Saturday, April 29, 2017

Facing Life's Hurdles

If a parent told his child, “An elephant is a big animal dwelling in Asia or Africa,” you and I both know there are many, many other facts unknown to the child. Life is an much to building block at a time...each experience adding to the existing knowledge.
Someone stated, “A person doesn't know...what he doesn't know!”
Life can be a 'precipice' or it can be a 'mountain top' experience. Throughout the italicized VALUES, contributed by Dilu, I insert a few “clip-its” from novels read the past few years.

To realize the value of a sister or brother ~ ask someone who doesn't have one.
To realize the value of ten years ~ ask a newly divorced couple.
To realize the value of four years ~ ask a graduate.
To realize the value of one year ~ ask a student who has failed a final exam.

From The Winter Vault by Anne Michael: A white-haired man sitting on a bench near the hospital, speaking to Jean in Cairo (having a brief walk, after losing her baby...teary-eyed, disconsolate, lonely and feeling guilty) consolingly spoke, “Do not confuse Fate with Destiny. Fate is dead! Destiny is liquid...alive like a bird. There are consequences and there is mystery...and sometimes they look the same. All your self-knowledge won't bring you peace. Seek something else. One can never forgive oneself anyway ~ for you, it takes another person to forgive ~ and for that, you could wait forever!”

To realize the value of nine months ~
ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.
To realize the value of one month ~
ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

From A Certain Smile by Judith Michael: As Miranda and Li approached the market in a clearing between apartment buildings, old men in baggy pants and faded jackets were hanging covered birdcages on wire hooks dangling from the branches of scrawny trees. When the men pulled off the covers, the canaries and parakeets began to sing. They sang and sang, joyful with the freedom of the sunlight, hopping from perch to floor and back to swinging perch while the old men sat on worn tree stumps gossiping. Li commented, “They do this every day. Their apartments are cramped and dark and they bring their birds here for fresh air. Sometimes they swing the cages in wide circles ~ they call this 'exercising' the birds.” Miranda stated, “How lovely...they all get to escape! Look at them, how happy they are...the men and the birds all sharing the same freedom!”
Li remarked, “We all have more than one cage...and we can escape.
Miranda, what are your cages?”

To realize the value of one week ~ ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of a minute ~ ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.
To realize the value of a second ~ ask a person who has survived an accident.

From Matters of the Heart by Danielle Steel: Hope Dunn, a renowned photographer of humanities had lived in India, Tibet and Nepal. She was not a Buddhist...but shared philosophies with them in that she didn't fight what happened to her. Instead, drifted with it...allowing life to carry her from one experience to the next. It was that...and wisdom that shone through her work. An Acceptance of Life as it really was...rather than try to force it to be what one wanted, knowing it never could be. She was a strong reed...bending in the wind...beautiful...and resilient.
Time waits for no one.
Treasure every moment you have.
You will treasure it even more ~ when you can share it with someone special.
To realize the value of a friend or family member ~ LOSE ONE!

A Learn-ed Philosophy
In life, we are in proximity to workers, whether business or service personnel who provide transportation, entertainment and our daily needs of life...even neighbours with whom we converse... sometimes without thought or reason. Often, what we say is 'counter-productive' with one's own words being misunderstood or misconstrued...resulting in negative reception.
The solution to this dilemma is: Think Before You Speak!
(to ensure clarity)

The following “Hormone Guide” illustrates the foregoing philosophy...”How to Speak to a Woman!

Dangerous: What's for dinner?
Safer: Can I help you with dinner?
Safest: Where would you like to go for dinner?
Ultra Safe: Here, have some wine!

Dangerous: Are you wearing that?
Safer: You sure look good in brown.
Safest: WOW! Look at you !
Ultra Safe: Here, have some wine!

Dangerous: What are you so worked up about?
Safer: Could we be over-reacting?
Safest: Here's my paycheck.
Ultra Safe: Here, have some wine!

Dangerous: Should you be eating that?
Safer: You know there are a lot of apples left.
Safest: Can I get you a piece of chocolate with that?
Ultra Safe: Here, have some wine!

Dangerous: What did you DO all day?
Safer: I hope you didn't over-do it today.
Safest: I've always loved you in that robe!
Ultra Safe: Here, have some wine!

