Sunday, July 31, 2011

My Morning Glories and Mourning Doves

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Today’s Blog Post
My Morning Glories and Mourning Doves

Very early this morning as I went out into our backyard the Mourning Dove was cooing. A chickadee was looking at the empty bird feeder and waiting for me to get that job done.

I filled the feeder and immediately the little guy flew for some seeds. I was standing less than six feet from the feeder and he was already at work on the seeds.

I stopped and listened. There was perfect silence… not a noise of any kind. Perfect peace with no one saying anything, no dogs barking and not even a breeze surrounded me. The stillness was amazing. It was something to savor.

What a perfect day has started.

The TV weatherman suggested that this afternoon we might get some thunder and lightening. Our Indoor – Outdoor weather station also suggested possible storms.

But for now perfect peace is our best gift of this day. And I will stop and savor it – now.

I walked the path beside our home. The Morning Glories are ablaze with their colour. In the perfect peace they shine with a glow and glory.

A few years ago I didn’t have time. Sunday was another day of work and getting ready for the action of the day – was all that I could think about. I was a busy minister that had prepared all week for the Sunday morning service. The day that I did most of my work to impress people with my wise words – or anger some with my words that they didn’t like was what it was about. Yikes!

I had that memory this morning early in the backyard – in the middle of the peace that surrounded me completely.

For 35 years I had not seen this peace. I have missed the Mourning Dove and her babies and fretted over what some would think about me on Sundays.

Today it is so different. It is so liberating to not “have to” perform any longer.

Oh I still do the ministerial thing from time to time. When I am called to support someone else in their fretting and fussing to make everything just right on Sunday morning, I do so with joy. But it is much easier now… much easier. I have found Peace.

It is rather comical really. I stood and preached about perfect peace… but was struggling inside because Sister So and So would be angry with what I said. Brother Ornery would hold back his support for the church financially when he didn’t like what I said.

And over the years there were lots of So and So-s and Orneries that adorned the seats of the church. Most are dead and buried now.

Maybe that is why I have peace.

God just grinned and so did I. Gotta run… the backyard is calling.

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Boogity Boogity Boogity, Amen

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Today’s Blog Post

Boogity Boogity Boogity, Amen

Some of you that read this Blog and pop in from time to time are church goers. I am not sure how this post will affect you. It could make some grin and others groan deeply… even grieve.

For non church goers it may well light your fire – or a fire in you.

I grinned when I listened and watch this one.

Pastor Joe Nelms is a Baptist preacher known for his work with Nashville’s Family Baptist Church. He won nation-wide attention in July, 2011 for a unique pre-race prayer he gave before the NASCAR Nationwide Federated Auto Parts 300.

Here is what Pastor Joe prayed…
"Heavenly father, we thank you tonight for all your blessings, you said and in all things give thanks. So we want to thank you tonight for these mighty machines that you brought before us. Thank you for the Dodges and the Toyotas. Thank you for the Fords. And most of all we thank you for Roush and Yates partnering to give us the power that we see before us tonight. Thank you for GM performance technology and RO7 engines. Thank you for Sunoco racing fuel and Goodyear tires that bring performance and power to the track. Lord, I want to thank you for my smoking' hot wife tonight, Lisa. And my two children, Eli and Emma or as we like to call 'em, the little Es. Lord, I pray you bless the drivers and use them tonight. May they put on a performance worthy of this great track. In Jesus name, boogity boogity boogity, Amen."

Now some minister friends of mine are downright upset about this one. The irreverence is too much for them to handle. They are reacting like some of the folk sitting in the pew that come all dressed up Sunday morning and would never have anything to do with those low lifes at a Race Car Track.

You can hear the “Humphing’ and “Nst, nst, nst, nst” shaking their head from their pew.
Personally the ministers are a little nonplussed that they couldn’t get up there and pray for that crowd. I am sure that there is a jealousy. But they really are so Holy that they wouldn’t get jealous at anything – just disturbed by the fact that the guy said he had a “smoking hot wife”.

But Pastor Joe got down and got dirty. He became one of them. He knows their language and he knows them. That is likely why he was asked to be there.

Now for me to refer to my wife as “smoking hot” in my prayer would push her over the edge… a little to say the least. Yet that is the way that I see and Paul said to give thanks in all things. So… Alida is smoking hot, Yeah God.

In our youngest daughter’s family there are four sons. This is one very active group of guys that love fun. They are moving all the time.

Further background to my story, we have been taught to pray before we eat our meals and give God thanks for what we about to eat. It is a “Christian Thing” to do – for some Christians that is. I in turn taught my daughters how to pray as well.

But in 2011 and in a family with four hungry boys, plus the logistics of just serving each one enough food and then telling them to wait until all have been served… and we have prayed… doesn’t always work. This family prays yes… but not always in the order that the Christian Text Book – written by good Christians – suggest.

Not long ago a dear friend of ours stopped by for a meal with this growing family. Food was served and every one was chowing down on the great plate filled with food.

They had forgotten to pray and the dear friend was suggesting that they needed to pray first. Every one stopped and looked at the suggestion. Thomas, the number two boy, stated, “Oh, oh we are going to fail this one. We don’t do that very often!”

My daughter nearly died at his comments. The dear Christian friend didn’t need to hear that. Gulp.

On hearing that I laughed. The boys were listening to their Grandpa Lincoln now. They know that I am, in all things religious, the Supreme Commander, as the resident minister of the family.

“Guys when you have to pray here is what you can say… ‘Rubbadub dub, thanks for the grub, Yeah God!’ ” To which they all laughed long and hard.

Oddly enough not long after that we were out together for a meal with this growing family. The food was about to arrive so they decided to pray. And Thomas had volunteered to be the pray-er!

His prayer was great as he thought of the words carefully. Then at the end he looked up at me and said – along with his brothers, “Rubbadub dub, thanks for the grub, Yeah God!” We all laughed.

I can’t wait until the dear friend of ours visits again.

Irreligious prayers? Is there such a thing with God? Does God care how perfect I speak to him? Does he want me to get it “Theologically correct” every time? If so – which Theology will I use? One is right and the other is wrong.

