Wednesday, May 26, 2010


"Look on the bright side. Yes, your attitude does matter." Being an aged person, as I am, means there may be a day or days when looking on the bright side takes an effort. I won't go into my details. We're all so different.

Any older person reading my blog must have days when getting up in the morning requires a mental push when the body would rather stay put. I have a friend who has many health problems and some mornings it takes a huge effort for her to get out of bed and start the day.

Her attitude is positive. Staying in bed is not an option for her. She plans her day. Organizing her paints - she has her colour charts in order. What shall she paint? Flowers? A bowl of fruit? The gorgeous rhodo bush in the garden? When she tires, she'll clean up her paints and read or take a short nap. Napping is good for older folks.

As for me, I realized I have to write fiction because it makes me feel good. Penning the story of P.I. Egg is fun but I am drawn to a different cast of characters. They are inhabiting my brain and are not fully fledged for me to begin writing. First things first. Fully develop the important characters before setting them loose.

Does anyone care to comment on what cheers you when you do not feel particularly cheerful?
Is your normal attitude positive? I see older people walking around with glum faces and wonder why?

Laughter is the best medicine. If you want something to brighten your day, read, "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN," By Robert Fulghum. Google the title and up it will come; guaranteed to lift your spirits.

Leave a comment should you so desire. I'd enjoy hearing from senior citizens as to their likes and dislikes. Once upon a time we older folks were encouraged to rock in a chair and knit socks (for women) men could whittle, I guess. No more rocking chairs, we have to get out and about and rock the world.

Anita Birt

Monday, May 24, 2010


How many of you have discovered the joy in watching a baby eagle grow? Only one of the two eggs hatched. You can find the eagles at: or follow the eagle story on Facebook.

Change of pace from eagles to you and me.
Taking charge of your life. Easier said than done but if you value your health and want to live a healthy and long life, the time to start is now. I found a splendid article in a magazine called, VIGOUR, a production of the BC Cancer Foundation.

Ready...Set...Get Motivated.

Each night I'll post something from the magazine. "Instead of thinking. "I want to exercise more," MAKE A DECISION that you will exercise for 30 minutes a day. Try something like this. Create a chart and post it on your refrigerator listing the days of the week and all the things you want to do each day. Simple things like, drinking more water, exercising and eating healthy foods.

Set your own pace and DO IT. If 30 minutes a day is difficult for you, break it down into small segments. Walk for ten minutes. Take a break and do something else. Walk around the house or apartment for ten minutes. That's 20 minutes. Next day add another few minutes and soon you'll find it's easy to exercise 30 minutes a day.

I love walking. I am blessed. I live by the sea and there's a well maintained path overlooking the sea. It's been marked in 500 metre and 1000 metre segments so I know how far I've walked and how long it has taken me.

Another change of pace. I shall now shamelessly promote one of my books, Too Young To Die, a romantic suspense thriller. There's the cover. To read an excerpt please go to my web site, My books are e-published. If you have an e-reader you can purchase any or all of my books and downloaded them directly to your reader.

Leave a comment if you feel so inclined or drop me a line at:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This blog is about aging and how to get the most out of life when you hit those declining years and the old body ain't what it used to be. If your brain is still functioning you'll figure out how to get the most out of your body.

How to keep your brain in tip top shape? I've touched on it previously. Learn something new. Take a course in anything, flower arranging, model boat building, astronomy or pick up a book of poetry or a romance novel (I write them!) and let the words take you away or walk outside and listen to the birds. Any kind of learning keeps the brain ticking away.

How many of you read comics in the newspapers? I am an addict. I admit it. I smile at the nonsense in Pearls Before Swine or the pirates in Overboard or the family in For Better Or Worse.

If you read a daily newspaper which part do you turn to first? Sports? I check how the Blue Jays are doing and then turn to the editorial page to read Letters to the Editor. It's amazing the interesting tidbits I pick up from letters. I read the lead editorial and turn to the Op Ed page to read opinion pieces. Because I get three newspapers each day, I get a variety of opinions.

One of my great character flaws, I cannot do crossword puzzles. My husband was a whiz but I find them daunting. I know they are good for the brain but not for me. Before I forget, laughter and laughing are good for your brain. A laugh a day keeps the doctor away.

Lots of bits and pieces for you to comment on should you care to. Check out my web site: for information about my books. I'd love to hear from you.

