Zion National Park in Utah and en route to 
Bryce Canyon. Stopping at a gas station for a fill-up, I removed the loose gas
cap, laying it at the base of the always. After chatting with a young couple at another pump, I absentmindedly drove off. Within ten minutes, 
the horn of a vehicle behind me kept tooting...for no reason that I understood. Finally, they drove beside me, pointing to the rear of the van. Must something 
be wrong? I pulled onto the shoulder to stop.The driver held my gas cap in hand! Weren't they wonderful?

Treasure from Montreal

Joan has been a long-time friend. We met when our daughters were little in a town home complex. It was election time...I was canvassing 
for a would-be-councillor for city politics. Across the street was petite and vivacious Joan and Heather (who later became a riding friend with my
daughter at Bertin Stables in Oakville). At lunch one day, Joan told me of a ring her mother-in-law found...on the sidewalk in front of a small shop she was entering. The stone was large, amethyst-looking in its high gold setting. The woman, with ring in hand, contacted 2 or 3 nearby shops, but no one had received any enquiry. She gave the owners her name and telephone number, retaining the ring herself for identification. After a couple weeks, she ran an ad 
in a local Montreal newspaper...with no response. She gave the ring to Joan,
who indicated that the ring was “too big” for her small hands and happily gave it to me. A jeweller appraised it as an Alexandrite...a semi-precious stone. It is now my pleasure to Own and to Wear!

Here is information I gleaned about Alexandrite: This rare gem is named after 
the Russian tsar, Alexander II (1818 to 1881), the very first crystals being discovered in April 1884 in the emerald mines near the Tokavaja River in the Urals. Russian master jewellers loved this stone and produced some beautiful series of rings in platinum ensembles at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century. The most sensational feature about this stone is its surprising ability to change its colour. Green or bluish-green in daylight, the Alexandrite turns a soft shade of red, purplish-red or raspberry in incandescent light. My ring is more purple than red.
Alexandrite is a stone of good omen.
Alexandrite can assist one in centering the self, reinforcing self-esteem
and it increases one's ability to experience joy.

Alexandrite is very scarce, due to its chemical composition. 
 Deposits of this stone are found in
Brazil, Madagascar, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.


In recent years (and to this day), whenever I find a coin on the ground, on the sidewalk or street, I capture it lovingly and place in one of the “cup holders” 
in my car. I treasure them all...Canadian or American pennies,nickels, dimes...even a few quarters....and do not spend them!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The foregoing have all been tangible “lost and founds”. Life is not always that concrete! Philosophically, emotionally, physically...we experience setbacks and improvements; we experience failures and successes; we experience roadblocks with often no recourse.

Consider: The loss of friends through distance and the discovery of new friends.

                An unexpected health problem which occasionally cannot be 
                medicated, yet through rehabilitation, one's health may return.

                You've lost the Love of your Life...boyfriend/
                husband/wife...parent/child! Given “time to heal”...
                "Life" introduces a new partner!

Loss of faith in one's self, in business transactions, in courage, in community
and does one recover?

Listen to Advice! Search for Alternative Solutions! Develop Positive Thinking!

James Lee Burke
an author of mystery novels wrote,
I used to store all my rejection slips in a box,
because I told myself, that one day
I was going to autograph and auction them.
And then...I lost the box!

Pearl of Wisdom”
Life's Tough!
It's even tougher if you're stupid!
(John Wayne)

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written September 5, 2011
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Friday, March 30, 2012

Military Humour


During the recent royal wedding,
the millions around the world saw Prince William
who chose to wear a uniform that included the famous British “red coat”.

Many have asked, “Why did the British wear red coats in battle?

A long time ago, Britain and France were at war. During one battle, the French captured a British Colonel. They took him to their headquarters; and the French General asked, “Why do you British officers all wear red coats?. Don't you know the red material makes you easier targets for us to shoot at?”

In his casual matter-of-fact way, the officer informed the General that the reason
British officers wear red coats is so that if they are wounded, the blood won't show and the men they are leading won't panic.

And that is why from that day forward,
all French army officers wear brown trousers!

. . . . . . . . . . . .

Send 'em Up!!!