I don’t totally agree with everything that the Southern Baptists preach… and they don’t particularly dig me. But I liked Pastor Joe Nelms’ down to earth prayer! And so did the thousands upon thousands of the people at the race track!!

And when you look at the YouTube video, which you should, look at the numbers of people that have viewed it… as of right now 1,557,937 have clicked on this. That is since July 2011.

I dare say that the last time I prayed, not nearly so many people heard what I said. God did. And that was about the middle of July.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Pastor Joe Nelms – on Youtube
Pastor Joe Nelms – article with Text of Prayer

Friday, July 29, 2011

Meet Geriatric1927 – WOW!

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Today’s Blog Post

Meet Geriatric1927 – WOW!
Peter Oakley is known as Geriatric1927. On Wikipedia it states, quote,
“Peter Oakley (born 20 August 1927) is a pensioner from Leicester, England. He is better known by his pseudonym geriatric1927 on the popular video sharing website YouTube.

Making his YouTube debut in August 2006 with “Telling it all”, a series of five- to ten-minute autobiographical videos, Oakley gained immediate popularity with a wide section of the YouTube community. Amongst the autobiographical details revealed in his videos are the fact that he served as a radar mechanic during World War II, that he has had a lifelong love of motorcycles, and that he lives alone as a widower and pensioner in England.” End quote

Checking out the YouTube Videos that he has made I discovered that his very first try to in YouTubing his video has received 2,887,304 hits as of that moment. Most of the following videos that he has uploaded have between 175,000 to 300,000 hits as he speaks his mind on all kinds of topics. People are listening to this old guy.

One comment that came in the comment section of his “First Try” video states,
“How can you have accomplished so much on YouTube while my 55 year old dad still can't use Word or Excel or a Flash Drive until this day?! Congratulations!”

Isn’t that the truth? The present 55 Plus People that I know are not really that computer savy. Many have yet to take the plunge and get by the “I could never do that!” feeling.

Some have found YouTube and are surfing this amazing source. Others actually have jumped across to actually have an email address. Still others were forced to join Facebook in order to see their Grandkid’s photos.

Seniors are funny that way.

While searching Wikipedia I typed in “Old Age”. That is where I discovered Peter Oakley and the fact of what he has done in YouTube.

The Wikipedia site gave the following information about old people that have become famous in their old age…
 Ethel Percy Andrus, retired school principal who founded AARP at 74 in 1958
 Harry Bernstein, author who published his first book, The Invisible Wall, at 96 in 2007
 Jeanne Calment, longest confirmed lifespan and the oldest person of France
 Ann Nixon Cooper, who at age 106 made national news during the 2008 US presidential election for voting for Barack Obama. She was mentioned in Obama's victory speech.
 Luigi Cornaro and his classic The Art of Living Long or Discourses on the Sober Life.
 Granny D, political activist who ran for public office at the age of 94
 James Fisher, blacksmith who returned from retirement to become the first person over the age of 100 to achieve the ACA qualification.
 Enrico Dandolo, who led the infamous Fourth Crusade in his 80s
 Sadie and Bessie Delany, civil rights activists
 Ruth Ellis, 101-year-old African-American LGBT activist
 Florence Holway, rape survivor and activist
 Mary Harris "Mother" Jones, Irish-American labor organizer
 Alice Herz-Sommer, the world's oldest Holocaust survivor at age 106
 Maggie Kuhn, activist and founder of the Gray Panthers
 Mae Laborde, actress who began acting in her 90s
 Bernando LaPallo, American doctor who wrote his first book at age 107 and is the world's oldest blogger at age 109
 Buster Martin, said to be the oldest worker in the UK at age 103
 Grandma Moses, American folk artist
 Narses, who became a successful general at 74
 Peter Oakley, aka geriatric1927, British senior famous for his YouTube videos
 Nola Ochs, became the oldest college graduate ever at age 98
 Clara Peller, Wendy's spokeswoman, famous for her "Where's the Beef?" catch-phrase
 Emily Perry, actress who played the role of Madge Allsop
 Mary Jane Rathbun, nurse and activist who was arrested for serving marijuana brownies to AIDS patients
 Malvina Reynolds, folk singer and political activist
 Olive Riley, blogger who started blogging at 107
 Eunice Sanborn, world's oldest living person since November 4, 2010
 Arthur Winston, who at age 100 retired from his job working for the Los Angeles Metro after 72 years missing only one day, that being for his wife's funeral in 1988.

So in my old age I declare today that I am not yet done. I have much to accomplish. Maybe that will be in Blogging only – being known as a “Prolific Blogger” (as of today I have posted 1678 times since February 2006).

I may be known for my Art Work that will be published this next month by way of the Internet to the Greeting Card world of Rubber Stamping and Digital Images for Coloring.

It may be because of my Wood Carvings that are now going world wide…

I just hope I can make a difference some how.

And Peter Oakley, you are my kind of guy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


Thursday, July 28, 2011


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Today’s Blog Post

Something inside of me tells me that “YOU ARE NOT OLD! You are definitely better! You can do anything you put your mind to!!”

With that constant confirmation and positive thought in mind – I know that I can do anything. Even as a Grandpa I know that I can do it.

I have found the next greatest thing I want to try. It looks so good. I am asking myself – “Why Not!!?”

Here is what I have to do. I will purchase the Flexifoil ZIP kite that I read about today. (I have been getting these emails from Flexifoil regularly over these past months. Through a friend I was put on to the email broadcast list that they do. Just looking over the photos their site shows is wonderful.)

Next – I need to construct a three wheel cart as it is shown in the photo. Sitting on the cart I need to buckle my self in so that I do not leave the cart behind if it should take off as it seems to do in some of the photos.

Finally I need to get a large open space for the flying of my new kite. Most of our beaches in our area are pretty small… so maybe the Wasaga Beach area would be best… lost of sand and open areas there. The only hassle might be is the idiots that block off “their part” of the beach – but perhaps I can be air born by that section and fly over the wall that they reported him building.