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...January 16, 2015
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Wine Benevolence

Ernest Hemingway's Positive 'Spin on Wine'
Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world 
and one of the most natural things of the world
that has been brought to the greatest perfection ~
and it offers a greater range of enjoyment and appreciation
than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.”

Age Appears to be Best in Four things:
Old wood, best to burn;
Old wine to drink;
Old friends to trust and
Old authors to read.
(Francis Bacon)

Wine is Not the Only Drink Good for You
(Thanks to Jeanne for sharing this with us)
A reporter interviews 101-year-old Hattie MacDonald of Feague, Kentucky:
Reporter: Can you give us some health tips for reaching the age of 101?
Hattie: For better digestion, I drink beer.
In case of appetite-loss, I drink white wine.
For low blood pressure, I drink red wine.
In case of high blood pressure, I drink scotch.
And when I have a cold, I drink Schnapps.
Reporter: When do you drink water?
Hattie: I've never been that sick.

Wine is the most healthful and most hygienic of beverages.
(Louis Pasteur)

Sorrow can be alleviated by a good sleep, a bath
and a glass of wine.
(Thomas Aquinas)

Age is just a number.
It's totally irrelevant, unless of course, you happen to be the bottle.
(Joan Collins)

Wine Does Not Make You FAT!
It and taxes make you LEAN
against tables, chairs, flower vases, walls and ugly people!

A man and a woman sitting at a cocktail table:
She has a standard glass of White Wine.
His is an enormously huge tall glass filled with red wine and proclaims:
I limit myself to one glass of wine each day.”

Last night, sitting on the couch with my husband, I said, 'I Love You!'
He asked, “Is that you or the wine talking?”
I said, “It's me talking to the wine!”

Some of us may be like W.C. Fields who said,
I cook with wine...sometimes I even add it to the food.”

and I just cannot resist these other quotes by men of knowledge:
Martin Luther ~ Beer is made by by God.
Benjamin Franklin ~ Wine is constant proof that God loves us...and loves to see us happy.
Pope John XXIII ~ Men are like wine...some turn to vinegar...but the best improve with age.
Omar Khayyan ~ A loaf of bread...a jug of wine...and Thou!

Scripted by Merle Baird-Kerr...October 22, 2015
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Friday, April 21, 2017

Asparagus...How It Got Its Name

Thank you, Tom, for this unique rendition!

A sixth grader, about age 10, was asked to write a book report
on the entire Bible. Here is what he wrote:

The Children's Bible in a Nutshell

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness and some gas. The Bible says, “The Lord thy God is one,” but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, “Give me a light!” and someone did. Then God made the world. He split Adam and made Eve.

Adam and Eve were naked, but they were not embarrassed because mirrors hadn't been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden...not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn't have cars. Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Able. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check. After Noah came Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name is Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh's people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels and no cable. God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. They included...don't lie, cheat, smoke, dance or covet your neighbour's stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humour thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses' best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy to use spies. Joshua fought the Battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town. After Joshua, came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son called Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn't sound very wise to me. After Solomon, there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don't have to worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New Testament. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, “Close the Door! Were you born in a barn?” It would be nice to say, “As a matter of fact, I was.”)

During his life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him. Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn't stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven, but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the Book of Revolution.

A New Explanation of Creation

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.
He populated Earth with broccoli, spinach, cauliflower; green, yellow and red vegetables
of all kinds so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then, using God's great gifts, Satan created “Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Krispy Crème Donuts. And Satan asked, “Do you want chocolate with that?” And Man said, “Yes!” And the woman said, “ As long as you're at it, add some sprinkles.” And they gained 10 pounds. And Satan smiled!

And God created the healthy yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair. And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat and sugar from the cane and combined them. And Woman went from size 6 to size 14. And God said, “Try my fresh green salad.” And Satan presented Thousand-Island-Dressing, buttery croutons and garlic toast on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said, “I have sent you hearty healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them. Satan then brought forth deep fried fish and chicken-fried-steak so big it needed its own platter. And Man gained more weight and his cholesterol went through the roof. God then, created a light, fluffy white cake, naming it Angel Food Cake and said, “It is Good!” Satan then created chocolate cake and named it Devil's Food Cake and said, “It is sinfully Good!”

