Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February's Aura

Love is in the Air... recognized for its lyrics, it has been the current month's atmosphere that has been generated by Valentine's Day and Family Day (the latter in Ontario).  Local radio and television stations promoted February as... “Love is on the Air” with music, movies and advertisements.  Romance has been “on a high” with sentimental cards, chocolates, flowers, other gift gestures and perhaps an intimate dinner together with a “love-mate”. February gives us that lovin’ feeling!

Soul Sacrifice

Carlos Santana (age 62) proposed to his drummer on stage.  The guitar legend popped the question to Cindy Blackman (age 50) during a concert in Chicago.  “Cindy and I are blessed to have found each other.  Being in love is a gift from the Universe;  and the spirit and vibrations that come with it...are mighty powerful.”

An invisible thread connects those who were destined to meet
...regardless of the time, place and circumstances.
The thread may stretch or tangle...but it will not break.
(Author Unknown)

Ten Simple Ways to Make a Relationship or Marriage Last

The fundamental rules for human interaction ~ kindness, fairness and respect ~ are taught to us as young children.  Unfortunately, many of these lessons are forgotten (or unlearned) by the time we reach adulthood.  Treating others the way we'd like to be treated seems simple enough...until we have to do it everyday.  Relationships are not “rocket science”, but they do call for the same level of patience and dedication.  Here's a quick refresher on how to treat your mate that helps you go the distance.

Be kind (not nice).  Niceness is one rule that can actually backfire in a romantic relationship.  Some partners can interpret niceness as weakness.  Moreover, niceness is often insincere...being a coping mechanism taught to us as children to help us deal with people we don't really like.  True kindness, by contrast, doesn't condescend or pretend!  Kindness looks to the core-worth of another person and responds accordingly.  Kindness doesn't mean avoiding conflict or even always “playing nice”...it is processing issues with sincere respect for your mate's feelings.

Be sexually generous. When you put your mate's sexual needs first, your own are likely to be satisfied as well.  If your needs continue to be unmet, just don't seethe about it...communicate with him or her.

Be there.  Your presence, both physical and emotional, is critical to the survival of your relationship.  Try to be present in the moment and to be sensitive to your mate's emotional state.  If your job or other obligations routinely keep you away from your mate, take a hard look at your options and determine what is best for your relationship. 

Be grateful.  Before you rush to judge, take a step back and remember what you have in your partner.  Is he or she loyal, considerate or kind?  What flaws of yours does your mate patiently endure?

Be helpful.  You shouldn't be helpful just for the sake of getting what you want.  But you'd be surprised at how often helping your partner out...especially when he or she is stressed...can yield the kind of response you crave most.

Don't over-romanticize.  Drop your delusions and see how much room it frees up for real love.

Don't over-dramatize.  If you are one of those who thrive on drama, you are bound to be disappointed by any healthy relationship.  Where no drama exists, drama addicts will find ways to manufacture it.

Don't nag or nitpick.  You may think your “constructive” criticism or helpful reminders will help mould your mate into  your ideal.  More likely, it will just wear them out.  You may or may not get what you want but you might get resentment. 

Don't lose focus.  We live in a hyper-saturated, hyper-stimulated world.  Beauty is distorted, augmented and air-brushed.  Destructive behaviours are exaggerated  (and glamourized) by “reality” shows.  It seems like everyone is misbehaving and if you aren't, you must be missing out.  But the desire for meaningful relationships is at the core of the human heart.  You can try to take the shortcut to this kind of happiness by responding to every enticement.  Or you can choose to focus on a real relationship...and enjoy the enduring pleasures such a relationship provides.

Don't be selfish.  Selfishness underlies most of our broken relationships ~ and it is a hard habit to break.  It can take many forms:  financial, behavioural, emotional or sexual.  Chronic selfishness can do lasting damage to a relationship.
(The foregoing are excerpts from... twoofus.org.)

Pearls of Wisdom

No matter how old you both get,
never stop holding hands;
never stop dancing;
never stop saying, “I love you.”