Anita Birt

Saturday, May 15, 2010


"One of the best exercises for the brain is the acquisition of new information and knowledge." This was a promo to encourage residents were I live to attend lectures on Astronomy. I think most us are curious about "what's out there?" Seems to me the wonderful pictures Hubble sends back to we earthlings from way, way out there in the farthest reaches of the universe poses more questions than it answers.

How did the universe begin? A big bang? If so what made it bang? The ancient writers developed their own theories. God made it happen. I leave you to mull over that one.

Back to more manageable ideas. "The key to aging well: laugh it up."That's the heading on a Q&A column by Erin Anderson, Globe and Mail columnist, as she questions author Lyndsay Green about her book, "You Could Live a Long Time: Are you ready?"

I shall quote from the column. "In your opening chapter, you give some simple advice: Be charming. Is one of the most important lessons of aging well making sure you are fun to hang out with?"

Ms Green thinks it's absolutely essential. She goes on, "You aren't offering them networking opportunities or career advancement prospects. Who will hang out with you when all you have is yourself?"

Then there is a book titled, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. "Looking for happiness? Try singing. That's a bit of advice in Rubin's book. There's a lot more in her book but she's not the only one writing about happiness and laughter and goofy fun. Who besides me reads the comic, Pearls Before Swine by Stephen Pastis? I wish I could download his wonderful comic about the passing of his father-in-law, a gentleman named Rick Daniels. It was a tribute to a man "so filled with love, it's like all he wanted was to make others around him happy."

I have quoted copyright material and hope I'm forgiven.

"Happines is good for your heart. A giggle a day keeps the ticker in play." A quote from The Globe and Mail. More about that tomorrow or the next day, depends on when I sit down at my computer and think happy thoughts about this and that.

Want to share some of your happy thoughts or happy advice with me. Leave a comment at the end of this blog or drop me a line at: I'll be happy to include your words of wisdom on my blog crediting you with them. How do we age well when aches and pains plague us and it's not easy to dredge up a smile.?

Anita Birt

Monday, May 10, 2010


I'm creating this blog because it's an exercise for my brain. Perhaps you will join me. Correction on yesterday's blog. The Making of the King James Bible is called God's Secretaries.

My "reading in bed" books are usually light in content and light in physical weight. I am reading Reginald Hill's latest Dalziel and Pascoe Mystery It's called A Cure For All Diseases. I laughed out loud a couple of times and then sleep overtook me

My "sitting up in a chair"reading is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. I have barely started it and am already hooked. I had to finish two other books before I could attend to Wolf Hall.

Have you got favourite books you return to now and again to enjoy a pleasant read and rest your brain?

I wrote about testing yourand my ability to memorize a few lines of poetry. A.A. Milne poems I read to my children many, may years ago still surface now and again. Some Shakespeare comes back to me. I shall tempt fate and see what I can remember without checking.

For instance from Now We are Six by A.A Milne.

Of all the knights in Appeldore,
The wisest was Sir Thomas Tom.
He could multiply by four.
He knew what nine was taken from to make eleven.
He could write a letter to another knight.

I love that poem. There are many verses but I can't remember them all. The poem is so funny. Children and adults can both enjoy the humour.

Have you favourites? You'll notice my Canadian spelling. I live by the sea on the west coast of Canada.

Leave a comment if you are so inclined or drop me a line at:

Anita Birt

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Oh hell, I pressed the wrong button and sent off a blog with the title only. I saw The Hubble at the IMAX two days ago and am still overwhelmed at the enormity of the universe. I can't even imagine a light year. The last picture the Hubble sent back to earth was mind boggling. It seemed to be a photo of the farthest reaches of the universe as we know it. The image stays in my mind.

I turn back to earthly things and wonder why am I here and does it really matter. Not a bit. Our planet is a tiny speck and we earthlings travel with it around the sun until ... until I shake off "this mortal coil."

Chatting over dinner tonight, one of my friends said she has turned to the Bible to re-read the stories of Abraham and Job. I'm interested in creation myths. Our Christian myth is written beautifully in the King James version on the Bible. I prefer it to the new editions where the music of the verses has been lost.

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters..."

There is so much beauty in those words and the words that follow I wonder at the genius of the men and women who wrote them.

The creation of the King James Bible is a wonderful story in itself. The book is called, God's Secretary. A friend is lending me his copy when he and his wife leave for a year to live in Dubai.