I can feel it now… perfect freedom! Flying above the tree tops! Wow!

Now you think I am a crazy old fool with heavy emphasis on the “old” part.

Well let me tell you that inside me there is a young boy just waiting to get out and do stuff. And some of that stuff I dreamed of doing since I was a boy!

Heading back in time…
It was in the field near 1422 Elliott Street in Regina that the first dream of this flying took place. The bigger guys on the street had constructed the standard kite using two hockey sticks. One stick was a little shorter than the other so they were able to make a huge cross shaped kite. The height was one long, adult hockey stick… way bigger than me. They had covered it with industrial strength brown paper that they had take out of Railway Box Cars. (The brown paper lined the Box Cars so they could ship wheat inside.)

The prairie wind was steady and strong. I watched with glee as the bigger guys held the heavy twine and the huge kite pulled with all its might to get loose… but then soared heavenward.

I asked the guys if I could hold it. They let me. And as I hung on tight the guys held me because I was so small.

Suddenly the kite gave a huge tug and I slipped from their hands. Up I went with the mighty tug. I was air born for a few feet up before the older guys quickly grabbed my feet and pulled me down. I had also traveled a few yards further from where they were standing – they had run to grab me.

The thought at that time had never occurred to me, “What if they had not grabbed my feet – where would I have gone to and how far up would I have gone?”

The thought did come later. I was thrilled with the idea that maybe I could have flown over the houses near by.

I was about 10 years old then… and much, much lighter.

Now the dream can come true these 57 years later. I can fly with the help of Flexifoil. I can do it.

But there is one small hesitation with my plan. I have to tell my wife after she gets out of bed this morning. She is my ground crew.

I don’t think I will tell my two daughters until after we do our first successful test flight.

But I do sense your doubt as you read this. I can feel your negativity. Please stop that. I don’t need your old attitude that says he will never do that! That is just not fair.

The small voice inside just said it again, “YOU ARE NOT OLD! You are definitely better! You can do anything you put your mind to!!”

I just had another idea… wow! The local company that deals with wheel chairs and all things for handicapped and old people… has old wheel chairs sitting outside yesterday. I will go get one of those sturdy chairs and equip it with a seat belt. It will work just fine.

I should be flying by the weekend. Won’t the other cottagers be thrilled to see Grandpa whisking his way over their rooftop?

There it is again, “YOU ARE NOT OLD! You are definitely better! You can do anything you put your mind to!!”

I can’t wait to tell my wife when she wakes up!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Old Box of Treasured Junk

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Today’s Blog Post

The Old Box of Treasured Junk
As I lifted the heavy box to the top of the Dumpster and then turned it over the sound was deafening! It was like a roar of a million pieces of metal splashing like water. I don’t know how to describe it – really.

I was standing beside a huge blue metal collection container. It is offered free in our community to anyone wanting to get rid of scrap metal. They in turn ship this to larger collection areas where it is sold. They make money from it and you get to clean up your garage(or yard).

As I listened to the roar of the material I wanted to take one last look at the stuff going into the collection container. This stuff had traveled with me for thousands of miles. Yep, thousands. You read that right.

I have started the clean up and getting rid of the junk in my garage. The first thing was all the metal part and pieces that have kind of stopped there with no place to go.

And I really did use them and had kept them for good reasons. Honestly! My wife wondered at my sanity – but it was good stuff. At least a dozen times it had saved me in tough situations. If I needed a part or my friends had needed a part, I needed only to go to the junk box(es) and fish out the valuable old part.

The problem has been the valuable old pile and boxes full of junk – were getting older and older. Most older and older things I owned and once had were now gone. I didn’t need to fix them any more.

The one box that I lifted to the side of the container had not been looked at for about 10 years! Nope – didn’t need it any more!

There was a freedom driving back home. Our van had been full of junk – now it was empty. It was lighter and so was the feeling that I had.

But I was emotionally drained. I had just gone through a separation, a ripping of stuff from my life, a cleansing of sorts. And this had taking a toll on me.

The last time I had felt this was three years ago when I walked out of my work place for the last time. I had packed up all my stuff at the office and left. That day had completed 35 years of working faithfully at the job place! It was over.

My wife asked me how long we had the one box that I told her about. I said, “Since the days that I helped Willy at the apartment.”

She looked at me incredulously. “That was 1980!”

“I know it was, but it was valuable stuff!” I replied.

She shook her head. I dropped mine. It seemed so important at the time. Honestly.

Now it wasn’t like we had not moved. We had moved that stuff from Oakville, Ont. to Regina, Sask. back to Oakville, over to Scarborough, then over to Yorkton, Sask and then to Regina, Sask. again – then finally to Peterborough, Ontario.

For non Canadian residents that have no idea where these places are… that box of junk traveled with us for a little over 7000 miles. I didn’t take it to Hong Kong where we lived from 1980 to 1985. But when we came back that treasure of junk was waiting for me and still had great value.

Now I know the clean freaks that have befriended me will be shaking their head and declaring, “He really is nuts.”

Nope – not nuts. I just had a box full of valuable stuff that saved me hundreds of dollars in its day.

Today I am in recovery. Today my son-in-laws are smiling. They have one less box to lift the week after my funeral.

Sheesh what a thought! No wonder I am in complete and total exhaustion today.

~ Murray Lincoln ~

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bad News always – Good News sometimes

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Today’s Blog Post

Bad News always – Good News sometimes
It has been one of the kinds of weeks that is hard – very hard. I don’t like it at all.

A popular Canadian Politician is very sick with a newly found cancer. A sicko in Norway killed many people. And the USA leaders can’t agree about solving their financial problems. Elwy Yost passed away and there is too much cadmium in children’s jewelry – because they used to replace the lead that we complained about a few years ago.

Once we are past this week and we forget what happened it will be better.

But then there will be a lonely Polar bear some where that doesn’t have piece of ice to stand on.

Have you noticed that most news is bad news?

Good news is not attractive.