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted February 21, 2014
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Friday, February 21, 2014

"Circles of Life"

With snowflakes drifting through the air on a chilly November morning, Baby was born! He is nurtured and loved by his parents who protect and teach him right from wrong in his early years.

Kindergarten calls him!  Mommy hugs and kisses him as he begins his next stage of life.  In the school environment, he learns to cope with other children, to play games at daily recess times; and throughout the elementary grades, he is introduced to various sports.  In some, he excels.  Academically, he enjoys Mathematics and Science.

High School becomes his next “life challenge” ~ new friends, new teachers, team sports, opportunities to engage himself in music and technical clubs;  he treads through the teenage woes, anxieties and thrills;  and also experiences changes in both  body and mind development.

College and University present choices to be made...what vocation should he seek?  Should he become a sports team figure for basketball, soccer, football, hockey...or spend time with fields of technology and research?  He is vulnerable to students with whom to foster friendships. Each decision is a “stepping stone” to his future.  When one circle is completed, another opens…to Life's next stage.

“The Game is Over…But Another Begins”
writes Steve about his daughter.

(Excerpts from the Spectator November 21st issue):  She walked off the soccer field in tears after ninety minutes of effort, of sweat, of gut-wrenching sprints. The season was over…ending with a loss.  They were tears of sadness, frustration and disappointment.  My daughter is not 5 or 6, or even 15 or 16.  She is 21 and a lovely young woman with the world ahead of her.  These tears were borne of passion, of sport, of competition, of friends.  They were tears of lessons learned and a life lived.  These tears were for her last game.  It was terrible to watch her walk off the field in tears…trying to be strong.

It was a sad moment, but one so many athletes go through.  For some it is tragic, for some melancholy, for others, bittersweet.  It didn’t hit me until that moment that most athletes walk off the field that last time, as a loser, not a winner.   Only one person wins; only one team wins the championship.  But make no mistake, my daughter is a winner!  And so are all others who leave the field, the pool and the arena  when their sport careers seemingly end…abruptly and with finality.

Responsibilities, tenaciousness, health, commitment, leadership, motivation, travel, teamwork, friends, joy, accountability, dedication, focus, passion, perseverance, fun, maturity, a work ethic, an education, a sense of fair play.  Experiences!  Attributes!  LIFE LESSONS.  Perhaps more valuable than anything learned in the classroom.  That is Sport!  That is Life!

For one dreadful moment, all we could do was hug her as her body heaved.  But that moment will pass and one day soon she’ll walk out onto the field and breathe in the air, the grass and all that is good.  That chapter in her life is now closed, but the next one has already been opened.  One to be “played” at a different venue, with a different objective, with different team mates.  That…is the Circle of Life!

Philosophy from the Olympics

Carolina Kostner, Olympic figure skater from Italy stated,
“I want to leave skating a better place…than I found it!”

“Absolute Service”
(Excerpts from an article written by Denise Linn…thank you Sherrie for this enlightening story.)

On a flight into San Francisco, I surreptitiously noticed the young man sitting next to me crowded in the middle seat.  He radiated a calm centeredness.  As I’m always intrigued to find out what beliefs are  held by those who seem at peace, amidst the chaos of everyday life, I engaged him in conversation.

He explained that he was a Marine and had been stationed four different times in Iraq.  He said his life was often in peril and there were many times when buddies on either side of him, had been killed or seriously wounded.  I couldn’t understand how someone ~ who had been in that much constant danger and who had seen so many violent deaths and carried shrapnel in his arms…could be at peace.

When I asked him what sustained his spirit, he pulled out a dog-eared, well-worn book.  He said, “As a warrior, I know that death is always a possibility.  I have found peace  through studying the way of ancient samurais.”  The book he held in his hand was called…Bushido:  The Way of the Samurai.

He said, “In a way, this is my manual for Life.  I read it over and over.”  He explained that the concepts in the book, which were written in the 18th century Japan by a respected samurai warrior, were very different for the Western mind to comprehend.  However, there were aspects of the code that really appealed to him, such as being in absolute service for the well-being of others and a willingness to die.

