Thursday, September 26, 2013

Correct Way of Eating Fruit

We all  think that eating fruits means just buying them...cutting them...and popping into our mouths.  It's not as you's important to and when to eat these fruits. 

It means...not eating fruit after your meals!  Fruits should be eaten on an empty stomach.  If you eat fruit in this way, it will play a major role to detoxify your system. It will supply you with a great deal of energy...for weight loss and other activities!

Fruit is the Most Important Food

Let's say you eat 2 slices of bread and then a slice of fruit.  The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines ~ but it is prevented from doing so.  In the meantime, the whole meal rots and ferments and turns to acid.  The minute the fruit comes in contact with the food in the stomach and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil. 
                            So...please eat your fruits on an empty stomach before your meals.
You have heard people complaining, “Every time I eat watermelon, I burp.  When I eat durian (a tropical fruit) I my stomach bloats up.  When I eat a banana, I feel like running to the toilet.”, etc.  Actually, all this will not arise...if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. Otherwise, the fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas and hence, you will bloat.

Graying hair...balding...nervous outburst...and dark circles under the eyes  ~ all these will not happen...if you take fruits on an empty stomach. 

There is no such thing as some fruits like orange and lemon are acidic...because all fruits become alkaline in our body...according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did extensive research on this. 

If you have mastered the correct way of eating have the Secret of  Beauty, Longevity, Health, Energy, Happiness and Normal Weight.

When you need to drink fruit juices, drink only fresh fruit (not from the cans).Refrain from eating cooked fruit because you don't get the nutrients at all.  Cooking destroys all the vitamins. But eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice.  If drinking it, take mouthful by mouthful slowly because  you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. 

NOTE:  You can go on a 3-day “fruit fast” to cleanse  your body.  Just eat fruits and drink fruit juice throughout the three days.  You'll be surprised how radiant you look and feel.

Recommended Fruits: and papaya.  All are rich in vitamins and have medical benefits for various parts of the body.

“The Correct Way of Eating Fruit”
was written in 1998 by Devaagi Sanmugaam
(a chef and culinary writer who lives in Singapore.

Dr. Herbert Shelton was a renowned health educator and author
who died in 1985.  Dr Shelton held a doctorate degree
in naturopathy...rather than in medicine.

(I extend my gratitude to Dilu in sending me the foregoing information)

Recently, I read a novel by Rochelle Alers titled...Sanctuary Cove.
From it, I share with  you another important aspect about healthy food.

After her husband's sudden death, Deborah with her two teenagers (Whitney and Crystal), moved from Charleston to her grandmother's ancestral home on Cavanaugh Island (only a ferry ride away or the causeway).  Sanctuary Cove became the new home for her relocated business...The Parlour Bookstore.

Having spent many summers at The Cove previously as a child and later with her family, she knew the lifestyle of the people living here.  She commented to Dr. Asa Monroe (a snowbird from Delaware who was spending the winter months at The Cove Inn)...”This is our Four Seasons and the Waldorf Astoria all rolled into one...and Jack's Fish House is our own award-winning Le Bernardin and Brasserie.  All you have to do is...look around the Cove and I doubt you'll find more than a dozen overweight people.  We also  have the distinction of living well into our late 80's and 90's.  Do  you want to know why?  Because a lot of the food we prepare, especially the vegetables, is grown locally without the harmful chemicals  and pesticides that poison our bodies.  The chickens come from a farm in adjacent Haven Creek...and the pigs too.  Most residents have gardens and sell their surplus to restaurants.  All the seafood comes daily from local fishermen...crabs, oysters and shrimp. 

Fresh air...fresh industry pollution...and the ocean our playground.
Life couldn't be better!”

Words of Wisdom

Life is a Gift to You.
The way you live  your life
is  your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.
 Live it well!  Enjoy today! Do something fun!  Be Happy!  Have a great day!
(Maya Angelou)

Merle Baird-Kerr ... scripted September 22, 2013
Comments welcome...scroll down...may sign in as  “anonymous”


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Emotional Intelligence

 How it Affects Your Relationships
Emotional Intelligence ~ the ability to manage...and to  communicate our emotions ~ plays a large role in the success of relationships.

Our success in life, most teachers believe, is determined largely by our academic achievements,  Another critical factor believed is our intelligence quotient (IQ) score, a measure of baseline intellect.  These are both good factors...but they do not guarantee prosperity or happiness.   
The consensus today among psychologists is that IQ accounts for only 10 to 25% of success.  Perhaps a better predictor is emotional intelligence and learning to respond to the emotions of other people.