God then brought forth running shoes so that His children might lose their extra pounds. And Satan gave them cable TV with a remote control so Man would not have to toil changing channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering blue light and gained pounds.

Then God brought for the the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with nutrition. Satan peeled off the healthful skin, slicing the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them. And Man gained pounds. God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite. And Satan created McDonald's with its 99-cent-double cheeseburger. Then said, “Do you want fries with that?” And Man replied, “Yes! And super-size them!” And Satan said, “It is good!” And Man went into cardiac arrest. God then created quadruple bypass surgery. Then Satan created HMO's!

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds
if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon. (Doug Larson)

Proverbs: A cooked tomato is like a cooked oyster: ruined! (Andre Simon)
A 'meat and potatoes person' means someone who prefers plain and simple things. (Anonymous)
A woman is like an artichoke; you must work hard to get to their heart. (Inspector Jacques Clouseau)
A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins. (Laurie Colwin)
An onion can make one cry; there's never been a vegetable that can make people laugh. (Will Rogers)
Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education. (Thomas Nash)

Merle Baird-Kerr...compiled July 16, 2014
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Monday, April 17, 2017

Asparagus ~ The Good Guy Vegetable

The medicine man/woman is a traditional healer among Native Americans in US and First Nations in Canada. They bridge the function between 'the natural world and the spiritual world' for the benefit of the community (not to be confused with the Chinese barefoot doctors or herbalists). Some people believe that native healing can be used effectively to treat a variety of human ailments including heart disease, diabetes and cancer. They believed that health was an expression of the spirit ~ and a continual process of staying strong spiritually, mentally and physically.

Now generations later, modern medicine realizes the nutritional (and possibly life-saving) values of specific fruits and 'preventive medicine' to aid our current physical deficiencies.

The following are excerpts from an article sent by Dilu:

A Military Man Writes from Personal Experience:..When I was in the USN I was stationed in Key West, Florida, I worked at the clinic at Naval Air Station on Big Coppitt Key, just a few miles north of Key West. The hospital at Key West was for outpatients only for retired armed forces personnel that lived locally. If you needed to be hospitalized, you were sent to Homestead AFB Florida. I had the day off and just went inside the hospital. There was a retired navy man who worked in the lab...a retired biochemist from the USN. A sailor there had a very bad kidney infection...and this gentleman told me the man should have eaten more asparagus and he wouldn't have that problem. I responded that I love asparagus. He asked, “Do you notice how your urine stinks after eating asparagus?” I agreed that it does have a pungent odour, because it is detoxicating your body of harmful chemicals. This incident was back in 1986 when I was stationed there. “Eat more asparagus,” I told my friends.

Asparagus ~ Who Knew?

My mom had been taking the full-stalk canned style asparagus, pureed it and took 4 tablespoons later in the day. She did this for over a month. She is on chemo pills for Stage 3 lung cancer in the pleural area and her cancer cell count went from 386 down to 125 as of this past week. Her oncologist said she will not need to see him for 3 months.

Several years ago, I met a man seeking asparagus for a friend who had cancer. He gave me a copy of an article entitled...Asparagus for Cancer...printed in the Cancer News Journal, December 1979. “ I am a biochemist and have specialized in the relation of diet to health for over 50 years. Learning of the discovery of Richard R. Vensal, D.D.S. that asparagus might cure cancer, I have worked with him on his project. We have accumulated a number of favourable case histories.”

Case No. 1: A man with an almost hopeless case of Hodgkin's Disease (cancer of the lymph glands) who was completely incapacitated. Within 1 year of starting the asparagus therapy, his doctors were unable to detect any signs of cancer, and he was back on a schedule of strenuous exercise.

Case No. 2: A successful businessman, 68 years old, suffered from bladder cancer for 16 years. After years of medical treatments, including radiation without improvement, he began by taking asparagus. Within 3 months, examinations revealed his bladder tumour disappeared and his kidneys were normal.