The dude in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, was not known before his horrific act of violence in Norway. He counted on the fact that Bad News gets reported – Good News never gets looked at all. If he could just do something really bad they would report it and his silly manifesto. He was upset about the way that the countries of Europe, and probably his own, were allowing so many Islamic people iin by way of immigration.

I wonder if Anders Behring Breivik thought of the fact that his folk from Norway came as Immigrants to Canada and the USA to live here. The Aboriginal people that lived here never did much to make their statements and feelings known. Norwegians and the rest of us just pushed them aside and took their country.

Now Anders Behring Breivik wants the people potentially taking his country to be exposed and stopped.

This post is not about Anders Behring Breivik – yet I have used his name a number of times already.

This post is about my aversion to bad news and my need for some good news.

The Norwegians have a cute but powerful saying, “All trolls burst in the Sunlight”. A troll was a nasty little creature that lived under bridges and caused great fear and problems for the people that had to pass that way – over his bridge. Expose them and they go poof in the sunlight!

So maybe bad news is good to be exposed. Letting the rest of the world see how stupid people can be – is good.

Maybe that needs to happen for the USA’s lawmakers and leaders too?

Does anyone have anything good to say or report?

I do. I got a huge amount of my garage cleaned yesterday. Wahoo. It won’t make headlines tomorrow – but it may help me find stuff better!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I beamed from Ear to Ear

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Today’s Blog Post
I beamed from Ear to Ear
Yesterday was another monumental day in my life. It was another unforgettable high point for me.

In the past there have been lots of high point as well.

One was that special day in July 1968, Fredericton, New Brunswick, when the nurse came out to the waiting room holding a well bundled baby girl and said, “Mr. Lincoln I would like you to meet your baby girl.” Then she folded the cover of the white blanket back and Dana gave me that first look. Wow!

Then in January 1970, Oakville, Ontario, the Doctor came out to the waiting room and told me, “Congratulations Murray, you have another baby girl! Mom and baby are doing fine! You can go into see them shortly.”

Two very special high points – Double Wow!!

My life has been filled with high points – over an over again. Each time our daughters told us that they were pregnant and then when each baby arrived we hit another high moment in our lives. Each time left me beaming from ear to ear! That has happened 6 times now – Triple Wow!!!

There have been many Wow Moments for me. Over and over again I am humbled by what is happening around me.

But yesterday was filled with still more “Wow Moments” over and over again.

We had the privilege to attend a baseball game where our grandson Michael was playing first baseman. To watch this young guy stretch to get balls thrown his way – was amazing! Play after play Michael caught out the runner at First Base! I beamed as he played so effortlessly. Could we be watching the next major prospect for a major league baseball team!? I think so!
But then the ultimate moment happened. Christopher, my youngest grandson, sat beside me in a lawn chair and began opening his brief case – folio.

Earlier I had noticed him tugging it along with him as we got into the car. The other boys hadn’t brought anything with them – only Christopher.

As he unzipped the case I could see a three ringed binder inside and beside the paper were his pencils. He was going to draw as he watched the game.

I asked if he would like to draw with grandpa. He beamed from ear to ear. Grandpa just happened to slip in his own drawing materials and paper as well. I opened my portfolio and prepared to begin.

I asked Christopher if he would like to learn how to draw someone’s face. With a big grin from under his baseball cap he nodded enthusiastically and said, “Sure!”

In the next hour and half we sat together not far from home plate and beside his brother’s dug out. We watched a great game and did what we both love best – put lines and shading and ideas on paper.

This is the best way to spend Sunday afternoon that I know of. It is the highest spiritual moment that I could ever express. The words really are failing me. I can’t tell you what it is like to share something so special with someone that loves something so much! Four Times the WOW!!!! There has to be another word!

We began by drawing the left eye on the paper. Then we measured over one eye’s length to the right – that is where the other eye is located on this face. Perfect. Then we put the round iris into the right place so the person was looking out of the paper at us. Next came the pupil – the dark hole that allows light to come into the eye ball. It could be too big or the guy would look like he was frightened or too small and he would look like he is squinting in a bright light.

We colored in the pupil and the iris, then smudged it with our fingers to make it look smoother as the pencil was applied.

I looked over as Christopher was applying his finger to the lines he had drawn and the pencil shading he had added. He was intent on every line and up close, nose almost to the paper.

He paused and then leaned back with a smile on his face. The character that he was drawing appeared amazing already. The eyes had come to life and someone was looking out of his paper at him.

Then we went for the end of the nose. We found an imaginary dot between the eyes, then measured from that dot to the edge of an eye. That measurement brought straight down would be the end of the nose. A small line like a half circle was enough to make the nose just right. Then the side of the nose was added – it came just below the right and left side of each eye above. By drawing an imaginary line down – there was the nose.

Christopher grinned again. He had it perfectly.

When I told Christopher to look at my face and see that as a man grows older his nose is wider and longer than kids’ are. He grinned again. I don’t think any grandfather I know was ever looked at as close as I was yesterday.

The top and middle of the mouth was next. That came at one eye’s height below the nose. A small tick on the paper showed us how high or low to place the mouth. The sides of the mouth came about the middle of the pupil of the eye above… but if the guy was smiling – the mouth would be much wider.

“With the mouth you have to be careful… the lips need to be thinner on the top and little fatter on the bottom. Not too fat or the guy will look like a girl.” T old Christopher. Christopher giggled at that. He got it right away.

Next came the chin… it is about two and a half eye’s height below the mouth. A small line from left to right makes it just right.

Now the big jump. Measuring from that dot in the middle of the two eyes down to the chin with your pencil, then moving the pencil tip up above the dot – there is the top of the head. God put our eyes in between the top and bottom of our head.

Then we started to shape the head, which is like an upside down egg. If I draw it like an egg sits – small part up and big part down – the guy will look like Humpty Dumpty.

Now we have to look close at the person that we are drawing. Some heads have big bumps on the top left and right sides and some chins are bigger than others with some cheeks being wider and fatter than others.

“And Christopher is you are drawing a girl’s face and she has fat cheeks, make the cheeks a little smaller. If you make them too fat, she will be mad at you!” I said.