Conversation overheard on the VHF Guard (emergency) frequency 121.5Mhz
while flying from Europe to Dubai: 

Iranian Air Defence Radar: Unknown aircraft ... you are in Iranian airspace.
                                             Identify yourself!   
         Aircraft: This is a United States aircraft. I am in Iraqui airspace.
         Air Defence Radar: You are in Iranian airspace. If you do not depart       
                                         we will launch interceptor aircraft!
          Aircraft: This is United States Marine Corps FA-18 fighter.
                         Send 'em up...I'll wait!
          Air Defence Radar: (no silence)!

God Bless Our Troops!”

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Pearl of Wisdom”
Never engage in a fight you are sure to lose.
Every action has its consequence.

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written March 5, 2012
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Road to Wisdom

A Chinese Proverb states,
To succeed...consult three old people.”

Recently I read an article, “Insights of the Elderly” by Kevin Delaney,
which greatly impressed me. A few excerpts I share with you.

The quest for the meaning of life has led seekers to mountaintops monasteries and materialism. But a sometimes overlooked source of wisdom is those who have simply lived the longest.

The elderly have survived their share of blunders, triumphs, joys and sorrows; most picked up some life lessons along the way.

So what sort of wisdom arises from the vantage point of having spent 70, 80 or more years on the planet?

For starters, the safe and secure path
does not always lead to the most fulfilling life.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

David Brooks wrote in a series of columns based on the ruminations of older people. They often lament the risks not taken. One man confessed that he had
spent his life as 'a spectator' and wished he been more of an adventurer. Few seniors regretted having taken any risks, even those that had not turned out well. As one man put it, 'Career-wise, it was a rocky road but if diversity is the spice 
of life, then mine resembled hot Indian curry.'

Others did not regret leaving loveless marriages; few recommended marrying young. One man shared a hard lesson learned: 'It took twenty years of my fifty-year-marriageto discover how unwise it was to attempt to remake my wife.'

. . . . . . . . . . . . . .

According to Jane Brody (The Times), “Job satisfaction trumped money. The most important thing is to be involved in a profession that you absolutely love, (one aged reader told her) and that you absolutely look forward to going to work every day. A 90-year-old man added that he was happier now than he had ever been is his life; things that were more important to him, are no longer important.”

Further studies reveal that people who enter their later years, the majority of them are actually happier. According to a Gallup study of 340,000 Americans in 2010, many people felt pretty good about themselves around age 18. Then ~ perhaps as life's vicissitudes kicked in around them a bit...their self-worth began a steady decline. Fortunately, satisfaction re-emerged sometimes in their 50's. Consequently, most people in the study reported being happier in their 80's than they had been in their teens. A majority said that they had never returned to the emotional lows of their early 50's.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Andrew J. Oswald, a professor of psychology at Warwick Business School in England stated, “It's a very encouraging fact that we can expect to be happier
in our 80's than we were in our 20's, It's not being driven predominately by 
things that happen in life. It's something very deep and quite human that seems 
to be driving this”

Other studies show that stress does indeed peak in the middle years...but so too does confidence in one's own abilities. Which may be why middle age still ranks as the time of life to which most people over 65 would like to return.

From the wisdom-infused perspective of the elderly, it may one day seem like the golden age. But then, every life passage has its blind spots.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..

As Oscar Wilde once said, 'The old believe everything;
                                           the middle-aged suspect everything;
                                           the young know everything.'

Piet Hein (Danish Inventor) wrote,
The Road to Wisdom?
Well, it's plain and simple to express:
Err and Err, and Err again
but Less, and Less, and Less again.”

Solomon Ibn Gabriol wrote,
The first step in the acquisition of silence;
the second is...listening...the third is memory,
the fourth is practice...the fifth is teaching others.”

(Khmer Proverb)
Embarrassment of stupidity will bring you knowledge.
                      Embarrassment of poverty will bring riches.
                      Knowing yourself as ignorant, will make you wise.
                      Associate with the learned.

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written February 11, 2012
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vitamin "F"

Being happy doesn't mean that everything is perfect.
It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.”
(Author unknown)

I loved this and want to share it with you.

Why do I have a variety of friends who are all so different in character?
How can I get along with them all?
I believe that each one helps to bring out a “different” part of me.

