Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Leadership Skills

“You can lead a horse to water...but you can't make him drink.”

“When something unfortunate happens, you have three choices:
You can let it define you.
You can let it destroy you.
You can let it strengthen you!”

Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality.

For the past few years, the Hamilton Tiger Cats has been in a ‘rebuilding mode’ to prepare the team to become a competitor for the Canadian Football League’s Grey Cup.  Last year they eked through to compete, losing to the western competitor.

In the Words of Tiger-Cats Head Coach, Kent Austin:

Leadership is something you can learn.  Some people are more natural at it, but everyone can lead. Doesn't have anything to do with your title, rank, hierarchy.  It's a condition of your heart, a product of what you are, rather than where you are. You have to renew the way that you think, to value something at a deep level.  You are not transformed by your heart're transformed by the way you think!

I didn't really learn any of these things I believe in terms of leadership until later in my playing career as a pro.  Early on, I was too self-absorbed.  Should have had better balance between my individual goals and the  team goals.  When you strip it all away, Leadership is nothing more than the ability to influence.  You can be confident, but if you are incompetent, it doesn't matter. If you lack the ability to articulate that competence in a way that influences those around you, you won't be successful either.

What players want to know is:
Can you help them to become the best player possible
in a way that they know that's it's about them...and not about you as a coach?

I believe in the servant leadership model.  I believe you demonstrate leadership by first serving and modelling what it is you are asking someone else to do.  If you are not willing to do that, then you cannot earn their trust. As a player, I was always a perfectionist...and that's not always good. It has to be tempered properly with an understanding of both your strengths and weaknesses. The players around you need to have a general sense that you're going to get it done...that you're going to do what it takes so that everyone can be successful.

The most important thing is the philosophical viewpoint that we believe in (not just talk about)  that has to be 100 % authentic;  it has to be demonstrated on a consistent word and our coaches every day. Be reasonable about expectations from other people.

Colin Powell stated:
Leadership is solving problems. 
The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems,
is the day you have stopped leading them.
They have either lost confidence that you can help...
or concluded you do not care.
Either case, is a failed leadership.

Learn to Lead by Example
written by Derek Doyle to the Hamilton Spectator

Be a Good Communicator, a Good Listener...and Others will Follow!

Leadership often appears to embrace contradictory perceptions.  Is the leader a boss or a servant?  Effective leadership can mean ruling the world...or perhaps destroying it.  How can a leader be a visionary and direct change while being responsive at the same time?  How does a leader find the proper balance between being a good communicator and a good listener? 

As a realtor, my responsibility is to lead my clients to success. If I could pick one key principle I have found to be effective, it would be that a leader must be and  must do what they want to see in their team/organization, etc.  Therefore,  one must lead by example.  Only then, will you influence others to follow. Being surrounded by leaders and  learning from their experiences, disappointments, failures and successes has been an eduction is itself. Through these discussions, I have learned that maturing as a leader has no final destination.  That's what keeps it so challenging, rewarding and fresh.

Words of Wisdom

All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers.
(Orison Swett Marden)

If your actions inspire others to...dream more...learn more
and become more...You are a Leader.
(John Quincy Adams)

A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame...
and a little less than his share of the credit.
(Arnold H. Glascow)

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 15, 2014
Comments are to:

Post Note:  On Sunday, November 23, in their own Tim Hortons Field, our team defeated the Montreal Alouettes  in a decisive 40-24 win, claiming the Eastern Division title…competing for the Grey Cup next Sunday in Vancouver’s B.C Place against the Calgary Stampeders (Western Division winner).  Of the capacity sell-out crowd, Kent Austin stated, “It. Was. Awesome!  We knew it would be…we knew the fans would show up…that they’d be loud and proud…and they did!”

Sunday, November 23, 2014

"Target Stores"

Guess Who's Not Going to Shop There?

Target Stores are now in Canada...since March or April of 2013.  They have taken over the Zeller's Stores (previously owned by the Hudson Bay Company).  Target is looking for new areas as they are getting a very bad reception in the United States...due to their non-Christian attitudes and policies.