Christopher laughed again. He knew what I meant immediately.

To cover the bumps and lumps of the head we drew the hair on the head.

Christopher sat back and looked at the portrait that he was completing. He grinned again. It was a grin that spoke volumes when with help from his grandpa he had drawn his first “real person”… and the person was pretty good!

Next we drew a cat’s face looking out off the page… then a Hot Rod that turned into a Transformer. Christopher and I had gone to the Transformer Movie together and I had found out it was his “very most favorite movie ever!”

Christopher will be 10 years old in October 2011. This 9 ½ year old had just drawn with his grandpa for the last hour and a half without moving.

“Grandpa, can I go with my friend to the playground now? My butt is stuck to my shorts now. My chair is really hot!” The sun had been beating down on us and the heat of the day was still there at 4:45 PM.

I grinned as he ran off with his friend to the play ground.

I had just spent the most amazing time with one very talented boy that will some day do great things. He will likely become one of the best that there is in what ever art work he tries.

As Christopher and I sat drawing together, the parents of kids on the baseball team came over to take a look at what we were doing together. Time and time again they exclaimed, “Wow Christopher that is great! You are doing an excellent job!” Christopher replied, “Thanks. My grandpa is an artist and he is helping me to draw…”

I beamed from ear to ear!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

On the Lighter Side

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today’s Blog Post

On the Lighter Side
My friend Terry sends me all kinds of “wonderful” emails. Some are inspirational, others are ridiculous and others are insane… but most are plain old funny!

The following selection of things he sent me are passed on to you. Please note that I did not email it to you. It is not in your junk or spam mail – when you go to find it later on. It is in a blog, this one, but you may not remember where or what or who that blog is from. Enjoy it now… then move on.

Sorry about your memory issues. And believe it or not – my friend Terry will laugh at these all over again and will kind of remember that he has read them before somewhere.

Thanks Terry.

First Posting…

" WALK With Me as I Age."-- well worth the read...


Oh CRAP - I forgot the words...

Second Posting… Signs of the Times

Darn.. it took me 15 minutes to find the file folder I stored these in... sorry Terry!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I need to Dump the Junk

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today’s Blog Post

I need to Dump the Junk
I have come to the conclusion that there can be way too much “junk” in my life. Things get cluttered and slow me down – way down. I need to dump the junk.

When I looked at my Inbox yesterday there were 22,453 emails! Whoa!

A few years ago I switched from regular email that was located mainly on my computer to “Gmail”… which is email stored on someone else’s computer.

The regular email that came by using “Outlook Express” or “Microsoft Outlook” used programs that were resident (installed) on my Hard Drive. It also was email that used a regular server of the company that I used to access the Internet. So to get my email I connected to the server who in turn connected me to the Internet Main Line – allowing my email to flow my way and then be stored in my computer.

When Lap Tops first became affordable and available to people like me, it was difficult connecting when you were not home… and the place that you were in did not have Internet connections available. Today that is different. Internet is available in almost every area.

Now if you have read this far and only understood the words and not the whole idea because of some of my jargon, you can understand that my mind is filled with Junk about computers. Oh Boy!

But there is more to tell you before I get to my main Junk thoughts – and the need to dump the junk.

When your computer has its email programs installed on it and you receive and read and store and keep all your email on the machine – it can get full… so full that it will slow your machine down! In fact that would be away down in fact. At times it will seem like a turtle is driving the poor old computer.

I had this happen often in the earlier days. The hard drives on computers were smaller and it was necessary to get rid of as much of the extra baggage that we could in order to stay in reasonable operation speed.

When I switched to Gmail, which is a short name derived from Google Mail, I though that I had the problems all solved. All my emails could be stored on their machinery and not mine. And to top it all off there was gobs of space available… and there would be no more slow downs on my hard drive.

In 2007 when I started using Gmail as my only email program it was easy to click on, look into the Inbox and then read and reply where necessary. After the reply I simply moved to the next email an dealt with it.

If I wanted to look at another email that had been in the Inbox the day before or last week – it was still there. I could open it and reply if I needed to or wanted to.

I get a lot of email each day. An average day will have about 25 emails when I first click in the morning. Then if I check my emails three times a day that could be 75 at a minimum to deal with. I belong to groups that have members and the groups sometimes are active in discussions. Each discussion can have 15 to 20 emails at a time when many people are on line. Some days can go as high as 150 emails.

Gmail sorts through all the “Viagra” and “Adequacy questions about my love life” emails and dumps them into a spam file… and because of my age there are lots of those each day – maybe even hundreds.

But with Gmail it doesn’t really matter. The fact that it is on someone else’s machine doesn’t bother me.

Yesterday I looked at the percentage of fullness of my Inbox in Gmail. Hokey Mokey! It was 79% full. Even though they had given me so much space to store stuff – it was way over the reasonable amount.

The 22,453 emails dated back to mid 2007. As I clicked on the early ones and read them over, I remembered most of the conversations that were taking place between me and the other person(s).

That is a little over 5000 conversations per year! And I remembered all of them… shuddered at some of them… and wished some had never taken place… and laughed at the rest of them.

No I didn’t read all of them over again! But the subject line reminded me what I had been talking about.

I have been using email for about 19 or 20 years. And I have read most that have come my way!

Yesterday I dumped the junk! I got rid of almost all of it!

There was the oddest feeling… after that. What if you deleted something you might need? It was a small battle for a few minutes as the thought raced around my brain cells. Then it was gone… so were all those old conversations. I didn’t need them any more!

There is a unique freedom that comes when you dump the junk.

I sat in my garage and looked at one corner. Oh boy – there is way more than 22,453 things there. My friends know that.

I have resolved that when the cooler weather comes – 44,906 things will be leaving soon. That should take care of one corner of the garage.

I need to dump the junk. Then we will have a party… but I hope my wife will not die of a heart attack!