“In Iraq, I woke up every morning accepting my death.  I know that this sounds strange, but it gave me a kind of peace.  I wasn’t afraid of dying in battle because I had already accepted my death.  This allowed a kind of peace to fill me and maybe it also helped keep me safe  because on the battlefield I wasn’t always reacting out of fear.”

I told him that I was of Cherokee heritage and Native American warriors had a similar code.  My ancestors would wake up in the morning and say, “It is a good day to die,” living in the present moment

As we were leaving the plane, he put something in my hands…his tattered book.  He said, “I’m grateful for our conversation and I want to give you my book as a gift.”  As I saw him turn the corner in the airport, my heart was so open.  Because of this chance encounter, I started thinking about the power of releasing the past…being in the present with acceptance of “what is”  even if it means facing death and what it means to be “a hero.”

To Me…Being a Hero Means:
To do what’s right…even if you are afraid.
To listen to the inner wisdom of  your soul…and not the random opinion of others.
To be kind...and remember that sometimes the person you need to be the kindest to…is yourself.
To live by choice…not chance.
To pursue excellence …excel, not compete.
To have integrity...keep your word and your commitments.
To make corrections and changes...not make excuses.
To be fair and treat all people with respect and understand their point of view…even if disagreeing.

Merle Baird-Kerr…scripted February 15, 2014
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Sunday, February 16, 2014

When Storms Are Cast Upon Us by "Mother Nature"

If we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not seem so welcome!

(Thank you, Tom for the following diary writing)

Home Sweet Home

August 12:  Moved into our new home in Ontario.  It is so beautiful here. The hills and river valleys are so picturesque.  I have a beautiful old oak tree in my front yard.  Can hardly wait to see the change in the seasons.

October 14:  Ontario is such a gorgeous place to live, one of the real special places on Earth.  The leaves are turning a multitude of different colours; I love all of the shades or reds, oranges and yellows.
They are so bright, I want to walk through all the beautiful hills and spot some white tail deer.  
 They are so graceful...certainly they must be the most peaceful creatures on Earth.  This must be paradise.

November 11:  Deer season opens this week.  I can't imagine why anyone would want to shoot these elegant animals.  They are the symbol of peace and tranquility here in Ontario.  I hope it snows soon.  I love it here!

December 2:  It snowed last night.  I woke to the usual wonderful sight; everything covered in a lovely blanket of white.  The oak tree is magnificent...it looks like a postcard.  We went out and swept the snow from the steps and driveway.  The air is so crisp, clean and refreshing.  We had a snowball fight.  I won...and the snowplow came down the street.  He may have gotten too close to the driveway because we had to go out and shovel the end of the driveway again.  What a beautiful place!  Nature in harmony
and I love it here.

December 12:  More snow last night.  I love it!  The plow did his cute little trick again.  What a rascal.  A winter wonderland.  I love it here!


December 21:  More of that white s___ coming down.  I've got blisters on my hands and a kink in my back.  I think that the snowplow driver waits around the corner until I'm done shovelling the driveway!

December 25:  White Christmas?  More freakin' snow!  If I ever get my  hands on the sonofa____ who drives the snowplow, I swear I'll castrate him.  And why don't they use more salt on these roads to melt this miserable crap?

December 28:  It hasn't stopped snowing since Christmas.  I have been inside since then, except of course when that SOB “Snowplow Harry” comes by.  Can't go anywhere...cars are buried up to the windows.  Weatherman says to expect another 10 inches.  Do you have any idea how many shovelfuls 10 inches is?

January 1:  Happy New Year?  The way it's coming down, it won't melt by 4th of July!  The snowplow got stuck down the road and the s___head actually had the balls to come and ask to borrow a shovel.  I told him I'd broken 6 already this season!

January 4:  Finally got out of the house.  We went to the store to get some food and a god____deer ran out in front of my car and I  hit the bastard!  It did $3,000 damage to the car.  Those beasts ought to be killed.  The hunters should have a longer season, if you ask me.