Target Stores Head Office is in France...which is now 
 Muslim-controlled...and explains the 'non-Christian' attitude.

We support Canadian Tire (Canada’s largest retailer), Dollarama, Home Hardware, Hudson’s Bay, Sears Canada…and clothing stores of Holt-Renfrew, Le Chateau, Reitmans…also small business owners…plus  5 or 6 major banks, etc...those which are Canadian-owned and operated. 

Target Stores...what a surprise!  Wasn't it last Christmas that Target refused to let the Salvation Army  ring their bells in front of their stores???  Dick Forrey of the Vietnam Veterans Association wrote, “Recently, we asked the local TARGET store to be a proud sponsor of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall during our Spring recognition event.”  Remember, there are also Canadians occupying space on these Walls.  We received the following reply from the local TARGET management:

Veterans do not meet our Area of Giving.
We only donate to the arts, social action groups,
gay and lesbian causes and education.

So, I'm thinking, if the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall and Veterans in general, do not meet their donation criteria...then something is really wrong at the TARGET Store.  We were not asking for thousands of dollars...not even hundreds...just a small sponsorship for a memorial remembrance.

As a follow-up, I e-mailed the TARGET US Corporate Headquarters and their response was the same. That's their National Policy!!!  Then, I looked into the company further.  They will not allow the Marines to collect for 'Toys for Tots' at any of their Stores.  And during the recent Iraq deployment, they would not allow families of employees who were called up for Active Duty, to continue their insurance coverage while they were on military service.

Now, I'm thinking again...If TARGET cannot support American or Canadian Veterans, then why should my family and I support their stores by spending our hard-earned-American or Canadian-dollars in their stores???  And have their profits sent to France to Support Muslim Organizations!!!

Sincerely, Dick Forrey...Veterans Helping Veterans!

Please send this on to everyone you know to let TARGET know...
we don't need them either...we're all in a position to reduce sales
to these stores as soon as this gets around.

And this notice in today's Hamilton Spectator states:
Target Canada says Holiday Sales
will be the Key to its Future Here.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written November 20, 2014
Comments to:

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Heart Attack...Self Survival Method

Life is more fragile than we think...
so we should treat others in a way that leaves no regrets.

When my sister died suddenly at age 56,
her husband regretted so many things he'd not discussed with her.
Stokes and  Heart Attacks (even to those in good health) can be Life Threatening!

A recent family member, at age 49 with no major health issues, had a massive heart attack categorized as a 'Widow Maker'. It was sudden...unexpected...and was shocking! A 'Guardian Angel' saved his life! 

In mid-October, Tom sent me the following information...
as a reminder of what one can do when alone:

Let's say, it's 7:25 pm and you're going home (alone of course) after an unusually hard day on the job.
You're really tired, upset and frustrated.

Suddenly, you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw.  You are only about 5 km from the hospital nearest home. Unfortunately, you don't know if you'll be able to make it that far.

You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course 
did not tell you how to perform it on yourself.
Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack without help,
the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint
has only about 10 seconds left...before losing consciousness.

These victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigourously.  A deep breath should be taken before each cough...and the cough must be deep and when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every 2 seconds without let-up until help arrives...or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs...and coughing movements squeeze the heart and  keep the blood circulating.  The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm.  In this way, heart attack victims can get to the hospital.

Tell as many other people as possible about this.  It could save their lives!!!

A cardiologist says, “If everyone who gets this mail,
kindly sends it to 10 other people, you can bet
that we'll save at least one life.
Please contribute by forwarding this mail. 
You need to be happy that you have many friends who care about you...
and being reminded of how to tackle...Heart Attacks!”
(Dr. N. Siva ~ Senior Cardiologist)

Driving in the Rain...this May Save Your Life!

Safe Driving Tips When It Is Raining!  Good Vision in a Downpour!