Case No. 3: On March 5, 1971, a man who had lung cancer was put on the operating table where they found lung cancer so widely spread that it was inoperable. The surgeon sewed him up and declared his case hopeless. On April 5th he heard about the asparagus therapy and immediately started taking it. By August, x-ray pictures revealed that all signs of the cancer had disappeared. He is now back at his regular business routine.

Case No. 4: A woman had been troubled for a number of years with skin cancer, developing different skin cancers which were diagnosed by the acting specialist as 'advanced'. Within 3 months after using the asparagus therapy, the skin specialist said her skin looked fine with no more skin lesions. This same woman reported that the asparagus therapy also cured her of kidney disease. She'd had over 10 operations for kidney stones...and was receiving disability payments for an inoperable, terminal kidney condition. She attributes the cure of this kidney trouble entirely to the asparagus treatment.

For the treatment, asparagus should be cooked before using.
(Fresh or canned asparagus can be used.)
I have corresponded with two leading canners of asparagus, Giant and Stokely, and am satisfied that these brands contain no pesticides or preservatives.

Place the cooked asparagus in a blender and liquefy to make a puree.
Store in the refrigerator.
Give the patient 4 full tablespoons twice daily, morning and evening.
Patients usually show some improvement in 2 to 4 weeks.
It can be diluted with water and used as a cold or hot drink.
This suggested dosage is based on present experience, but certainly larger amounts can do no harm.

As a biochemist, I am convinced of the old saying that 'what cures, can prevent'. Based on this theory, my wife and I have been using asparagus puree as a beverage with our meals. For years, we have made it a practice to have blood surveys taken as part of our regular checkups. The last blood survey, taken by a medical doctor who specializes in the nutritional approach to health, showed substantial improvements in all categories over the last one...and we can attribute these improvements to nothing but the asparagus drink.

As a biochemist, I have made an extensive study of all aspects of cancer...
and of all the proposed cures. As a result, I am convinced that
asparagus fits in better with the later theories about cancer.

Asparagus contains a good supply of protein called 'histones', which are believed to actively control cell growth. For that reason, I believe asparagus can be said to contain a substance that I call 'cell growth normalizer'. That accounts for its action on cancer and in acting as a general body tonic. In any event, regardless of theory, asparagus used as we suggest, is a harmless substance. The FDA cannot prevent you from using it...and it may do you much good. It has been reported by the US National Cancer Institute, that asparagus is the highest tested food containing glutathione, which is considered one of the body's most potent and anti-carcinogens and antioxidants.

Just a Side Note...
In case you're wondering why this has not been made public,
There is No Profit in Curing Cancer!

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr...November 9, 2014
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Ten Personal Signals of Spring

As a child, my father helped my sister and me to build snow forts on our farm's side yard. Then, the snow came in November and remained until March/April. When the sun and its spring temperatures hit, our snow forts were doomed to disappear.

My mother had extensive gardens. I knew Spring must be imminent when she examined her dahlia bulbs wintering-over in the cellar.

We knew it was Spring when the snow melted and anything that had been lost or discarded (hidden under the snowy blanket) was revealed...even large brown masses of 'dog poop'.

The calendar indicates that Spring arrives on March 21; however, it was “Spring Break” in High School that reminded us that Summer was not far behind.

I knew it was Spring when 'snow drops' peeked through the soft snow; then the red and yellow tulips in all their glory sprang up, followed by our 'host of golden daffodils'.

When school ended yearly in June, I knew it was time to be my father's 'hired farm help'...without pay. In Spring we had prepared the fields for planting. Summer brought fresh pure scents of unpolluted air and the clearly heard train whistles as they chugged along the rails like a 'caravan of moving metal'.

I knew it was Spring when College days ended...and I was off afar to earn my fees for the ensuing semesters. They were jobs that paid me it 'Hostess at a Muskoka resort'...working in British Columbia's rural mountain towns...even assisting my father at his now gas station business.

Spring arrived for me when we could walk woodland trails and be enthralled with Ontario's provincial flower...the white 'trillium' (occasionally pink). Never to pick or transplant from its habitat.