January 27:  Warmed up a little and rained today.  The rain turned the snow into ice and the weight of it broke the main limb of my oak tree in the front yard and it went straight through the roof.  I should have cut that old piece of s___ into fireplace wood when I had the chance!

April 23:  Finally, took my car to the local garage.  Would you believe the whole underside is rusted away from all that d___ salt they dump on the road?  Car now looks like a  heap of rusted cow s___!

May 10:  Sold the car, the house and moved to Florida.  I can't imagine why anyone in their freakin' mind would ever want to live in the God-forsaken Province of Ontario!

The mind is the source of Happiness and Unhappiness!

It Was a Dark, Stormy Night

They were alone in the house.  It was a cold, dark stormy night.  The storm had come up quickly and each time the thunder boomed, he watched her jump.  She looked across the room and admired his strong appearance and wished that he would take her in his arms, comfort her and protect her from the storm...she wanted that.  Then, the power went out.  She screamed.

He raced to the sofa where she was cowering.  He did not hesitate to pull her into his strong arms.  He knew this was a forbidden union and expected her to pull back.  He was surprised when she didn't resist  but instead, clung to him.  The storm raged on...as did their growing passion and there came a moment  when each knew that they had to be together.  They knew it was wrong ~ their families would not understand, but ….......

So consumed in their passion, they did not hear the door or the click of the light switch...the power was back on.  Astonished, they were discovered, embracing with arms around each other...for he was the family bulldog...and she was the female tabby!

(Author Unknown)

Pearl of Wisdom
We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves happy.
The amount of work is the same.
(Carlos Castenada ~ Peruvian born American author.)

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted February 6, 2014
Comments welcome...e-mail to:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine Love-ettes

Love doesn't make the world  go 'round ~
Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.

What is Love?
(from the cartoon “Buckles” by David Gilbert)

Is it butterfly kisses fluttering on cheeks?
Or receiving a flower every day of the week?
Is it running through rain, hand in hand?
Or watching the sun set, touching  toes in the sand?

Is it chocolate given special times of the year?
Or the whispering of sweet nothings tickling the ear?
Is it a card drawn by hand with a personal flair?
Or little notes passed of flirtations shared?

Is it a fluffy stuffed bear for someone to hold?
Or a beautiful diamond on a small ring of gold?
Whatever love is: think, say or do…
I know that it’s real…being here with you!


Small Gestures Add Up To Big Romance
(Excerpts from “Be Mine”)

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and men, generally, have bought into the fallacy “romance equals money.”  But when we think of the most romantic and breath-taking-stories of romance, they almost never involve flying off to Europe or drinking the most expensive champagne.  It's usually small gestures like...holding hands...kissing in the rain...or simply star-gazing...that we most remember.

Opportunities for romance exist just about anywhere and this Valentine's Day, you can spoil your loved one without spending a fortune, like this:

Be savey, not cheap.  Buy flowers that are in season or shop around for deals and avoid delivery charges by buying locally.

Write your loved one a romantic letter and place it under a pillow...or write multiple love notes and post them throughout the house.  Write something romantic on the bathroom mirror too.

Make “love coupons”.  These are really up to your imagination. Include coupons for a passionate kiss...a  favourite meal...breakfast  out...or a massage.

Take a walk down memory lane and visit some of the special places from your early days of dating.

Pretend you're going on a first date.  Show up at the door with flowers, dressed up, with your car washed and cleaned.  Re-live the first time. 

Prepare strawberries with fondue chocolate...or cook a romantic dinner together...or enjoy take-out by candlelight.  And do select music conducive to the generated evening mood!

Hold hands and walk to a scenic area that has lots of pretty lights.

If poetic, write a  few lines as Angelina Joy has:
"If raindrops were kisses...I could send  you a shower.
If hugs were seas...I'd send you oceans.
If love was a person...I'd send you me."

Ways to be Your Own Valentine
(from the Chicago Tribune staff)
Paraphrased from an age-old question,
“How do I love me?  Let me count the ways!”