We are not sure why it is so effective.  Just try this method when it rains heavily. Recommended by a Police friend, who had experienced and confirmed it.  It is useful...even driving at night.  In the event you face this situation, just put on your SUN GLASSES...and experience the 'miracle'! 

All of a sudden,  the visibility in front of  your windshield is perfectly if there is no rain!  Make sure, you always have a pair of sunglasses in your car. You are not only helping yourself to drive safely with good vision, but also might save your friend's life by giving him this idea.  Try it yourself..and share it with your friends! 

Amazingly, you'll still see the drops on the windshield... not the sheet of rain falling.
You'll also see where the rain bounces off the road.  Wearing sunglasses works to eliminate the 'blindness' from passing cars...or the 'kick-up' if you are following a vehicle in the rain.

They ought to teach this little tip in driver's training.
It really does work  This is a good warning.
I wonder how many people knew about this.

Another Good Tip:

A 36 year old female had an accident 6 weeks ago. It was raining, though not excessively, when her car  suddenly began to hydro-plane and literally flew through the air.  She was not seriously injured, but very stunned  at the sudden occurrence!  When she explained to the Police Officer what happened, he told her something that every driver should know:
Never, Ever...Drive in the Rain with your Cruise Control On!!!

She, however, thought she was being cautious by setting the cruise control and maintaining a safe consistent speed in the rain.  But, the Police Officer told her, “If the Cruise Control is on, your car will in fact, begin to hydro-plane.  When the tires lose contact with the road, your car will automatically accelerate to a higher rate of speed...making you take off like an aeroplane.”

She told the Police Officer that was exactly what had occurred.  The Officer stated, “This warning should be listed on the driver's seat sun-visor ~ Never use the Cruise Control When the Road is Wet or Icy.  Along with the airbag warning, we tell our teenagers to set the Cruise Control and  drive a safe speed...but we don't tell them to use the Cruise Control Only when the road is dry.

The only person the accident victim found who knew this (besides the Officer) was a man who'd had a similar accident...totalled the car...and sustained severe injuries.

Even if  you send this to 15 people
and only one of them doesn't know about it...
it's still worth it ~ You may have Saved a Life!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written November 17, 2014
Comments are to:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

"For the Fallen"...

...written by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943).
Born in Lancaster, England, he was the son of a clergyman and educated at St. Paul's School and Trinity College, London. He was an English poet, dramatist and art scholar.

During September-October 1939 throughout ten Allied countries and upon the suggestion by the Allied Federation of Ex-Servicemen, the 25th anniversary of Laurence Binyon's For the Fallen was observed.
This is one of the most famous and enduring war poems...and it was written at an historic moment...just after the retreat from Mons and the victory of the Marne.

  With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
                                          England mourns for her dead across the sea.
                                          Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
                                          Fallen in the cause of the free.

                                          Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
                                          Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
                                          There is music in the midst of desolation
                                          And a glory that shines upon our tears.

                                          They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
                                          Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
                                          They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
                                          They fell with their faces to the foe.

                                          They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
                                          Age shall not worry them, nor the years condemn.
                                          At the going down of the sun and in the morning
                                          We will remember them.

                                          They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
                                          They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
                                          They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
                                          They sleep beyond England's foam.

                                          But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
                                          Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
                                          To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
                                          As the stars are known to the Night;

                                          As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
                                          Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain;
                                          As the stars that are starry in the time of darkness,
                                          To the end, to the end, they remain.
                                                         By Robert Laurence Binyon, 1914.

William Shakespeare wrote:
“Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The Valiant never taste of death but once.”

We Remember!

A dramatic photo by Barry Gray depicts a de-leafed gray-barren tree trunk 
with a few minor branches standing against a pale ashen sky...
attached to it are a few red poppies.

  Barry comments, “Every year people leave poppies in this tree
 in ‘Mark Graham Park’on Hamilton Mountain to honour the fallen soldier.”

Largest Hamilton Crowds, in memory, honour the Fallen!  Thousands upon thousands gathered, under sunny skies (also in outreaching areas of Stoney Creek, Ancaster and Flamborough) for outdoor ceremonies yesterday.  On television I watched CHCH’s coverage at Hamilton Warplane Heritage Museum where close to 3,000 were gathered…for tribute to Veterans and to our Lancaster, the focus of attention! 