April showers bring forth May flowers”...a true Spring omen. Yet, according to 'Hagar the Horrible' cartoon, he tells 'Lucky Eddie': I love a good Spring soaking! The rain brings everything to life! I feel like dancing too! And Eddie grumblingly states...I am NOT dancing! I'm trying not to step on the worms the rain has brought up!

Spring is what I felt in my youth: Summer would be a dip in Whiteman's Creek. Autumn, the raking of leaves and harvesting fruits and vegetables...the cutting of grain and corn. It was also the beginning of the school year, whether student or teaching. Winter meant skating on the frozen farm pond or skiing mountain slopes.
Spring...can always be renewed...starting a new cycle...
every day, every year, every month. It can be never-ending!

The beautiful Spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness,
the human soul is apt to revive also. (Harriet Ann Jacobs)

Emerging Surprises of Spring
Paul Benedetti says it best in a published Spectator issue.

Call me cautious, but I just decided this week to get my snow tires off. Until recently, I was still wearing long underwear. I have to admit this made for some pretty warm committee meetings, but you never know when you're going to get a late-spring cold snap and I like to be prepared. As anyone in Canada knows, a couple of warm weekends is like a couple good dates. Neither means you won't get dumped ~ or dumped on.

But I have to admit there are some signs that tell me spring is truly here..Yes, yes, there's the red robin hopping across your lawn looking for worms. I can tell it's spring because the snow, melted by the ever-warming sun, has revealed about a million cigarette butts on my front lawn...courtesy of my son and all of his assorted pals who smoke. These little devils are impervious to the rake and demand closer attention. Oh, what a lovely spring tradition it has now become for me to don my work jeans and boots and then, on my hands and knees, hand-pick a mere 20 or 40 dozen butts out of the lawn. I then plant them in the back garden and by the fall, I'll have 10 or 20 beautiful cigarette bushes blooming to beat the band. They yield a good pack and a half each. Isn't nature wonderful?

I can tell it's spring when I walk out onto the porch on a Saturday morning to fetch the paper in my underwear (I'm in my underwear, not the paper) and I take a deep breath of the early spring morning air. What I actually get is a pungent and unmistakably unpleasant nosefull of what the French delightfully call 'Eau de Merde de Chien' (That's Dog Poo for those of us who dropped French like a hot frying pan in high school) that is gently carried on a light wind throughout the neighbourhood. The aroma is the product of thousands of winter dog deposits that owners were too tired ...too cold...or too lazy to bag in the sub-zero temperatures. You can hide a lot of stuff under a blanket of snow...but eventually the sins of winter are the surprises of spring.

I can tell spring has arrived when I take a look at my car in the bright light and realize that I haven't washed it in about four months. Between the three pounds of caked-on road salt and months of accumulated dirt and debris, the interior looks pretty bad. And you should see the outside. I must wash it. The first day of summer sounds like a good time for that.

I know Spring has come when I can once again hear the gentle tweets and twitters and musical calls of the birds, clearly happy it's no longer minus 30 out. Of course, that chirping gently wakes me at about 3:45 a.m. and continues incessantly until I rage out onto the porch in my underwear banging pots together and yelling hysterically. Judging by the look I get from passing joggers, you'd think they've never seen a dishevelled man armed with kitchen utensils. People need to get out more!

I can tell it's spring when my neighbours, like the green leaves of my tulips, start poking their heads out and, one after another, emerge, smiling and greeting each other on the front lawns and sidewalks.

When the kids ~ and thankfully we have a lot of them around us ~ gather to play road hockey, their shouts of 'He scores!' or 'Carrrrrrrr!' ringing out along the roadway. Or to shoot hoops into a net they rolled onto the street or laughing their heads off in the fresh air without their iPods or smart phones or head phones.
Just the bright, warm sunshine of spring.

(Paul Benedetti lives in Hamilton. He teaches journalism at Western University.)

Merle Baird-Kerr...written April 27, 2015

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lessons on Death

As a well-spent day brings a happy sleep,
So a life, well used, brings a happy death. (Leonardo DaVinci)

There are only two ways to live your life:
One is as though nothing is a miracle;
The other is as though everything is a miracle! (Albert Einstein)

In the end, it's not the years in your life that counts...
It's the Life in your years. (Abraham Lincoln)

Not being a topic I'd normally write about, a recent article in The Hamilton Spectator captured my attention. The following are excerpts from a true-life article written by Paul Moon and published in the New York Times...titled “A Father's Livelihood.”