According to Steve Bressert, PhD, emotional intelligence
 is defined by five core traits:
Self-awareness ~ how conscious you are of your emotions in the moment.
Self-regulation ~ how well you are able to manage your emotions under pressure.
Motivation ~ your drive to transform negative thoughts or situations into positive ones.
Empathy ~ the capacity to recognize others' emotions and to respond to them sympathetically.
Social skills ~ the ability to interact well with others (good communication, teamwork, etc.)

Athena Staik, PhD, notes the importance of emotional intelligence in healthy couple relationships:
“This emotional mastery permits them to feel safe enough to remain present to their partner and the situation without setting off their own brain's 'flight or flee' defences, which also effectively lowers chances of triggering their partner's defences.

Self-Scoring:  How do you Rate?  True...or...False?

It takes me a long time to recover  from setbacks or frustrations.  _____
I often miss subtle emotional cues in others, including my partner.  _____
On some level, I enjoy the “rush” that comes from anger on negativity.  _____
When I am criticized by my partner, I tend to  immediately lash back verbally. _____
I have a difficult time communicating what I am feeling. _____
I often look for fault in others, including my partner. _____
It's hard for me to admit blame.  _____
In difficult situations, I find it almost impossible to see any upside.  _____
My partner often says I'm insensitive.  _____
I don't always know why I am in a bad mood.  _____
I frequently say things in the heat of the moment that I later regret.  _____

We all have room for improvement when it comes to emotional intelligence.  But if you wrote True on five or more responses above, you may be limiting your potential for a rewarding intimate relationship.
But...take heart...emotional intelligence is not unfixable.  You can become more emotionally adept.”

Boosting Your Emotional Intelligence

When you are upset, allow yourself to 'cool off' before interacting with others.  
A relationship education class can help you learn techniques to communicate more effectively.
Being conscious of your emotions is another important step in channeling them.
Consider what sets you off and  identify any recurring issues.
Do you seethe if your partner forgets to say thank you?
Are you able to tolerate any form of criticism?
Do you fly off the handle if things don't go your way?

Once you've identified your “emotional triggers” consider what is behind them: Is it insecurity?  Is it a fear of abandonment?   Is it a lack of control? We can enhance our emotional intelligence! Just as we must work hard to excel in school...we have to work hard to break poor emotional response patterns.
(Author unknown)

Kahill Gibran wrote:
Time decides who you meet in your life!
Your heart decides who you want in your life!
But your behaviour decides who stays in your life!

“Old Love from the new Norm”

Over the past several years, I've enjoyed stage productions at Hamilton's Theatre Aquarius, in Port Dover at The Lighthouse Festival Theatre and at Theatre Burlington, Drama Centre. I've immensely enjoyed comedies written by Norm Foster...a playwright  who lived in Ancaster for many years.

Gary Smith, who has written about theatre and dance for the Hamilton Spectator for more than 30 years, writes about  Norm Foster's current  play...Old Love. In his interview, Norm admits young people laugh at the notion of sixty-something lovers sharing a public kiss.  “They just do,” he shrugs. “It's not easy for older people to have romantic affairs.  Just ask me...I'm 64.” His play, about romance in later life, is an insightful, often sweet look at two people who fall for each other in the twilight of their years.  The sun may be setting on their lives...but there's still plenty of fire.

“Love knows no bounds,” Foster says.  “The idea people my age are still interested in love and sex, bothers some younger people.  They need to know they're going to be there themselves...and sooner than they think. Feelings don't die when you're 60.  You know, I believe this is more of an issue in North America than it is in Europe.  Why?  Because we have too much of a youth culture here.”

Gary Smith further writes, “Foster is the king of comedy, the raja of regional theatre, the prince of popular playwrights. He's  written more than 50 plays and his works are the  most produced in Canada.  There were a number of productions of “Old Love” done across Canada.  More than 150 productions of Foster's plays have been produced in Canada, United States and Australia last year.  He has had only one NYC production.”

Old Love will open the new season at Theatre Burlington.  Norm states, “The play is not personal at all.  I'm just the same age as the characters in it. But, not based on my life, it is based on my feelings. It's not easy for older people to find romance. I'm not the same person I was, when I started writing plays in 1983.