Argyll Lt.-Col. Laurence Hatfield’s Address:  Remembrance Day, 2014 is about everybody who served.  I don’t believe anyone would think it is about one person.  It’s critical that we remember all,” he said adding that a total of 1,660 Argylls have paid the supreme sacrifice in the regiment’s history. “In Cirillo’s case, the Corporal was killed defending the most sacred ground in Canada.  It brought attention to sacrifice and service.  That is one of the small silver linings in the whole process.”   (excerpt from his message)

A “Lancaster crew” of seven veterans in attendance were personally recognized...
each representing his position in the warplane’s action during WWll...
pilot, 2 navigators, flight engineer, rear gunner and 2 bomb aimers.  
 Fred Coleman (navigator) wore his original uniform!

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted November 12, 2014
Comments appreciated…email to:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


(defined as 'Love for or Devotion to one's Country’)

Loyalty to country, ALWAYS.
Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.
(Mark Twain)

A love for tradition has never weakened a nation.
Indeed, it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril.
(Winston Churchill)

They wrote in the old days that it is
sweet and fitting to die for one's country.
But in modern war,
there is 'nothing sweet nor fitting' in your dying.
You will die like a dog for no good reason.
(Ernest Hemingway)

The following poem submitted by Sydney:

He was getting old and paunchy and his hair was falling fast.
And he sat around the Legion telling stories of the past.

Of a war that he once fought in and the deeds that he had done.
In his exploits with his buddies ~ they were heroes, every one.

And tho' sometimes to  his neighbours, his tales became a joke,
all his buddies listened quietly ~ for they knew where of he spoke.

But we'll hear  his tales no longer, for ol' Joe has passed away.
And the world's a little poorer ~  for a Veteran died today!

He won't be mourned by many...just his children and his wife.
For he lived an ordinary, very quiet sort of life.

He held a job and raised a family...going quietly on his way.
And the world won't note his passing...'tho a Veteran died today!

When politicians leave this earth, their bodies lie in state...
while thousands note their passing, and proclaim that they were great.

Papers tell of their life stories from the time that they were young...
But the passing of a Veteran goes unnoticed and unsung.

Is the greatest contribution to the welfare of this land
some jerk who breaks his promise  and cons his fellow man?

Or the ordinary fellow who in times of war and strife
goes off to serve his country and offers up his life?

The politician's stipend and the style in which he lives
are often disproportionate  to the service that he gives.

While the ordinary Veteran  who offered up his all
is paid off with a medal and perhaps a pension, small.

It is not the politicians with their compromise and ploys
who won for us the freedom  that our country now enjoys.

Should you find yourself in danger with your enemies at hand,
would you really want some cop-out with his ever-waffling stand?

Or would you want a Veteran, his home, his country, his kin...
just a common Veteran who would fight until the end?

He was just a common Veteran  and his ranks are growing thin,
but his presence should remind us...we may need his likes again.\

For, when countries are in conflict, we find the Veteran's part
is to clean up all the troubles that the politicians start.

If we cannot do him honour while he's here, to hear the praise,
then at least, give him homage at the ending of his days.

Perhaps, just a simple headline in the paper that might say,

George S. Patton Jr. wrote,
“It is a proud privilege to be a soldier ~
a good soldier with discipline, self-respect, pride in his unit and his country,
a high sense of duty and obligation to his comrades and superiors  ~
and a self-confidence born of demonstrated ability.”

Merle Baird-Kerr...written September 10, 2014
To comment...e-mail to:

Friday, November 7, 2014

"Just Stay"

 (For this heart-warming story, I graciously thank Sydney.)

A nurse took the tired, anxious serviceman to the bedside.
“Your son is here,” she said to the old man.
She had to repeat the words several times
before the patient's eyes opened.