Before the age of 12, I had seen about a dozen dead bodies. For me, it was actually a pretty typical childhood because my father was a funeral director. I always thought it was funny that on 'Take Your Child to Work Day' my friends would go to a doctor's office or a police station and I would go to a funeral home to watch my dad work on dead people. I learned early on in my life exactly where the road ends for all of us. My father, James Moon, retired recently and it occurred to me that I had never asked him why he decided to go into the funeral business. When I traveled home to Colorado for the holidays, I decided to find out.
'Twenty-two years ago, I decided that I wanted to reorient my career.
I was a Realtor at the time and just didn't find that selling real estate
and family life worked very well.'
He fell into the funeral business by accident when he responded to a newspaper ad seeking real estate agents, school teachers and insurance salespeople who were interested in a different career path. He was not deterred once he found out what it was. He was in his early 40's and already felt 'over the hill' in the corporate world. In the funeral business, he realized his age would be an advantage.

My dad stated, 'I reflected on my father's death and how that was handled...and it was very much like order-taking. It was very impersonal...there was very little care or compassion...and I felt that there had to be a better approach.' He took a job as an advance planner at a funeral home in Orlando, Florida, helping clients make decisions about funerals for those who had not yet died. 'I saw what the funeral directors did...and that interested me greatly. I resigned and enrolled in the mortuary science program at St. Petersburg College. After graduation I worked as an embalmer for four years before being hired as a full-time funeral director in Orlando. At this time, I became well acquainted with death.'

I remember stopping dead in my tracks at an open door to a visitation room. Across the dimly lit room, seemingly miles away, was a coffin with a man inside. Slowly, I crept toward it, feeling a mixture of fear and curiosity. I looked down on the man's face and thought how odd it was to see a person not breathing. For some reason, I thought he was holding his breath and trying to scare me into thinking he was dead. I inched my face closer to his and at the last second, I turned away and ran. The dead man won the game of chicken. After that, seeing corpses became quite nomal.'

Sometimes, my dad would bring me into work to help him with a funeral service. I would usher, hand out funeral booklets or do whatever odd job he asked me to do. I have been to more funerals for people I don't know than for people I do know. At a young age, I was confronted with total strangers reacting to the death of their loved ones. The reactions can vary; getting to be a part of other people's grief helped me clarify what I wanted to have happen when I die.
I want to be cremated instead of buried...deciding this at about age 11 or 12
after my dad invited me to see a cremation.
Most people don't realize that funerals are for the living, not for those who have died. My dad instilled in me what he felt was important...and it has shaped how I want my death to be handled.
I do fantasize about having a Viking send-off...
where I am pushed out onto a lake in a boat and one of my friends
shoots a flaming arrow at me and the boat goes up in a blaze.
But because that service isn't offered by most funeral homes, I may end up having just a run-of-mill cremation. Death shouldn't be swept under the rug: It's the most certain thing to happen in our lives.”

* * * * *
Funerals??? make me uncomfortable. Even today when an acquaintance has 'passed',
I will attend Visitation at the Funeral Home to express my solace and understanding.

When my father died at age 56, my family and I attended the 'viewing times' at a Funeral Home in Brantford. It was an 'open casket' (which I dislike). Well known in town, the visitation lines were long. Often the comment was, “He looks real...alive...or resting peacefully.” My reaction to these words seemed me, he looked DEAD! Even today, as I reflect upon this 'open casket' my last memory of him was that of DEATH. My preference, by far, would be to remember him as an alive physical man with a vital personality that impacted hundreds of people who knew him.

The greatest innovation by Funeral Homes today, is the “Celebration of Life”...
as experienced and exemplified by the one who passed on to his/her next life.

Those we love can never be more than a thought away...
for as long as there is a memory, they live in our hearts to stay.
(Author Unknown)

From the Quiet Repose of a Loved One:
Child of Earth...(by Pat Helmbergen)

When you are told that I am not believe it!
Walk among the trees and I will speak to you
in the soft mysty song of the wind.
Touch a leaf sprinkled with sunshine
and you will be touching me.
Pick up a smooth worn stone
and throw it far into the sea.
That will help you to understand
that I am no longer here.
Whether I am in your hand or in the sea,
I am a child of the changing earth...
Changed and Free!