                         With one of them, I am polite.
                         I joke with another friend.
                         I sit down and talk about serious matters with one.
                         With another, I laugh a lot.
                         I may have a drink with one.
                         I listen to one friend's problems
                     Then, I listen to another one's advice for me.

My friends are all like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. When completed, they form 
a treasure box. A treasure of friends! They are my friends who understand 
me better than I do, who support me through good days and bad days. 
 We all pray together and for each other.

Real Age doctors tell us that friends are good for our health. Dr. Oz calls them Vitamin F (for Friends) and counts the benefits of friends as essential to our well-being. Research shows that people in strong social circles have less risk 
of depression and terminal strokes. If you enjoy Vitamin F constantly, 
 you can be up to 30 years younger than your real age.

The warmth of friendship stops stress and even in your most intense moments, 
it decreases the chance of a cardiac arrest or stroke by 50%.

I am so happy that I have a stock of Vitamin F!

In summary...we should value our friends and keep in touch with them.
We should try to see the funny side of things and laugh together,
and pray for each other in the tough moments.

Thank you for being one of my Vitamins!

(My thanks to Sydney for sending the above)

Pearl of Wisdom”
Most of us do forget to take notice of what is familiar to us.
It is only when they're lost, that one realizes how we valued them.
Take time to nurture and appreciate the people around
as you tend to flowers in your garden.”
(from a recent novel I read ... The Wind Dancer
written by Iris Johansen)

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written February 17, 2012
(Posted March 28, 2012)

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Medical Humour II

The Prescription

A woman in Arkansas brought her baby in to see the doctor and he determined right away the baby had an ear ache. He wrote a prescription for ear drops. In the directions he wrote, “Put two drops in right ear every four hours” 
and he abbreviated “right” as R with a circle around it. Several days passed 
and the woman returned with her baby, complaining that the baby still had an earache and his little behind was getting really greasy with all those oil drops.

The doctor looked at the bottle of ear drops and...sure enough, the pharmacist had typed the following instructions on the label: “Put two drops in R ear every four hours.”

A Senior's Wish

A woman tells her doctor, “I want a hysterectomy.”
The doctor asks, “Why?...Mrs. Koslowski, you're 77 years old.”
She tells him, “I don't want any grandchildren.”

Looks of Disappointment

A man was just waking up from anaesthesia after surgery and his wife was 
sitting by his side. His eyes fluttered open and he said, “You're beautiful!”. 
Then he fell asleep again.

His wife had never heard him say that before, so she stayed by his side. 
A few minutes later, his eyes fluttered open and he said, “You're cute.” 
The wife was disappointed because instead of 'beautiful', it was now 'cute'.

She asked, “What happened to 'beautiful'?” The man replied, “The drugs are wearing off!”

Embarrassing Medical Exams
(thanks to a long-time bridge friend)

A man comes into the ER and yells...”My wife is going to have her baby 
in the cab.” I grabbed my stuff, rushed out to the cab, lifted the lady's dress 
and began to take off her underwear. Suddenly I noticed that there were
 several cabs...and I was in the wrong one!
(submitted by Dr. Mark McDonald...San Francisco)

At the beginning of my shift, I placed a stethoscope
on an elderly and slightly deaf female patient's anterior chest wall.
Big breaths,” I instructed. “Yes, they used to be,” replied the patient.
(submitted by Dr. Richard Byrnes...Seattle, Washington)

One day, I had to be the bearer of bad news when I told a wife that her husband had died of a “massive myocardial infarct.” Not more than five minutes later,
I heard her reporting to the rest of the family that he had died of a 
“massive  internal fart".
  (submitted by Dr. Susan Steinberg)

During a patient's two-week follow-up appointment with his cardiologist, he informed me that he was having trouble with one of his medications. 
“Which one”? I which he answered, “the patch...the nurse told me 
to put on a new one every six hours and now I'm running our of places to put it!” 
I had him quickly undress and discovered what I hoped I wouldn't see. Yes, the man had over fifty patches on his body! Now the instructions include removal 
of the old patch...before applying a new one.
(submitted by Dr. Rebecca St. Clair...Norfolk, Virginia)

While acquainting myself with a new elderly patient, I asked, “How long have you been bedridden?” After a look of complete confusion, she answered, “Why, not for about twenty years...when my husband was alive.”
(submitted by Dr. Steven Swanson...Corvallis, Oregon)