Love is not about finding the right person, but creating a right relationship.
It's not about how much love you have in the beginning...
but how much love you build to the end.

Merle Baird-Kerr … written September 10, 2013
To comment...scroll down...may sign in as “anonymous”

Monday, September 16, 2013

Trees are Sanctuaries (Part 2)

Forage Away...but not on RBG Property
writes Barbara McKean in a recent Spectator article.

Not only is it against the law...but off trail activity can do harm.

Picking...digging...or collecting anything on any of the 2,700 acres of property owned by Royal Botanical Gardens (including along the trails, is against the bylaws created under the province's Royal Botanical Gardens Act.)

RBG is a Nature Sanctuary and like many parks and protected areas, we ask our visitors to:
Take nothing but pictures.
Leave nothing but footprints.
Kill nothing but time.

RBG is Canada's plant biodiversity hot spot.  Our four nature sanctuaries provide habitat for more than 50 species at risk, including some of our country's most endangered species.  We do want people to enjoy our properties and we have a 27-kilometre trail system for that purpose, but at the same time we are working hard to protect and restore ecosystems that are under a huge amount of human-induced stress.  Changing climate...invasive species...pollution...and 200,000 trail users each year put a great deal of pressure on the wild plants and animals living in our area.

Foraging is simply not appropriate for this highly visited nature sanctuary located in a densely populated area.  Let fruit, seeds and entire plants nourish wildlife and sustain ecosystems.

Other Facts:  The RBG has a very  high proportion of the wild plants of Canada in one area.  It is also a significant Bird Area and is part of the Niagara Escarpment World Biosphere Reserve!  More than 1,100 species of plants grow within its boundaries. 

The Bashful Bulrush is found nowhere else in Canada and the largest remaining  population of Canada's most endangered tree ~ the Red Mulberry is here at the RBG.

In 2008, RBG was designated as an Amphibian and Reptile Area.

Top Benefits of Trees
(Reasons to plant and care for trees or defend a tree's standing)

…provide wood
…reduce mental fatigue
…are teachers and playmates
…prevent pollution and erosion
…combat the greenhouse effect
...clean the air and provide oxygen
…shield children from ultra-violet rays
…bring diverse groups of people together
…provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife
…increase property values and business traffic
…mark the seasons ~ is it spring, summer, fall or winter?
…block things by masking concrete walls or parking lots
and unsightly views ~ muffle sounds from traffic
…aid patients to heal faster with passive views out their windows
…cool the streets and the city by up to 10 degrees F through shading
…create economic opportunities with harvesting of fruit and income jobs
…conserve energy by being placed strategically around single family homes
 cutting summer air conditioning  needs by up to 50%.
Trees are Mother Nature’s basics
to creating scenery!

Someone is sitting in the shade today
because someone planted a tree a long time ago.
(Warren Buffet)

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.
The 2nd best time is now.

Want a Free Street Tree?

Hamilton's “street tree” program allows homeowners a free tree on the city-owned road allowance.  Dozens of tree species are available...on soil and other environmental  conditions.  Depending on property size and orientation, homeowners can have up to 3 street trees planted. For more information check out

Llan  Shamir

One valuable lesson we learn from a tree is to have patience.  We learn that change can be beautiful.  Each season brings its own beauty.  Without change, we cannot grow!  Roots must be nourished, tended and fed.  Parenthood in all its forms, can only be achieved through love.  We all need a healthy root system to sustain us. Life's lessons learned from a tree will last forever!

Advice from a Tree
Stand tall and proud.
Sink your roots into the earth.
Be content with your natural beauty.
Go out on a limb.
Drink plenty of water.
Remember your roots.
Enjoy the view.

Of Interest:  The above “Advice” is en-scripted on a plaque at Muir Woods National Monument in a lush forest of redwood trees in a canyon just 45 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.  The forest of giant trees is shrouded in coastal fogs and one of the few remaining stands of Redwoods in the San Francisco Bay area.. .what John Muir called...the best tree lovers' monument  that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world. He further stated:

The clearest way into the Universe
is through a forest wilderness.

Merle Baird-Kerr … written August 19, 2013
Comments Welcome...scroll down...may sign in as “anonymous”

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Trees Are Sanctuaries (Part 1)

 Whoever knows how to speak to them;
Whoever knows how to listen to them
can learn the truth! 
They do not preach learning and precepts ~
they preach, undeterred by principles,
the ancient Law of Life.
(Hermann Hess)

Hamilton's Green Canopy Decimated by July Storm
was the recent Spectator's headline.