The links that are listed below – are good for me…. and maybe you. Oh boy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


Friday, July 22, 2011

Our Dove Family and the First Flights

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today’s Blog Post

Our Dove Family and the First Flights
Seven days ago I wrote about the stoppage of our Tree Cutting/Pruning adventure. All because Mrs. Dove and her two babies. ( )

Our friend Anthony Weinczok, from ACE Tree Care couldn’t do the work because of the small family if doves sitting right where he had to begin his climb up the tree and also where his last cut might be. We were afraid that the even the sound of the chain saw could scare her away from the nest.

The problem was that we had no idea when she would be taking her babies from the nest. I wasn’t sure when the nest would be vacated.

Well it happened two days ago – July 20, 5 days after Anthony found the nest.

They are all flying now. Mrs. Dove and her two babies are up and away.

Their first perch was the top of my vehicle and then the second was the top of our neighbor’s house trailer.

Fortunately I was able to get a few photos of this special happening. The babies were not at all afraid of me at this stage of their life. They have been so busy getting their feathers ready for flying that they hadn’t yet developed that deep fear that will protect them as well.

It has been amazing to watch the way that they she leads her small family.

She flies a little ways and then waits. The first one takes flight and then the second one follows. The same young one goes first each time and then the second one follows the example.

I feel like a proud grand parent today. The nest is empty and the babies are flying.

She is now leading them closer to the bird feeder in our backyard. They are not eating yet – dad and mom still feed them

Some background..(from Wikipedia) quote...
Courtship begins with a noisy flight by the male, followed by a graceful, circular glide with outstretched wings and head down. After landing, the male will approach the female with a puffed out breast, bobbing head, and loud calls. Mated pairs will often preen each other's feathers.

The male then leads the female to potential nest sites, and the female will choose one. The female dove builds the nest. The male will fly about, gather material, and bring it to her. The male will stand on the female's back and give the material to the female, who then builds it into the nest. The nest is constructed of twigs, conifer needles, or grass blades, and is of flimsy construction. Mourning doves will sometimes requisition the unused nests of other Mourning Doves, other birds, or arboreal mammals such as squirrels,

Most nests are in trees, both deciduous and coniferous. Sometimes, they can be found in shrubs, vines, or on artificial constructs like buildings, or hanging flower pots. When there is no suitable elevated object, Mourning Doves will nest on the ground.

The clutch size is almost always two eggs. Occasionally, however, a female will lay her eggs in the nest of another pair, leading to three or four eggs in the nest. The eggs are small and white. Both sexes incubate, the male from morning to afternoon, and the female the rest of the day and at night.

Mourning Doves are devoted parents; nests are very rarely left unattended by the adults. When flushed from the nest, an incubating parent may perform a nest-distraction display, or a broken-wing display, fluttering on the ground as if injured, then flying away when the predator approaches it.

Incubation takes two weeks. Mourning Doves are strongly altricial, with the young, called squabs, being helpless at hatching and covered with down.Both parents feed the squabs pigeon's milk (dove's milk) for the first 3–4 days of life. Thereafter, the crop milk is gradually augmented by seeds. Fledging takes place in about 11–15 days, before the squabs are fully grown but after they are capable of digesting adult food. They stay nearby to be fed by their father for up to two weeks after fledging.

Mourning Doves are prolific breeders. In warmer areas, these birds may raise up to six broods in a season. This fast breeding is essential because mortality is high. Each year, mortality can reach 58% a year for adults and 69% for the young.

The Mourning Dove is monogamous and forms strong pair bonds. Pairs typically reconvene in the same area the following breeding season, and sometimes may remain together throughout the winter. However, lone doves will find new partners if necessary.
End quote

This week I feel like a proud grandpa. Our Babies are out on their own. Wow!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 

 The empty nest

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mr. Bear and Me

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Today’s Blog Post
Mr. Bear and Me
As some of you know I am a wood carver. In fact this Blog is sponsored by my Wood Carving Business. The Blog leads many people to my Web Site – which I blatantly promote. The wood carving pays some bills – thank you very much (grin).

In doing the wood carving I often am moved deeply as the product I am carving takes on new life. Something happens when I am carving it. It seems to come alive.

Yesterday that happened on two fronts.

First – while I was sitting at my demonstration table at the Mall yesterday a young boy came with his dad to look at the carvings that I had set out.

The boy saw a “Dancing Dan” that I had carved and exclaimed, “Look Dad – its Pinocchio!” I grinned when I heard that one.

As most of you know Pinocchio was the wooden boy that came to life. His “father”, Mr. Geppetto, was a wood carver. He and his wife had no children. After he carved the wooden doll, it came to life.

It is a cute story that shows children if they tell a lie, their nose can grow… but if they tell the truth they will be okay (see reference below). BUT for me it was more than that. It was a Wood Carver’s story where the character or item he works on takes on a new life.

I know that feeling very well.

Second – yesterday early Mr. Bear headed off to Britain. One of my own took leave of Canada and climbed aboard a large aircraft and headed across the Atlantic Ocean. Wow! That was a hard moment to say the least.

Mr. Bear had been with me for a little over one year. I carved him along with about a dozen other bears at the same time. Each character had a similar amount of me placed in them. I loved each one with my hands and carefully carved each face with special care. Each bear came alive and each bear found a home – all in different parts of Canada.

Now to say I loved each one and applied special care sounds odd doesn’t it?

Well here is how it happens.

As I select a bear for his operation I look them over carefully. I study the face that he has been given by the original designer. Some faces are pretty bland and others have a certain character or feeling to it. But each one is lifeless at that point.

Next I put them to sleep by turning them over. I carefully search for the stitching that was applied to the back of his or her head. Inserting my scalpel I cut the first thread, then the second until the cutting exposes the brain of the bear. I carefully lift the brain from the Teddy Bear and sit it aside near the operating table.

I then carefully reach inside and do the next step of the double eye-ectomy which is followed by a nose-ectomy as well.

At this stage the Teddy Bear appears to stop breathing and lays lifeless. It is as if his whole being is now gone. Almost like a truck has run over the poor little guy.

The Teddy Bear must lay still during the next stages in order to prevent more loss of stuffing and bodily matter.

The new face is carved and his eyes are placed carefully into the new eye sockets. The new nose is ready and the face is them applied to the head – over the place where his old face used to be.