I was performing rounds at the hospital one morning and while checking on a male patient ...”So, how's your breakfast this morning?” Bob replied, “It's very good except for the Kentucky Jelly. I can't seem to get used to the taste.” 
I then asked to see the jelly and Bob produced a foil packet labelled 'KY Jelly'.
(submitted by Dr. Leonard Kransdorf...Detroit)

A nurse was on duty in the Emergency Room when a young woman with 
purple hair, styled into a punk rocker Mohawk, sporting a variety of tattoos 
and wearing strange clothing, entered. It was quickly determined that the 
patient had acute appendicitis, so she was scheduled for immediate surgery. When she was completely disrobed on the operating table, the staff noticed that her pubic hair had been dyed green and above it there was a tattoo that read..
.”Keep off the Grass!” Once the surgery was completed, the surgeon wrote
a short note on the patient's dressing, which said, “Sorry...had to mow the lawn!”
(submitted by name)

As a new, young MD doing his residency in OB, I was quite embarrassed when performing female pelvic exams. To cover my embarrassment, I had  formed a habit, unconsciously,  of whistling softly. The middle-aged lady, upon whom I was performing this exam, suddenly burst out laughing...and further embarrassing me! I looked up from my work and sheepishly said, “I'm sorry, was I tickling you?” She replied with tears running down her cheeks from laughing so hard, “No, Doctor, but the song you were whistling was, ”I wish I was an Oscar Meyer Wiener.”
(Doctor...wouldn't submit his name)

Baby's First Doctor Visit

A woman and a baby were in the doctor's examining room, waiting for the
doctor to come in for the baby's first exam. The doctor arrived and examined
the baby ...checked its weight...and being concerned, asked if the baby was breast-fed or bottle-fed. “Breast-fed”, she replied. “Well, strip down to your waist,” the doctor ordered. He pinched her nipples, pressed, kneaded and rubbed both breasts for a while in a very professional and detailed examination.
Motioning to her to get dressed, the doctor said,
No wonder this baby is don't have any milk.”
I know,” she said, “I'm his Grandma...but I'm glad!”

How is Norma?

This is hilarious...and stated to be a true story:

A sweet grandmother telephoned St. Joseph's Hospital (Hamilton ?) and 
timidly asked, “Is it possible to speak to someone who can tell me how a 
patient is doing?” The operator said, “I'll be glad to help, dear ... what is the
name and room number of the patient?”

The grandmother, in weak, tremulous voice said, “Norma Findlay, Room 302”

The operator replied, “Let me put you on hold while I check with the nurses' station.” After a few minutes, the operator returned to the phone and said, 
“I have good news. Her nurse just told me that Norma is dong well. Her blood pressure is fine; her blood work just came back normal and her physician has scheduled her to be discharged tomorrow.”

The grandmother said, “Thank you. That's wonderful. I was so worried.
God bless you for the good news.” The operator stated, “You're more than welcome,” then enquired, “Is Norma your daughter?”

The grandmother replied, “No, I'm Norma Findlay in Room 302.
No one tells me nothin'!

Pearl of Wisdom”... 
(on a serious fact, yet so true!)
"There is a way between voice and presence
where information flows.
In disciplined opens.
With wandering opens."
(Author unknown)

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . November 8, 2011
Wish to comment?...scroll down...or
(posted March 26, 2012)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Exhortations From Today's People

Our Platform

Oprah Winfrey: (Closing comments after hosting her program for 25 years)
You let me into your homes to talk with you every day. But what I want you
to know is 'Each of you has your own platform. Do not let the trappings here 
fool you  Mine is a stage in a studio. Wherever you are...
that is Your Platform ~ Your Stage ~ Your Circle of Influence! That is Your Talk Show and that is where Your Power lies!

Carry whatever you are supposed to be doing, forward. 
 Don't waste any more time.
Use Your Light to Serve the World'.

Character and Strategy

Pamela Wallin: (Canadian Senator from Saskatchewan, best known as a 
former journalist and then diplomat), spoke to the Canadian Club of Hamilton, autumn 2011. The following are excerpts from her presentation.

You can be the smartest person in the room, but if you're not kind,
not are not a leader. Leadership is all about character and strategy. 
As a leadership does the right opposed to a manager who just does
 it right, Canada is a leader in Doing the Right Thing!

Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are respected warriors, but they also did 
the right thing by building schools and dams to irrigate farm fields. When we 
first went to Afghanistan, there were 700,000 kids in school, mostly boys...
today there are more than 7,000,000...and one-third of them, girls.

The future of Afghanistan is very uncertain, but Canada has given its people 
a chance because Canada's military leadership includes humanitarianism.

Canada doesn't need to play small.
Our aspirations are becoming our achievements
and the World is Watching!

Practise! Practise! Practise!

Larry Carlton: (An American guitar legend; one of the most respected and sought- after-musicians in the world. He has played his signature ES-335 guitar on thousands of sessions with the top jazz, pop and rock acts in the business including Joni Mitchell, Michael Jackson, John Lennon, Jerry Garcia, the L.A.Express, the Crusaders and Steely Dan. Carlton has been conducting 
master classes at music faculties in Europe and North America for several years.)

I always tell my students to practise what they must...practise everything your teacher and your college demands...go practise it! BUT then, Go Out and Play What You Love! Learn whatever techniques that you can put together that help express yourself deeply. Great musicians play from the heart...not the head!

Larry Carlton was scheduled to play in concert with the 
Mohawk College Faculty Ensemble on March 9, 2012.

( I comment that, regardless of your interest or job focus, application of Larry's above practice/play direction may result in ... unexpected positive expectations!)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

An article in the Hamilton Spectator today
inspired me to convey the above messages which I had set aside

Rhoda Berquest, whose life spanned from 1932 to October 2011, 
“lived by ideals”:    If a task is worth it right! 
                               When life gives you lemons...make lemonade!

Reflecting about her life: She had the Gift of Speaking Less...Listening More ...
and Seeing Good in Everything!

Bill Cosby “I'm 76 and I'm Tired”

I'm 76: Except for brief period in the 50's, when I was doing my National Service, I've worked hard since I was 17. Except for some serious health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks and didn't call in sick in nearly 40 years. 
 I made a reasonable salary, but I didn't inherit my job or my income...
and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as though 
retirement was a bad idea, and I'm Tired. Very Tired.

I'm Tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who don't have my work ethic. I'm tired of being told the government will take the money 
I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy to earn it.

I'm Tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day 
I can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and daughters 
for their “family honour”; of Muslims rioting over some slight offence; of Muslims murdering Christians and Jews because they aren't “believers”; Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the genitals of little girls ~ all in the name of Allah, 
because the Qur'an and Shari'a law tells them to.

I'm Tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures”, we must let Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use all our oil money to fund mosques  and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia, New Zealand, UK, America, Canada...while no one from these countries are allowed to fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any Arab country 
to teach love and tolerance.

I'm Tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global
 warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I'm Tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease and I must help support and treat them...and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ rush out of a dark alley, grab them and stuff white powder up their noses or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?

I'm Tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes...when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught. I'm tired of people 
with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

I'm Really Tired of people who don't take responsibility for their lives and actions. I'm tired of hearing them blame the government or discrimination 
or big-whatever for their problems.

I'm Also Tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens 
and early 20's be-deck themselves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making themselves unemployable and claiming money from the Government.

Yes, I'm Tired ...physically, emotionally and mentally! But I'm glad to be 76. Why? Because mostly, I'm not going to have to see the world these people are making. I'm just sorry for my granddaughter and her children. 
                   Thank God I'm on the way out and not on the way.

The Queen Vows to Carry On!

Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth II took centre stage on Tuesday, March 20, 2012
in the celebrations marking her 60th anniversary as monarch when she remarked on the wisdom of old age and vowed to carry on in the nation's service “in the years to come.” The 85-year-old queen, dressed in a yellow suit and matching 
hat, addressed both Houses of Parliament in a ceremony, surveying her six decades as monarch.