Write a love letter to yourself:  When was the last time you considered your finest qualities and put them on paper? Try to see yourself through others' eyes.
 Schedule micro-vacations:  These days, quiet relaxation time may seem an extravagance  you simply can't afford...and that 's why it makes such a great Valentine's Day gift.  Depending on your time and budget, consider taking off half a day for a soak, steam and sauna at a local spa.  With less time and money, visit a nearby cafe, take time for an expresso and milk creation in a real ceramic cup (or latte) and give yourself 15  minutes to sit and appreciate the aroma and feel the taste of the drink.  Treat yourself to a manicure & pedicure! Take a limousine ride...just for the fun of it!
Find some trees:  Walk among them...no ear buds, no train schedule, no bowed head to text!  A head-up, lungs-open, walk in silence.  Adopt the pace of nature... her secret is patience.
Special supper:  Caviar is too costly...crab is too complicated and cake too caloric!  But a lamb chop is an affordable luxury whether you choose rib or loin. Try a new recipe, then grill or broil to perfection.
Say it with...a single favourite flower...a tiny flowering plant...or a big bouquet of lovely blossoms   and place it where you'll be able to inhale its fragrance, enjoy its colours and bring a smile to your face.

Everything has beauty...but not everyone sees it.

Love and Marriage
It's not yet spring...but love is in the air!
(from current issue of Our Canada)

Will You Marry Me?:  Dan proposed to my sister, Cassandra, on July 5, 2012,” writes Samantha.  “Dan invited Cass to his house for a special surprise.  He told her that since they had been going out for five years, he had five gifts for her...each representing experiences they had both shared. They are true soulmates who belong together and who love each other deeply.  They will be married July 19, 2014.”

Marriage Vows:  “Marriage is a promise of companionship and having someone there to share all of life's experiences,” says Rosa about getting married to her husband, Roberto.  “Marriage does not promise there will not be any rough times, just an assurance that there will always be someone who cares and will help you  through to better times.  We began our journey as simply two people in love.  On June 25, 2011, we began the rest of our lives as husband and wife.”

Most people are slow to champion love because they fear the transformation that it brings into their lives.  And make no mistake about it!  Love does take over and transform the scheme and operation of our egos in a very mighty way. This is what our love is:  a sacred pattern of unbroken unity sewn flawlessly invisible inside all other images, thoughts, smells and sounds.

Compiled  by Merle Baird-Kerr...January 21, 2014
Comments Welcome...e-mail to:

Thursday, February 6, 2014


 As Canadians, we should be grateful to have four seasons!  Nature inspires  us to “Discover Ontario” as stated on our vehicle plates. This winter we are experiencing extreme Arctic weather: temperatures that   plunge well below freezing, winds of gale force, snow and ice storms that have been devastating. Isn't it amazing that during hot humid summers, we gladly strip down to shorts and bikinis...yet so many people in  the chill of  winter are reticent to layer with clothing...don warmer socks...wear colourful scarves, hats and mittens?  Consider our season Winter!  We pray for snow on the evergreens for their magical beauty at Christmas time.  Our Canada is symbolic throughout the world for its wintery sparkle of snow and ice.

Granted, many enthusiasts (even me, as a skier for many years) are lured to “the white stuff” to snowshoe, snowboard, downhill and cross-country ski, toboggan and sleigh ride;  hockey players, figure skaters and bonspiel events frequent the ice arenas;  often ice fishermen with their tents, chair or short stool,  and with fishing rod pierced through the ice…can be seen  patiently waiting in the blustering wind and chill for “the catch”.

Last Saturday's Spectator (January 25) featured an article submitted by Lorraine Sommerfield about a winter adventure she experienced in Haliburton Highlands.  I take the liberty to select a few excerpts.