Thanks for coming by. Leave a comment or drop me an e-mail at



Saturday, May 8, 2010


It's good for my memory to practice memorizing. Let me explain. As I mentioned in my last blog or the one before, I live in a retirement community. This year on March 31 we staged The Follies. Residents volunteered to take part. Some sang, some recited, some acted out a scene from The Pink Panther. I chose to do a one woman show. Me!

I used Bob Newhart's wonderful phone call with Sir Walter Raleigh when he returned from America with tobacco as a guide to my sketch. I am alone on stage telephoning my fictional sister, Helen. She is a widow, 63 years old, living alone on the farm. As we talk I realize she has been charmed by a young man into allowing him to grow a crop behind the barn. It's marijuna, of course. Because I had memorized the script the phone call went over very well. One woman said to me later. "It was like a real phone call."

Another memory jolt. To-day we had the once-a-month Current Affairs discussion and I chose to focus on the problems with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. I have read Exra Levant's book, Shake Down and his experience in being hauled before the Alberta Human Rights Commission because he dared to publish the Danish cartoons featuring Mohammed in Levant's news magazine, Western Report. A local imam took exception to the cartoons and asked the Calgary police to charge Levant for publishing the cartoons. They refused, of course.

So he laid a charge against Mr. Levant in 2006. Mr. Levant was asked by a Ms. McGovern to explain his intent and purpuse in publishing the cartoons. What a question! The thought police were at work. The case dragged on for two years but the AHRC had taken a tiger by the tail when Mr. Levant refused to back down. Read the book. What's happening in Canada is downright scary.

Enough already. Taking part in exercises is good for the brain. Walking by the sea is good for the brain. A glass of wine before dinner and a glass with dinner are even better for the brain. Memorize some poetry and dazzle your friends with a few lines from Hamlet's soliloquy.

Thanks for coming by.
My blog is copyrighted.

Anita Birt

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

MY MEMORY PROJECT copyright Anitabirt@2010

I changed the name of my blog to My Memory Project. I hope You will join me and start writing your memories as a gift to your families. I am the last surviving member of my family. My memories go back to 1928 when I was five years old.

Because I am a writer with five published romance novels and a non-fiction book I am comfortable sitting down at my computer and rattling on about whatever interests me. Some are memories, others are current events that catch my eye. I live in a retirement community and interact with women and men in their eighties and nineties. Some are more interesting than others. One or two have become close friends.

Age does not weary us. We enjoy being alive even when the weather is unpleasant as it has been for weeks. I live by the sea and refuse to walk in gale force winds that might blow me straight into the icy water.

What has this to do with writing my memories? It keeps my brain busy. I continue writing my memories. For instance, I am writing the story of the story of The Steamer Trunk that travelled with my family to the island of St. Vincent in 1929. How did it become a beloved coffee table in the new condo purchased by my granddaughter and her fiance in 2010?

I amuse myself writing about an Egg. Not an ordinary egg. My egg resembles Humpty Dumpty but he dislikes being compared to that character. He is a detective who solves crimes that take place in commercial kitchen. I also have manuscripts to revise.

What makes us want to get out of bed in the morning? I shall leave someone to answer that question. Thanks for checking in on my Memory Project.

Anita Birt

Monday, May 3, 2010


As I noted on my last blog, Remembering and Forgetting go together like a horse and carriage but who remembers horses and carriages? If you do, you are older than I am and I'd love to have your comments.

When out walking with my husband he always walked on the side closest to the road. That harks back to an earlier time when dangers from runaway horses was a possibility. I thought it was a charming habit although any danger of horses running free had long past.

To return to the underlying theme of my blog. It's about aging. Getting old. How to get from Day One to now and how to make the most of our days.

What makes you get out of bed in the morning? How do you fill your days? Writing my memories for my family has stirred up my brain. I think of it as a pudding where a lot of good stuff has sunk to the bottom, like raisins in a rice pudding. I'm amazed at the memories that suddenly float to the surface. It's like finding lost treasure to share with my family. The memories give me so much pleasure. The sad ones take me back to the time when my brother was very ill and died, aged nine. I want to remember him.

We older folk are urged to say active, to eat healthy food, to take classes to stimulate our brains and on it goes. Relax when you can but not for long.

Start young getting ready to age. There's no escape so you might as well enjoy the journey. If any of you aging folk care to comment, I'd love to hear from you. Please leave a comment. In meantime please check my web site to read about my other life as a romance author. I have several writing project on the go. They keep me busy.

Anita Birt