Heavily sedated because of the pain of his heart attack, he dimly saw the young uniformed Marine who was standing outside the oxygen tent.  He reached out his hand. The Marine wrapped his toughened fingers around the old man's limp ones, squeezing a message of love and encouragement.

The nurse brought a chair so that the Marine could sit beside the bed.  All through the night, the young Marine sat there in the poorly lighted ward, holding the old man's hand and offering him words of love and strength.  Occasionally, the nurse suggested that the Marine move away and rest awhile.

He refused.  Whenever the nurse came into the ward, the Marine was oblivious of her and of the night noises of the hospital ~ the clanking of the oxygen tank..the laughter of the night staff members who were exchanging greetings...the cries and moans of the other patients.

Now and then, she heard him say a few gentle words.  The dying man said nothing...only held tightly to his son all through the night. Along towards dawn, the old man died.  The Marine released the now lifeless hand he'd been holding and went to tell the nurse.  While she did what she had to do, he waited.

Finally, she returned.  She started to offer words of sympathy, but the Marine interrupted her.  “Who was that man?” he asked. The nurse was startled, “He was your father,” she answered.  “No, he wasn't,” the Marine replied. “I never saw him before in my life.”

“Then why didn't you say something when I took you to him?”

“I knew right away there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son, and his son just wasn't here.  When I realized that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son, knowing how much he needed me, I stayed. 

“I came here tonight to find Mr. William Gray.  His son was...killed in Iraq today and I was sent to inform him.  What was this Gentleman's Name?”

The nurse, with tears in her eyes answered, “Mr. William Gray......

Message to Mankind:  The next time someone needs you...just be there.  Stay!
We are not human beings going through a temporary spiritual experience.
We are spiritual beings going through a temporary human experience.
This is what we are put on this Earth to do anyway.

“More Than a Name on the Wall”

The lyrics of this song tell of a mother walking up to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial located in Washington, DC and finding her son's name on the Memorial Wall.  She talks to God, telling Him how much she misses her boy and what he meant to her. John Rimel and Jimmy Fortune wrote these words in 1988.  At the time, Fortune was singing tenor with The Statler Brothers and they recorded it in 1989. Their rendition became a big hit with the Virginia group and in 1990, it was named ~
The Top Country Music Single of the year.
Now retired, The Statler Brothers had a weekly television program which I diligently watched. A few months ago, they appeared on Gaither Gospel Hour with their “Farewell Concert” after a 39 year career... and sang this song...“a moving tribute to our servicemen who keep our country free.”

I saw her from a distance as she walked up to the wall ~
In her hand she held some flowers as her tears began to fall.
And she took out pen and paper as to trace her memories
and she looked up to heaven and the words she said were these:

She said, “Lord, my boy was special and he meant so much to me...
and Oh, I'd love to see him just one more time, you see.
All I have are the memories and the moments to recall.
So, Lord, could you tell Him, he's more than a name on the wall?

She said he really missed the family and being home on Christmas Day
and he died for God and country in a place so far away.
                                  I remember, just a little boy playing war since he was three;
But Lord, I know this  time...he's not coming home to me.

And she said, “Lord, my boy was special and he meant so much to me
and Oh, I'd love to see him...but I know it just can't be.
So I thank you for my memories and the moments to recall.
But Lord, could you tell him...he's more than a name on the wall?”

“Lord, could you tell him...
He's  more than a name on the wall?”

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC honours US service members of the United States Armed Forces who fought in the Vietnam War and those who died in service in Vietnam, South East Asia and the service members who were unaccounted for (missing in action during the war?).

Merle Baird-Kerr...written September 10, 2014
Comments appreciated...e-mail to:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Remembrance...of Events

True Life Story-ettes

An article by Jeff Mahoney (Hamilton Spectator), tells of  a few war remembrances as related to him.

Mae Davies, of Hamilton Mountain had an older brother.  “He was 18 when I was born.  My mother thought I was a tumour until it became clear she was having a baby.”  So when said brother, George Carnegie, went off to WWII in 1939, Mae was hardly more than an infant.