This is perhaps the trickiest part of the surgery. The face must be held tightly in place as it is fastened to his head. It cannot be tilted one way or the other. It must be straight.

Once the face is attached the brain must be put back so that Teddy can thing think straight again. With the brain in the proper place again, the head is sutured up.

As the Teddy Bear is turned over he takes a deep breath, it comes to life. The big smile that he has beams and he becomes “real” to me. It is about this time that he or she may get their new name – almost like a new human baby does.

Yep I am a whole lot like Pinocchio’s dad, Mr. Geppetto.

That was part of the story behind Mr. Bear. Mr. Bear came alive in 2010 – a whole year ago.

When I did a show or had a special sale, all the other Teddy bears were presented for showing… but not Mr. Bear. I liked him too much and tended to make sure that he was in the back row or maybe left in the bag so no one could see him.

I didn’t want to let him leave home.

But then a lady by the name of Lisa contacted me. She asked if there were anymore Teddy Bears left… or if I had some for sale. She wanted to adopt a Teddy Bear and present it to a special person by the name of Judith.

I looked around and there was Mr. Bear grinning at me. It was time. He was selected by Lisa and perfect for what she wanted for Judith. So the deal was done – Mr. Bear was to be going to St. Catherines, Ontario. From there he would some how get on an aircraft and make his way to England.

For the next few weeks Mr. Bear tried hard to get to St. Catherines. But it didn’t work out.

Yesterday however it was time and instead of flying from St. Catherines he flew out of Peterborough, Ontario.

The photos below will help you see his departure. I caught him getting into his travel box. Then I watched as he snuggled down ready for his ride on the airplane. Once or twice he did raise his head to look out just before the box was fastened shut. And I am sure that I heard him giggle as he was getting ready to meet Judith.

And from what I heard from Lisa, Judith is a very special lady that will love Mr. Bear more than I could have. Next week he may be attending a number of Tea Parties all over Burnham, Bucks in England.

But what a perfect setting and place for Mr. Bear.

Now I know, I know… some of my friends think I have gone off the deep end. My mind has snapped for sure. I talk about my Teddy bears as if they are alive… and that I love them way too much.

Well that is the Gepetto in me. They are all my creations – my kids. And I love each one.

Hopefully a whole bunch more of Mr. Bear’s cousins will soon be ready. Requests are coming faster now each day.

Gotta run now… need to finish more Teddy Bears this week. There is a need for 24 by the end of August. Oh Boy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Earthquakes and Me

Misty Hollow Carving
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Today’s Blog Post

Earthquakes and Me

What a difference there is in this old world today from the time that I was born in 1944!

In 1944 no one in our family talked about Earthquakes much at all. At least that I can remember. It wasn’t that they didn’t care, they just didn’t know about what happening.

If you can imagine the contrast between now and then.

In January 15, 1944 – 90% of the buildings of San Juan, Argentina fell down. 10% of its population was killed. The article that I read in Wikipedia stated the following… “The earthquake occurred at 8:52 pm on 15 January 1944 and had its epicentre located 30 km north of the provincial capital, near La Laja in Albardón Department. Some 90% of the buildings in the city were destroyed and those left standing suffered such damage that in most cases they had to be demolished. It is considered that the reason for such widespread destruction was the low quality of construction, rather than just the power of the earthquake.

In 1944 many of San Juan's houses were made of adobe and the reconstruction programme prompted the creation of a building code that took into account contemporary knowledge of earthquakes and their effect on buildings. Stronger bricks were used, concrete single-story houses were erected and sidewalks and streets were made wider.” End quote.

Now it could be that the War that was on at the time took most people’s attention away from anything happening anywhere else than Europe and the Pacific Rim.

It is more likely that no one knew what was happening until long after it had happened. By then it is no longer News to be considered very much.

I stated there was a contrast. And I note how big that contrast is now.

I discovered an amazing Web Site that has me “all shaken up”. It is loaded with pertinent and powerful information that may also shake up your world as well.

The Wed Site starts with the Earthquakes that are happening at this very minute… or within the last day or so. It is not OLD News – it is News that is happening right now. It shows how much the earth is shaking at this very moment! In fact some that I just looked at happened within the last 15 minutes. WOW!

You need to go take a look at which is part of the

Fair warning though – if you register for the Global Incident Map or look at this too much you may never rest again. It tells you everything that is going down now… all the shake, rattle and roll of our old world. It tells you about the Police action everywhere – gangs, drugs and security risks. Looking that part over you may never got to the USA again!

But then just the incidents of earthquakes in Vancouver in the last 24 hours will make you question a trip there! Let alone anywhere in California!!! And in both areas there is a prediction that the “Big One” may come sooner than you think!

But in our area of Eastern Canada things were rattling and rolling as well. There were two earthquakes early yesterday morning in our area alone!!!

I have spent a bit of time last evening looking this over… and have come out wanting to tell my friends about it. Now you have been told! Wow – what an amazing thing to be able to see!

Now in 1944 when I was about to come the only earthquake in Ceylon Saskatchewan ever to take place… it happened on April 13th, 1944. A tiny little boy was born. His dad had held a flashlight for the birth of his first child… then hopped on a Bus for Regina to start a new job.

I can only imagine what my dad had happening inside of him during that trip to Regina that morning. It was six days before he could come and pick me up again…before he could get back to my mom and start arrangements for their move to Regina.

For the past 67 years most everything has been shaking in my world since that time. The Web Site discovery just confirmed the actual fact of it happening today.

Gotta run. Folks will be lined up at the mall today – ready to speak with one rocking and rolling grandpa! That would be me! At the Peterborough Square again today – 10 AM to 4 PM – lower level in front of Crop Circles where the Earthquake can be felt! Really!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Relationship to Neanderthals

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Today’s Blog Post

My Relationship to Neanderthals

My experience with the Neanderthal goes back to my High School Days. Yep there were some Neanderthals attending school back then. For sure!

But I had a personal experience with a Neanderthal in the High School play that was an annual event. The play that is, and the Neanderthal as well – he sat across the aisle in my classes.