The massive July 19th storm is proving to be a historic urban canopy killer that uprooted  or maimed thousands of mature trees.  “Residents have reported more than 3,500 badly damaged or toppled trees,” said environmentalist service director, Craig Murdoch. “Hundreds were likely killed,” Murdoch said. “It will take months to determine how many supposed survivors are actually dead wood standing.”
The colour picture taken from Sydenham Hill says,
“So much to offer...and so much to lose!”


Impression of Trees:  A few years ago, Pablo and Patricia immigrated to Canada from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Having previously visited our country, they were awesomely impressed with our Lake and Bay, our escarpment, rolling hills, trees and wildlife.  Their first dwelling was an apartment along Lakeshore Road.  Although, not lakeside, they were thrilled to see trees, trees, tress that seemed to totally carpet the rooftops of houses and the panoramic view as their eyes rose northward to the escarpment's edge near Mount Nemo, Rattlesnake Point and Highway 6 as it winds toward Guelph.  To them, this was Nature's Heaven! With secured jobs, in a couple years, they bought a home in Dundas...again in a treed escarpment setting with easy access to local waterfalls and Dundas Valley.

Country Christmas:  I recall going with my father to the woods on our farm to select an evergreen tree for the festive season.  A beautiful blue spruce, he felled and placed it on the toboggan with me as a 4-year old child.  The fresh tree scent...the drifting foot-deep snow...the crisp winter air was all conducive to this happy experience.  My mother served us fresh hot tomato soup and cocoa.  Together we set up the tree in a pail of water...decorated it with home-crafted ornaments, garlands of red berries and candles.  (Today, I reflect on the thousands of trees that “die” to adorn our homes and shoppes!)

A Living Gift:  We had wonderful neighbours on Middlesmoor Crescent in Brant Hills.  Next door were Brian and Catharine who had a little girl.  Unfortunately, she developed a rare disease which could not be determined or medicated.  It was a sorrowful event when she died.  The tradition (as today) is to send flowers to the funeral home or directly to the family.  Flowers, though beautiful...die!  My family opted to purchase an evergreen tree (not deciduous...the leaves “die” when Jack Frost arrives). It was a stately  white pine to plant in their garden.  The family was emotionally touched and most grateful for  this most thoughtful gift, which to them, was a constant “view of their precious little girl.”  We were thrilled, when a couple years later, a son to them was born!

Caution, Endangered Tree Ahead stated the Hamilton Spectator.  Currently there is a huge hubbub about Butternut Tree #907 along the Queen Street Hill.  A couple mountain accesses in Hamilton have been closed due to necessary road repair and fallen rock from the escarpment wall. This Butternut Tree is making drivers see RED in traffic jams due to a couple accesses being closed!  Matthew Van Dongen writes, “It's tempting to think  cutting thoughts about Tree #907.  The single endangered butternut tree is at the root of the month-plus-delay in $4.3 million dollars worth of reconstruction work on the Queen Street hill, which usually ushers 20,000 daily commuters  up and down the Mountain. But look on the bright side.  A new report reveals the city spent a month tip-toeing around Tree #907 after a 'health assessment' found the tree showed resistance to butternut canker...a fungus that is wiping out the native tree species”

A nation that destroys the soils... destroys itself.
Forests are the lungs of our land …
purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.
(Franklin D. Roosevelt)

In the healthy reality of protecting our trees, it behooves ALL OF US to observe and preserve the life of trees...allowing them to propagate and provide safe undergrowth for future years!

Dedicate a Tree (in honour or memory of someone):  A long-time friend, Jill, experienced the death of her son, Stephen (the only son of 4 children).  He was born “brilliant” with a unique intelligence.  At Lord Elgin High School (now renamed Robert Bateman),  he was honoured with the presentation of the Sir Isaac Newton Award of Merit for his Physics and Science achievement (rated in the top 5% academically in Ontario).

It was common for him to have “out of body experiences” (OBE).  Some scientists consider OBE as evidence that a soul, spirit or body can detach itself  from the physical body and visit distant locations.
One in ten people has an OBE  once or more in his/her life.

Professionally, he, was a Systems Analyst for the Royal Bank in Toronto; he also successfully created, with a partner, their own computer software company.