Although exchanging letters and pictures while he served overseas, George didn't talk much about the war after he returned in 1945. His mother did notice that the army had taught him some good habits.  Like making his bed.  Wrong!  It was Mae doing it for him. George died recently, age 93.

George drove a large munitions convoy truck in the Italian campaign.  He rigged a still in the back of the truck and made liquor from Italian oranges explaining perhaps, his life-long love of Grand Marnier.
As the liberation of Italy proceeded apace, George and his unit stopped at a farmhouse. The farmer and his wife made the most delicious  meal of roasted rabbit with slivers of garlic pushed into the meat.  Best of all, the farmer dug something out of the ground:  the one thing he'd kept out of the Nazi's hands.  His homemade red wine!  Priorities, right?  They drank it with the meal.

Jen Potter told about workouts at a gym she attends in Ancaster run by Eddie Warne.  He's ex-British military (served in Iraq).  “All last week,” says Jen, “every workout at the gym was based on the numbers from a different war.  Tuesday was WW2 ~ and we had to do presses to represent the number of soldiers;  skips for the number of countries involved; and 12 'man maker' exercises for the kid who lied about his age at 12 to serve overseas.” 

Eddie has poppies on his workout shirts.  In a recent strongman competition in the United States, he remitted his winnings to the favourite charity of a vet he was honouring.

How serious is this guy about keeping the spirit of Remembrance Day going all year around?  He named his daughter Poppy.

Lorraine Sommerfeld (Journalist)
says, “Thank you to All Who Serve!”

“Did you serve?” I was asked. I looked at the young man taking my money as I paid for a  magazine recently at Jacksonville airport.  I'm sure my blank expression  confused him, because it took him a moment to gesture my outfit.  I'd been laughing the day before with a friend at the surplus store, discovering I could buy desert camo pants.  And now, I felt like a fraud!

We are removed from war even as we are in the midst of it.  Real life, real-time violent images seem to be blunted by the ridiculous culture we've created that has decided we want to reflect that violence in our entertainment.  War as entertainment ~ it's no wonder those who are returning from actual war zones find peace in broken bodies...and even more, broken minds.

Canada is a peacekeeper, we're repeatedly told. But don't forget for a moment that these men and women are fully trained and ready to face combat if that peace in another nation is threatened.

Frequently, I drive the Highway of Heroes ~ that stretch designated as a fallen soldier's last ride.  I wonder how many signed up, planning on becoming heroes.  “Did you serve?” echoes in my brain and I realize this is the word...Serve.  I am reminded that those who die serving, have offered up all they have, and those who have been damaged doing the same thing have lost who they used to be.

Growing up, Remembrance Day meant considering something much removed from my sensibilities.  Watching old men at ceremonies, proudly displaying ribbons and pins that I found colourful, but very confounding.  I associated the day with standing in the cold, very quietly, to be respectful while peering cautiously around...wondering how grown people could cry so silently. Even as I learned more, I was still unable to grasp how they couldn't leave the past  behind...step out of the pain, much like they'd stepped out of their uniforms. Now we have entire generations all over the world, who have shown me...the pain lives on. Kids, as young as my own, are choosing to serve!

Thank You to David who sends the following poem:

Honour the Warriors whose blood is the price
For our way of life, be they our own or Ally and Friend.

These young are the ones who pay in the end.
Herodotus quoted, “Fathers bury their sons.”

'Tis always that way when a war must be won;
The young Man or Woman who stand in Harm's Way
Are owed such a debt we cannot repay.

So, Honour our Dead...speak not ill of them.
Remember their lives...their courage...their will.

Herodotus, a Greek historian (484-425 BC) wrote,
In times of peace, Sons bury their Fathers.
In time of war...Fathers bury their sons.