Dogsledding is the Way to Find the Beauty in a Canadian Winter

“Now you're going to have to hold the lead dogs steady while we hook up the rest.  Just pet them, use 'baby' talk even,” said Mike, my guide.  I looked down into the face of a black and white Siberian Husky who could smell 'cat person' all over me as he tried to pull away.  “Elvis,”  rather sternly I said,  “Come here and I'll hug you.”  I squatted down between his head and Gem's, the lovely white husky who was his partner.  Elvis started barking in my ear.  Every other dog around the other sets of harnesses started barking in chorus, except Gem, who I swear rolled her eyes. 

I thought I had crossed Canada's snowy terrain nearly every way possible...in boots and skates...in small cars and large trucks...on snowmobiles and skis...on  snowshoes and toboggans.  And finally, after all these years, I've discovered the best way to travel through the snowbound beauty of an Ontario winter;  being pulled by a team of Siberian Huskies.

Owners of Winterdance Dogsled Tours, Hank and Tanya have about 150 dogs that they have trained. Here we can experience this ancient mode of transportation.  Along with smaller races, Hank has also participated twice in the world famous Alaskan Iditarod as well as the Yukon Quest, a race he will be heading north for again in early February. 

It's tough to imagine the mental and physical stamina required of both man and beast ~ to run near the frozen top of the world in a race that can last two weeks.  It rapidly becomes evident that these dogs are not only capable...they live for it!  Removed from their snug cages by guides who cuddle and carry  each dog to its position, you can feel the electricity as more and more are put into place.  Barking, howling, yipping, jumping, they allow themselves to be petted, but they want to run now!

The order on the harness is calculated.  Some dogs are leaders...those in the middle are teamdogs...and those nearest the sled are wheel dogs.  Where a dog runs depends on both personality and temperament as well as physical attributes.  Dogs are trained from puppyhood.  Choosing 20 to take to a race like the Iditarod means knowing your dogs as well as you know yourself.  The sled has a padded, slung seat for a passenger and the driver stands on the back runners that frame the brake.

Once you're off, the dogs quieten immediately.  We're winding through a snow-covered trail, majestic trees bending under the weight of the white.  All I can hear is the slight panting of the dogs  and the runners slicing the snow.  I am flying through one of the most beautiful  settings I've ever been in...and I'm doing it in pristine silence.   Mike talks about his dogs like friends...Scooby, Maverick, Shrek and Suzy.  One litter they had, were named Doc, Wyatt, Kidd and Garrett.

I'd postponed this trip a  year due to scheduling conflicts.  If  I'd known what a remarkable experience it is, I never would have waited.

For your information:  The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an epic event held annually in Alaska the first weekend in March...run from Anchorage to Nome...covering a distance of 1200 miles in 9 to 15 days or more.  Teams frequently race through blizzards, white-out conditions, sub-zero temperatures and gale force winds. 

Siberian Husky dogs are highly intelligent, strong-willed and sometimes will disregard their owners.  Obedience training is a must for all dogs.  Huskies are pack animals and don't cope well being alone.  They need the company of humans and other animals.

Previously, I mentioned that when my children were attending schools, we bought a Siberian Husky pup ~  Kiska was black and white with a facial mask and ice-blue eyes. As a puppy, she was strong and very rambunctious; my son accepted the challenge and diligently took her to  “Obedience Classes.”  He was elated to realize that when the dogs’ performances were assessed, they scored in the 190’s (out of a total of 200 points). When she was fully grown (and  my son a skier),  he rigged a type of harness for her. At Glen Eden, a Milton ski resort, he was the subject of attention as this Husky pulled him (on skis) across the snowy terrain ~ to the absolute delight of skiers and snowboarders...who viewed “human and husky” sharing “winter fun.”

( I extend my gratitude to Tom who today, sent me the following)

On the sixth day, God turned to Archangel Gabriel and said, “Today I am going create a land  called Canada.  It will be a land of outstanding natural beauty. It shall have tall majestic mountains full of mountain goats and eagles...beautiful sparkling lakes bountiful with bass and trout...forests full of elk and moose...high cliffs overlooking sandy beaches with an abundance of sea life...tumbling waterfalls that rivet your imagination...and rivers stocked with salmon.”

God continued, “I shall make the land rich in resources so as to make the inhabitants prosper.  I shall call these inhabitants Canadians and they shall be known as the most friendly people on the earth.”