I took part in the play as part of a stage crew. Oh the fun of those days!!

Now today I read the latest news in the “digital journal” – Neanderthals are related to me. As a white skinned person there is now proof that we as white skinned people have an identical chromosomes to the Neanderthal!

Quoting the Digital Journal… “So much for racial superiority. Now even species superiority is looking pretty unlikely. Homo Sap has just discovered that all non-Africans carry Neanderthal X chromosomes.”

Now that makes me feel much better on this very hot day.

I am forgetting things today. The brain is not working properly.

But I did get the wash in the washing machine and clothes in the dryer.

But somehow I do feel like a Neanderthal on days like this. It has to be the Chromosomes …it just has to be.

It is too darn hot to do anything!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 


Monday, July 18, 2011

The need for the “beenverified dot com” Web site

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Today’s Blog Post

The need for the “ ” Web site

So I figured it wouldn’t be long before a Web Site like the one I saw last night would come along. I just knew it would have to happen soon… as more and more people start realizing what was going on.

The Web Site is . It is a Site that searches and then shows the names of people with some history about them. Now it is not like a Wikipedia thing, but rather to do with their criminal record.

It serves a special interest group. That group is the younger (or older) ladies that go on to a dating Web Site looking for a perfect man. And the possibility exists that the special man that puts up a profile of himself is telling part of the truth… but not all.

The man’s profile may read, “older, healthy, loves walking and cycling; enjoys coffee and conversation in a quiet place…”

Buy what it doesn’t tell you is that he is recently released from jail after spending the better part of a decade in prison for a very serious crime, is now on parole and has very strict conditions to live by. It doesn’t tell you that he is a control freak that beat the crap out of his first two wives and has fathered three children that he does not, cannot support and has no clue where they live.

Worse yet he could be a Pedophile that has done horrendous things to little kids and was incarcerated because of it. He is hated by everyone. He has formed a new world and persona. No one but his parole officer knows what he has done.

Now add to that, if he lives in Canada, his past and his charges/conviction cannot be publicly displayed. If someone does that he can be charged… and the charges can be brought against them by the Pedophile.

Now it is doubtful that the Younger Group of Ladies would even read the second line of the old goat’s profile… but the Older Group of Ladies just might. They are as lonely as anyone… and would love a cup of coffee in a quiet place with a man that ask all about them… a man that won’t brag about himself… a man that will be funny and happy and ready to form a future partnership.

But Old Ladies have grandkids that they love. And grandkids or any kids of that age cannot be anywhere near this man. But he doesn’t tell her – and never will. It is a new game that fits perfectly into quiet and exciting new plan of this lonely older man… that has no life now at all.

How could I know so much about this?

Well I have a number of friends that have been on all kinds of Match Making Web Sites. They are both women and men. And in more recent times with more and more men coming from prison – who are lonely and need companionship… they are now using the sites to find someone.

I also have a number of friends that have been in prison. But not all of them have any intention of doing this kind of thing.

One man I know did and also found someone that started to see him… but that was stopped – fortunately. He is a pedophile with a lengthy history and the conviction that followed. It never stopped until he had met all the ladies family and her kids as well. And no one had a clue. Nothing happened except the cold sweat I broke into when I found out what happened.

He did find another lady on the same Match Making Site, that remarkably does care for him. And she also has no children – or grandkids. And she knows all about the guy!

In Canada we have about 14,500 men in prison. And that number stays about the same each year. Yet more and more men are arrested and go to prison. How come the number doesn’t climb higher? Well men are released from prison all the time. It balances out.

These men are lonely and need a friend. They meet women that are the same. And BINGO you have a match.

At first it is just for fun… but then one stage after another more and more is shared until you have a relationship that has started to mean something.

Now knowing that that USA has a prison population that is many times(10 or more times) bigger than our Canadian one, more and more men come out… and more and more have very long records. And they are able to learn and use computers just like the non-ex-offenders do.

The Web Site that I found is only for Americans. There is no Canadian site like this. The police have one but that is only for their use. And also there may be some real legal problems for anyone starting that in Canada – they could be sued.

So why write about this?

We know that God gave men and women a head which is mounted at the top of their bodies. In it there is a brain that is intended for use.

We also know that women often think with their hearts rather than their heads. If some one will know how to get to that heart and start her thinking with that heart she will easily fall for just about anything. That is specially true if she is lonely and broken already.

We know that men on the other hand don’t use their heads or brains either. One man told me with disgust about another friend of ours, “He only thinks with his penis!” (Sorry if that disgusts you and offends your religious righteousness..)

We know that some men love the hunt and the kill of a relationship. They maybe lonely but they are more likely not looking for a long relationship… not like the “heart thinking” and sometime vulnerable lady is.

Now add the possibility of a needed relationship and you will need

For the fun of it I ran more own name in this site – and got a few names back with their aliases. Oh Boy - I am not even safe to be with.

On the Web Site you will see a counter that is ticking over as people are checking other people. At this moment it is 12,103,726 background checks having been done.

That could mean that many people are trying it out and perhaps using their own name… but it could mean that there are 12 Million lonely people that need some one… and are checking to see if that other person is okay.

Oh Boy!

~ Murray Lincoln ~ 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Medicinal Practices and Apparatus of the 1800s – Part Two

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Today’s Blog Post

Medicinal Practices and Apparatus of the 1800s – Part Two
As Nancy McLeod was making her presentation she wove all kinds of interesting facts and information into her talk. Most of what she spoke about is listed below for your information and interest. (Some of this I wrote of earlier)

Next time you're washing your hands and the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s.

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children -- last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs -- thick straw -- piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof -- hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor."

The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entranceway, hence, a "thresh hold."

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite awhile. Hence the rhyme, "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers, a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Often trenchers were made from stale bread which was so old and hard that they could be used for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy, moldy trenchers, one would get "trench mouth."

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or "upper crust."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake."

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered a "dead ringer."

Thanks Nancy – Great stuff!

~ Murray Lincoln ~