Composed by Merle Baird-Kerr...October 10, 2014
Comments appreciated...e-mail to:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Collage...for November 2014

From Planet Earth Calendar

Upside Down Tree:  To many encountering the Baobob Tree for the first time, it looks as though it were planted upside down...with its roots sticking up in the air.  The legends of Africa where the tree grows, further the myth that the gods planted it that way because...they were tired of hearing the tree moan for lack of water.  Actually, the Baobob's branches are on the top and its roots firmly in the ground.  It does have a unique ability, though, to survive...even flourish in its harsh environment. 

The Baobob is is protected by a thick trunk, nearly 100 feet in circumference.  The tissues of the trunk are like sponges, capable of retaining as much as 32,000 gallons of water.  This storage capacity allows the tree to survive the dry season of several months.  The longevity of the Baobob is also legendary.  Some trees are believed to be 6000 years old.

Did You Know?
(from the Canadian Wildlife Federation 2014 Calendar)
The Porcupine is one of Canada's best-known animals ~ famous for its spiky quills, obscured by long guard hairs. Less well-known ~  Porcupines are the second largest rodent in Canada, next to the Beaver.

Message from the Canadian Red Cross
(This month's sunset photo:  East Quoddy Lighthouse, Campbello Island, New Brunswick)

November is CPR month.  Effective CPR provided immediately after any cardiac arrest, can double a victim's chance of survival.  Knowing what to do in these critical minutes can save a life.  Take first aid training from the Canadian Red Cross so you know what to do.  Visit

Nationally, the number of drunk driving deaths
has been cut almost in half since MADD was founded in 1980.

Niagara Falls and Great Gorge
(from Niagara Falls Canada Calendar 2014)

Hop the helicopter to be right on the brink
of the Niagara River's deep greens and blue... as it rushes and gushes
the rim of the Horseshoe Falls ~ truly mighty and magnificent!
Amazing sights are part of the Authentic Falls Experience that has been presented to the world by Niagara Parks since 1885.  Royalty...state leaders...celebrities...and honeymooners  ~ all make  up the millions of visitors that explore Niagara Falls and Great Gorge every year.

A small picture insert...The Bridge of also shown, a walkway adorned with baskets of yellow flowers along its sides (which I've not yet discovered).

Special Event Days
November 2 (Sunday) ~ Daylight Saving Time ends.
November 11 (Tuesday) ~ Remembrance Day
November 16 (Saturday) ~ International Day of Tolerance
November 19 (Wednesday) ~ World Day for the Prevention of Child Abuse
November 20 (Thursday) ~ Sir Wilfred Laurier Day
November 21 (Friday) ~ World Fisheries Day
November 27 (Thursday) ~ Thanksgiving Day (United States)
...wrongly stated in October

Flower and Garden Philosophy
Friendship is a sheltering tree.
(Samuel Taylor Coleridge)

Trivia Tidbits

Right or Left?  Researchers at the University of Adelaide in South Australia have found evidence that left-pawed dogs may be more aggressive than right-pawed dogs.  Just as the left-and right-handedness in humans, dogs showed a preference for using one paw over the other when doing a tricky task.  In its study, 75 dogs of different breeds  were observed as they attempted to get food out of a cylindrical toy.  The researchers identified which paw each dog favoured.  Owners of the left-pawed dogs reported their dogs were aggressive, especially when approached by strangers.
In a personal ad, the abbreviation ANI means what?
Finish the popular saying, “Birds of a father......”.
Septuplets consist of how many babies?
What travels around the world, yet stays in one spot?
What did the zero say to the number 8?
Answers to the above are in random order:  
seven...age not important...postage stamp...nice belt...flock together.

November Musings

How silently they tumble down and come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare
beneath the trees without a care...
Content to sleep...their work well done.

At other times they wildly fly until they nearly reach the sky...
twisting, turning through the air
'til all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to earth below to children for the snow.
(Elsie N. Brody ~ “Leaves”)

November comes and November goes
with the last red berries and the first white snows.
With night coming early and dawn coming late,
there's ice in the bucket and frost by the gate.
The fire burns and the kettles sing
and the earth sinks to rest until next spring.
(Elizabeth Coatsworth)

Merle Baird-Kerr...written October 12, 2014
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