At age 32, cancer struck him ~ yet he was determined to overcome it!  His brilliant mind controlled the severe pain he suffered as the disease ravished his entire body.  He once stated to his mother:
“Living on this Earth is an Illusion.
Death is Reality!”
September 12, 2013 is the 19th Anniversary of his death.

Since a small boy, Jill's family organized a family picnic at Lowville Park.  Even still today, the picnic is yearly held with many family members enjoying Mother Nature's beauty of the trees, the pavilion, sports fields   and the meandering of Bronte Creek winding and flowing its way to Lake Ontario. 

To commemorate his life, she requested from the Parks & Recreation Department...a tree to be planted in Spencer Smith Park (he was born at nearby Joseph Brant Hospital in 1961) and Lowville Park.  At the latter location, his tree may have been the first one planted in front of the old school house within the Park in memory of his death.  She selected a Red Maple...about 3 feet high...which today is a mature beautifully branched tree. A similar tree was planted at Spencer Smith Park...which on her nature walks, she frequently visits. At each location a plaque was installed with the following inscription:



His courage, intelligence and spirit

will always be remembered.

The plaque in Lowville is mounted on a rock.  When the Sorensen family arrives for their annual picnic they discover flowers strewn around the plaque to honour Stephen through his living tree!  On each anniversary, he is included in their celebration ~ a toast being made in their memories of him!

Of Interest:  One of his sisters, dreamed about him two weeks following his death. He was angry because the newspaper had printed his obituary.  She commented to him in her dream, “But you did die!”  He responded to her, “My brain is still alive!”

Today, at lunch, Jill and I (both with emotional tears)
recalled this sudden event that “stole him from her family.”
“Why?” we ask. “Only God knows!”

Perhaps Albert Einstein's words say it best:
Look deep into Nature...
and you will understand everything better.

And to you, Jill, I dedicate this Chinese Proverb:
Keep a green tree in your heart...
and  perhaps a singing bird will come.

Merle Baird-Kerr … crafted August 18, 2013
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Friday, September 6, 2013

Cartoon Messages

 In the “GO” section of the Hamilton Spectator are travel suggestions...local events to attend...activities of the celebrities...gardening for seasonal fruits and vegetables...good health directives.  The main attractions to me are the Crossword Puzzle...Sudoku...and a full page of comic strips which intrigue me as they depict life with a touch of humour, a touch of irony perhaps or a fluff of philosophy to strengthen one's day.  From these cartoons, one views personal qualities with a new perspective!

Mutts ~ is one of my favourite comic strips.  It usually features Earl, a small dog with a big heart...cheerfully tugging at the leash on the walk of life and Mooch, Earl's feline pal, the “tuxedo” kitty with his own way of thinking and talking. Ozzie is Earl's guardian and best friend and of him says, “He's the guy who feeds me treats...rubs my belly...and takes me for rides ~ my Ozzie! There are about a dozen other characters in the strip including Sid the Fish.  All these characters live near parkland...and the sandy beach along ocean water.
.                                       Walking together, Earl and Mooch believe as Henry Ford:
“Obstacles are those frightful things
you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

I loved Saturday's issue of Mutts in colour.  A vertical picture on the left shows the wavy blue ocean water with a huge orange sun beginning to descend from the sky...approaching the horizon.  The remaining large rectangle  is divided into 3 long horizontal spaces.  Try to visualize this as Earl and Mooch in the top section, walk toward the sandy beach beside the ocean blue, and observing the setting orange sun, Mooch comments, “Every night the sun shlips gently into the sea.” 

 In the middle horizontal scene, as the sun disappear halfway below the horizon, Mooch   again comments, “...and the cool water gently puts the hot flames to rest. Earl looks questioningly at Mooch trying to understand his pal’s thinking. 

The lower picture depicts the sun gone from view...the sky and waters both darkened.  Earl exclaims, “Ahh...” and Mooch, this magnificent sunset fully enthralling him, with his “arms extended outward  and upward” into the deep purple sky,...philosophically says, “The Wisdom of Nature!”