Over such a period, one can observe that the experience of venerable old age, 
can be a mighty guide, but not a prerequisite for success in public office. So, 
in an era when the regular worthy rhythm of life is less eye-catching than doing something extra-ordinary, I am reassured that I am merely the second sovereign to celebrate aDiamond Jubilee.” (in reference to Queen Victoria, her great, great grandmother)

Appearing relaxed and smiling, the queen noted that she had the “pleasurable 
duty of dealing with 12 prime ministers and had signed 3,500 bills into law.”
(excerpts from the Hamilton Spectator)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Writer's Comment: We can quote adages by the dozens...sages, historians  politicians, etc. “from yesteryear". In Today's World, it is significant to 
understand from Today's People... the challenges they've experienced and currently face. Hopefully we benefit from the exhortations of the foregoing:  
a  TV personality, a Canadian diplomat,  a musician, a comedian's serious outlook on life...and an authority from Royalty. 
Each delivers an inspiring  message to motivate us into worthwhile action.

"Pearl of Wisdom"
                                  Before you Achieve, you must Believe!
                                  Be Committed.
                                  Do what it takes to have what you want!

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written March 22, 2012
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Recovery ... From Setbacks in Life

Definition: Act of Process of Returning to a Normal Condition.

We all encounter setbacks in life. Something happens that steals all or most
of our forward momentum and discourages us to the point that we want
to give up.

Setbacks seem to always come at the worst possible time, too. 
They are often deemed to be “the straw that broke the camel's back.” 
They can send us into free fall.

Physical Recovery

In the early1970's I developed medical symptoms that I reported to my General Practitioner. He arranged an appointment with a gynaecologist in November 
of that year. The specialist advised that I had a sizable tumour on the uterus wall (non-malignant). I had two young children and realized the implication of a hysterectomy. In his office, I burst into tears...mostly because of the physical cutting surgery into my body. He gave me the choice of “before  Christmas or after”. I chose “as soon as possible”.

My mother came to stay a few days to tend to my children and home while my husband was at work. Following surgery, I was left in a weakened condition, which worsened due to infection below the “bikini incision” which forced me 
to remain longer in hospital and consequently...more weakened.

I had never experienced being physically weak ... had a finely tuned body resulting from sports activities. This, to me, was a blow! A few days before Christmas, I was able to venture to the local grocery store (or so I thought) 
to purchase the turkey, cranberry sauce, nuts, etc. for Christmas dinner.
In the second aisle, I became quite dizzy looking at the shelves and all the merchandise, the "on sale" products, the sundry items. Impossible to continue,
leaving the grocery cart in the aisle and frustrated, I returned home, 
requesting my husband return to complete the shopping.

In a follow up-appointment with my gynaecologist, he stated,”It took you several months to develop this will take you several months to fully recover.” 3 months? 6 months? Unknown?

Mother, who was widowed eight years previously, returned to our home early, 
to assist me with Christmas. I did manage to prepare part of the dinner.

By April, my strength was gradually rebuilding. I knew I must do something physically to “push the process.” A town home neighbour returning from work one day, stopped to enquire about my health as he walked past my patio garden. Being a “health nut” and a weekend ski instructor, he suggested I engage in some form of energy-building activity. I mentioned to him that I doubted  if I could even manage a tennis racket. He encouraged and offered to “bat a few balls with me”...said he needed to “bat out his frustrations”
from a failed marriage and pending divorce. At first, I lasted a couple minutes 
on the tennis court in our complex. After a couple weeks, I endured about five minutes. Thanks to Fred and his tennis times with me, I built up energy sufficient to join the Central Tennis Club for a few games that summer..

A couple years later, Fred loaned his lady friend, Shirley and me his burgandy
Thunderbird (he was unable to drive for several days) for our January transportation to Gray Rocks in Quebec for a ski vacation. We took my son, 
who was most delighted! (Fred had, the previous month, broken his ankle 
while showing his young son how to use a ski disc...or whatever it's called. 
This demonstration was on a very shallow slope, and in stepping off,
he tripped, fell and twisted his ankle.)

Recovering from Disappointments

        These happen! Life has its triumphs and Life has its stumbling blocks! 
How do we handle frustrations and disappointments? I need not detail any, 
but leave you with lessons I have learned from advice given me ... and a philosophy I developed. In one circumstance that affected my personal life
to the point of being most distraught, a ski acquaintance sincerely stated, 
“You're strong! You have inner believe you don't have!
Test it!”