Merle Baird-Kerr...written March 27, 2017

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Current Political Opinions

Why I'm Depressed!

Over five thousand years ago,
Moses said to the Children of Israel,
“Pick up your shovels...mount your asses and camels
and I will lead you to the Promised Land!”

Nearly 75 years ago, (when Welfare was introduced), Roosevelt said,
Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses...and light up a Camel:
This is the Promised Land!”

Today, Congress has stolen your shovel... taxed your asses,
raised the price of Camels...and mortgaged the Promised Land!

I was so depressed last night thinking about Health Care Plans...the economy...the wars...lost jobs... Social Security...retirement funds,etc. I called a Suicide Hotline. I had to press 1 for English. I was connected to a call center in Pakistan. I told them I was suicidal. They got excited and asked if I could drive a truck...FOLKS, WE'RE SCREWED!

I Think This GuyHas It Covered!

I am the New Democratic, Conservative or Liberal Party's Worst Nightmare.
I am a White, Tax-Paying Canadian Veteran, Gun-owning Biker. That's me!
I am a Master Mason. I work hard and long hours with my hands to earn a living.
I believe in God and the freedom of religion, but I don't push it on others.
I ride Harley Davidson Motorcycles...and drive Canadian-made cars...and I believe in Canadian products and buy them whenever I can.
I believe the money I make belongs to me...and not some government functionary that wants to share it with others who don't work.

I'm in touch with my feelings...and I like it that way!
I think being a minority does not make you noble or victimized...and does not entitle you to anything. Get over it!
I believe everyone has a right to pray to his or her God, when and where they want to.
My heroes are Malcolm Forbes, Bill Gates, John Wayne, Babe Ruth, Roy Rogers and Willie G. Davidson, who makes the awesome Harley Davidson Motorcycles.

I don't hate the rich. I don't pity the poor.
I know wrestling is fake...and I don't waste my time watching or arguing about it.
I've never owned a slave, nor was I a slave. I haven't burned any witches or been persecuted by Turks and neither have you!
I believe if you don't like the way things are here...go back to where you came from and change your own country!
This is Canada! I like it the way it is and moreso, the way it was!
So, stop trying to change it to look like Russia or China...or some other socialist country!
If you were born here and don't like it,
you're free to move to any country that will have you!

I also believe the cops have the right to pull you over if you're breaking the law, regardless of what colour you are...but not just because you happen to ride a bike.
No, I don't mind having my face shown on my driver's licence. I think it's good...and yes, I'm proud that 'Canada' is written on my money.
I think if you are too stupid to know how a ballot works,
I don't want you deciding who should be running our government for the next four years.
I believe 'illegal' is illegal, no matter what the lawyers think!

I Believe the Canadian Flag should be the only one allowed in Canada!
If this makes me a BAD Canadian, then yes, I'm a BAD Canadian!

We want our country back! I hope this offends all illegal aliens!
My grandfather watched as his friends died in WW1.
My father watched as his friends died in WWII.
So, I'm standing up for the hundreds of thousands who died fighting in wars
for this country and the Canadian flag. Enough is Enough!

We've bent over to appease the Canada-haters long enough!
And shame on anyone who tries to make this a racist message!
Canadians, stop giving away Your RIGHTS!
Let me make this clear! THIS IS MY COUNTRY!
This statement DOES NOT mean I'm against immigration!

YOU'RE WELCOME HERE...IN MY COUNTRY...welcome to come legally, but please:
Get a sponsor!
Learn the LANGUAGE, as immigrants have in the past!
Live OUR rules!
Get a Job!
Pay YOUR taxes!
Expect No Social Security until you have earned and PAID for it!
NOW, find a place to lay your head!

We've gone so far the other way...bent over backwards not to offend anyone.
Only Canadians seem to care when Canadian citizens are being offended!

Note: the above articles, anonymously written,
were forwarded to me by my blog readers.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written February 17, 2017