“But, Lord,” asked Gabriel, “don't you think you are being too generous to these Canadians?”
“Not really,” replied God.  Just wait and see the winters I am going to give them!”

(Author Unknown)

Merle Baird-Kerr...scripted January 31, 2014
Comments welcome...e-mail to

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Collage...for February 2014

From Planet Earth Calendar

Continental Bridge: (about which you may or may not know).  My initial introduction to this was, when several years ago, I read several novels about “early civilization” along what is now the Alaskan coast line and extending southward with settlements along our province of current British Columbia.

Today, about 10% of the world is covered in ice.  During the last great Ice Age, however, more than 30% of the earth's surface was ice-bound.  Massive glaciers were formed and began the movement ~ carving out the earth's features.  Since there is only a finite amount of water  on the planet, as the glaciers formed, they sucked up water from the oceans and caused the sea level to drop.  This revealed a plain, now referred to as “Beringia” which connected Siberia and Alaska.  Beringia acted as a bridge...from the Old World to the New. 

It allowed plants, animals and people to move from one continent to another.  Its climate could support a variety of flora and fauna, beckoning many living creatures across this bridge.

When the ice flows retarded and  melted, the oceans rose
and the “continental bridge” once again disappeared under water.

The Canadian Red Cross

This organization provides in-home community services to help individuals,  who reside in Ontario, New Brunswick and the greater Halifax area of Nova Scotia,  live as  independently as possible.  These in-home health care services enhance the well-being and dignity of people of all ages.  Some of the home-care services include meals and general assistance for seniors, medical equipment rentals and transportation for those in need.

MADD Facts

One in three...eighth graders has tried alcohol.
More than half of all tenth graders drink alcohol.
Kids who start driving young, are 7 times more likely
to be in an alcohol-related crash!

Did You Know?
(from Niagara Falls of Canada Calendar 2014)

The Niagara River is part of the longest peaceful border in the world. ~ the International Boundary between Canada and United States.  The terrestrial boundary (including small portions of maritime borders on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic coasts, as well as the Great Lakes) is 8,891 kilometres (5,525 miles) long including 2,475 kilometres (1,538 miles) shared with Alaska.

Did You Know?
(from the Canadian Wildlife Federation Calendar 2014)

The Trumpeter Swan is the largest waterfowl species in North America.  Large swans can be more than a metre long and weigh an average of 11 kilograms.

The Canadian Wildlife Federation was a founding supporter of the Canada Forest Accord, created in 1998. The Accord champions the long-term health of our ecosystems.

Amphibians...like the Northern Leopard Frog overwinter in well-oxygenated bodies of water like rivers and lakes that do not freeze all the way to the bottom.  They spend their time in small excavations in the surface of the mud and emerge when the ice melts in the spring.

Special Event Days

February 2 (Monday) ~ Groundhog Day
February 14 (Friday) ~ Valentine's Day
February 15 (Saturday) ~ National Flag Day of Canada
February 17 (Monday) ~ Family Day...Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario
Louis Riel Day...Manitoba
Heritage Day...Yukon
Islander Day...Prince Edward Island

February Musings

Late February and the air's so balmy, snowdrops and crocuses might be fooled into early blooming. Then the inevitable blizzard will come, blighting our harbingers of spring...and the numbed yards will go back undercover.”   
(Gail Mazur)

“Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle...a seed waiting to sprout...a bulb opening to light...a bud straining to unfurl.  And the anticipation...nurtures our dream.” 
(Barbara Winkler)

“Away in a meadow all covered with snow,
  The little groundhog looks for his shadow.
  The clouds in the sky determine our fate
  If winter will leave us all...early or late.”
(Don Halley)

“If we had no winter...the spring would not be so pleasant.”
(Anne Bradstreet)

Flower Garden Philosophy
What's in a name?  That which we call a rose...
by any other name would smell as sweet.
(William Shakespeare)

Compiled by Merle Baird-Kerr...January 7, 2014
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