                      In the Real Estate business, success is wonderful! 
Yet, it has its disappointments. Imagine spending days of research for suitable properties for clients, then hours of communication with them through e-mails and telephone to develop locations of interest. Appointments are made to view 
a few properties, often followed by revisits to reinforce their buying interest. Then, after a few months, they are not returning my telephone calls ... 
no contact! Discovery? They purchased a home in an area, unspecified to me 
and lacked the courtesy to inform me. So many hours, so many days, weeks, months...where valuable time spent is usually “money in the bank”!

One cannot fret about a “lost deal”
when everything possible was done...
given the time and circumstances.
It is now “water under the bridge”!

Financial Recovery

Following the birth of our second child, I left a successful teaching career 
to become a stay-at-home-mom...without realizing that Mothers wear several hats: Mother? Yes! But also Nurse, Psychologist, Teacher, Economist and sometimes Repair woman. When my daughter was soon to enter Kindergarten, 
I reapplied as a Teacher. (Unfortunately, no full time positions were available). Time for a Change!

I launched into a new career...Real Estate Sales...which gave me several good years financially. Selling New Home product became my specialty:
condominiums, semi-detached and link homes, single detached mid-income 
priced family abodes to exclusive. Many, many hours, often seven days a week including Sunday afternoon Open Houses to the public became the norm. New Home sales generated Resales which motivated my selling skills. These resale homes were handled by my assistant on a split-commission basis. There is no guaranteed salary in this business! All income is based on successful closures
of sold properties! Costs of advertisements, promotion, vehicle and related operating costs, Real Estate fees yearly plus Errors and Omissions Insurance
...were borne by the Sales Rep with no remuneration! Plus the daily living costs!

Yet, Real Estate was always a wise investment! Therefore, in Real Estate I invested! At the onset of this career, I was a single parent raising two children. With a strategic business plan, all seemed quite secure! In the late 80's,
early 90's...the Recession Hit! Interest rates were high; families unable to maintain their homes; jobs were lost; Real Estate investments dwindled 
in value. Listed properties were not selling! The current home (purchased 
from my-then-builder) was for future return on my I was 
forced to sell at a $45,000 loss! Other investment homes in my portfolio, 
I was forced to sell at a loss, also. I was “in the same boat” as several of my
clients and friends. It is difficult, almost impossible, to recoup these losses!
My decision? Accept the Truth of the Situation! 
Above all...retain Health and Sanity!

In the late 90's, arthritis began to afflict me. No medications or treatments 
were effective; over several years I learned to cope. Slowly, this disease developed, taking its grip on my system. Eventually, when “showing homes” 
to potential buyers, the continued stairs...up and down...became physically aggravating. I was diagnosed as having chronic degenerative osteo-arthritis. 
In 2006, when a golden opportunity presented to represent a builder in his
project to build condominium apartments in Ancaster, I resigned from the brokerage firm to return to my specialized sales area...which would be far 
less stressful on my arthritic joints. Unfortunately, the anticipated project
was delayed (as can occur in the building industry) and placed me in a 
precarious position to make a decision. Necessity demanded that I
“downsize” minimizing my monthly expenses.

Sometimes, it is not only necessary, but wise
to “Swallow One's Pride ... and Move On!”
Like a fine horse in retirement,
I put myself “out to pasture”!
(called retirement)

                                 Now I have a cosy comfortable apartment
                                 where the maintenance is low,
                                 where the location is superb,
                                 where the neighbours are friendly,
                                 where I live life leisurely
                   and with time to play bridge...and develop my writing craft.


If there is one thing I have learned through it all, it is that
setbacks are just speed bumps;
they are not the end of the world, unless you let them be!
Decide not to quit!
Quitting is a sure-fire way to fail.
You may drastically change your tactics.
You may take a brief break to gather your senses.
You may change your directions, but
you cannot sit down and give up!

For years, I've had three inspirational plaques beside my desk...even today!
Hang in There! (picturing a lion restfully sleeping in the tall sturdy
branches of a tree...his legs hanging down from his treed position)

Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life! (picturing a sunrise
across peaceful waters with a far invitational horizon)

Man tires quickly of New Discoveries and Inventions, but never
with the Beauty and Wonder of Nature! (depicting a majestic
mountain piercing the blue sky...and wildflowers blooming in the
summer breeze)

Each of the above is a daily injection for me to always remain 
“Positive in Attitude”
and to not only Discover...but to Enjoy the Beauty of the Day!

Merle Baird-Kerr . . . written December 12, 2011
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