A Few More of My Favourite Cartoon Strips:

Hagar the Horrible ~ is a caricature of medieval Scandinavian life.  Hagar is a shaggy, scruffy, overweight red-bearded Viking.  As a warrior, he regularly raids England and southern France.  His “dress” with horned helmet makes him look  somewhat like a cave man...but you also know that he has a soft heart.. Much of the humour centers around Hagar's interactions with his longship crew, especially Lucky the tavern (where he spends much time)...or at home with his combative wife, Helga...their brilliant and sensitive son, Hamlet...the pretty but domestically hopeless daughter, Honi...Helga's pet duck, Kvack. There is also Hagar's loyal and clever dog, Snert...often Hagar's mother-in-law comes to visit (which to him is a dreaded experience!)

Blondie ~ began her cartoon life as a gorgeous flapper who had a list of boyfriends (one of whom was Dagwood Bumstead.)  Later they fell in love and married. Dagwood and Blondie had to go out in the world and hack it like the rest of us.  Settling down to a modest lifestyle with children and a dog, Daisy, they greatly became concerned with real life.  Today they appear together in blissful love and happiness. Characters in the comic strip include the personnel in Dagwood's office...Blondie's catering business...their neighbours...the mailman…a  boy who frequents  Dagwood to show or tell something.

Hi and Lois ~ The cast of this classic American comic strip provides a warm, loving portrait of a wholesome family with traditional values and modern day sensibilities.  The main characters are Hi (Hiram) and Lois Flagstone who have four children (she works part time as a realtor).  Chip is a stereotypical, slovenly teenage boy...Dot and Ditto are rambunctious twins...Trixie, their blonde baby girl loves talking to Sunbeam (a ray of sunlight that comes through her morning window.)  Dawg is the family's large shaggy sheep dog.  Thirsty and Irma Thurston are their friendly neighbours.

Adam at Home ~ follows the life of Adam Newman, a stay-at-home-dad who  juggles his busy family life and career job…Adam Newman Enterprises... from his home computer.  A caffeine addict, he spends his days at his computer, occasionally slacking off with coffee and tending his baby son, Nick.  He dreads the summertime when his older children will be home tearing up the house and begging him to take them out.  Laura, his wife, works at a bookstore…and becomes his ‘salvation’ when she returns from work to take the kids off his hands.  (Clayton and Katy elementary school students.)

Pickles ~  The strip describes the efforts of Earl and Opal Pickles in their 70’s to enjoy retirement, which instead proves quite imperfect for both.  Earl is characterized by having a bald head, wears glasses, has a bushy white moustache and wears suspenders.  Opal is characterized as somewhat chubby, bespectacled  and is often seen wearing purple polka-dotted dresses and white sneakers.  When sitting, she is usually seen with her pet cat, Muffin, on her lap. The cast includes their dog, Rascoe, their grandson, Nelson (who often visits grandma and grandpa)…a crony friend of Earl’s, whom he frequently meets at a nearby park to discuss how their world turns.
to love each other.

Zits ~ is about the life of Jeremy Duncan, a 16-year-old High School sophomore,  as he tries to balance his family life…social life…academic demands of High School…and his plans for the future.  He aspires to be a rock musician, spending much time with his music friends  and their band.  Connie Duncan, his mother is a child psychologist but only works part time since Jeremy’s  birth. She acts as the disciplinarian for him.  He doesn’t share much with his parents…yet she is willing to listen to him. Walt Duncan, his father, an orthodontist, finds it impossible to hold a conversation with his son.

Between Friends ~ Created by a Canadian cartoonist, it offers a near-telepathic view of female psyche and illustrates the essence and angst of modern women.  It chronicles the highs and lows of three archetypal women in their early 40’s who have known each other since High School.  Susan who balances her full time job with responsibilities at home…Maeve, the sophisticated divorced professional who’s always looking for Mr. Right…and Kim who works at home while taking care of her 6-year-old stepson.  They talk to each other re…aging…dating exes…motherhood…guilt…the pros   & cons of Botox.. Readers may recognize themselves or friends in this contemporary slice-of-life strip.

Sherman’s Lagoon ~ is an imaginary place in the tropics inhabited by a cast of sea creatures whose lives are curiously similar to our own.  The cartoonist explores many of the issues we face daily in our lives on dry land.  By putting them in a different context, he helps us laugh at ourselves.  His characters attempt new business ventures…go on disastrous dates…try fad diets…and read the latest best-selling books.  But they also have problems relating to fish.  Sherman, the main character is a great white shark who is completely unaware of how intimidating his species can be.  He gets pushed around by the other characters…namely Hawthorne (the hermit crab)…Fillmor (the sea turtle)...and his wife, Megan (who is another great white shark, of course).  The cartoonist takes his characters on “road trips” where they explore different parts of the ocean and meet nature animals along the way.

Pooch Café ~ is a comic strip that follows Poncho’s interactions with humans…namely Chazz (his master who rescued him from the dog pound) and his loving wife, Carmen, who owns a brood of 6 cats…and Poncho’s adventures with his fellow dogs ( 7 of them). Other semi-recurring characters are Tito (the garbage man),  Sheldon (a pigeon) and Margo (a dog-walker).  The strip takes its name from the café where Poncho and his friends gather to compare notes about life among humans.

Words of Wisdom re Quality:

Never blame anyone in your life ~ good people bring you Happiness.
Bad people give you Experience. Worst people teach you a Lesson.
Best people give you Memories!
(Thank  you, Dilu for these words.)

Crafted by Merle Baird-Kerr … August 24, 2013
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or e-mail…

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Motivations & Smiles for September

(gleaned from my collection of “calendar quotes”)

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The next time is NOW!
(Chinese Proverb)

Concentration:  You must be single minded.  Drive for the one thing on which you have decided. (George S. Patton).  Illustration: a quarterback poised ready to pass to receiver.

Change:  We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sail. (Anonymous) 
Illustration: sailboat with red, white & blue sail on a windy lake.

Survival:  Never eat more than you can lift.  (Miss Piggy)  Illustration: brownish bird eating berries  
 from a fruit tree.

Friendship:  What is a friend?  A single soul dwelling in two bodies (Aristotle).
Illustration: two antlered deer in the forest meeting “nose to nose.”

Accept the Challenges so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.  (General George Patton)
 Illustration:  team of players “high-fives” for success.

Always Do what you are afraid to do.  Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Illustration:  diver soaring off a steep cliff into deep water set against a sunset sky.

Progress Always Involves Risk:  You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first.
(Frederick Wilcox) Illustration:  runner sliding and stealing the base.

Between each dawn and setting sun, set aside some time for fun. (Anonymous) 
 Illustration:  family with bonfire on a sandy beach.

They are Able because they believe they are able.  (Virgil)
 Illustration:  football players waiting for “the snap.”

From Marie's Motivation Calendar with Invitation to Aspire:
Envision a rock climber ascending a steep icy cliff.
Aspire, rather to be a  hero, rather than be one.
(Baltasar Gracian)

Special Event Days

September 2 ~ Labour Day...celebrated yearly the first Monday in September.
September 3 ~ My daughter's birthday.
September 8 ~ Grandparents Day...the Sunday following Labour Day.  ***
September 11 ~ Memorial Day (United States) commemorating Attack on NYC Twin Towers.
September 16 ~ International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer...commemorates the date of signing of the Montreal Protocol (1987) on substances that delete the Ozone Layer.  Classrooms will focus on related topics.
September 19 ~ Full Moon
September 22 ~ First Day of Autumn

***  I’m retired, but I work part-time spoiling my grandchildren.”
         Grandparents are so easy to operate ~ even a child can do it.
         Grandparents bestow upon their grandchildren 
          the strength and wisdom that time and experience have given them.

Did You Know?

The Canadian Wildlife Federation has trained thousands of teachers across Canada and has education resources available online to help educators, parents and the general public learn about wildlife.  Visit to find out more.

This month caribou begin their annual mating season called the “rut”. Frequent and  intense sparring occurs between competitive males.

September's Butterfly

The eastern comma is found throughout eastern North America.  They are found across central and eastern Canada from Newfoundland to Saskatchewan.  These orange and black speckled butterflies are most commonly seen along roadsides and clearings...happily flitting around flowers.

September Song
(Tony Bennett lyrics)

When I was a young man
Courting the girls,
I played a watching game.
If a maid refused me with tossing curls
I let the old Earth take a couple of whirls
While I plied her with tears in lieu of pearls.

And as the time came around
She came my way.
As the time came around
She came my way.

But it's a long, long while from May to December.
But the days grow short when you reach September.
When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame
One hasn't got time for the watching game.

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious few
September, November
And these special days, I'll spend with you.
These special days, I'll spend with you.

And the wine dwindles down to a precious brew
September, November
And these few vintage years I'll spend with you.
These few vintage years I'll spend with you.

Crafted by Merle Baird-Kerr … September 1, 2013
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