Feb 24

Suicide Is So Selfish! Isn’t It?

Suicide Is So Selfish!

Suicidal personSuicide seems to be in the news so much these days and I have to admit there was a time when I considered suicide an extremely selfish act. The loved ones of the person who passed are usually devastated and they have no idea why that person did this to them.

I have lost someone close to me to suicide and was just talking with someone who lost a close friend that left a partner and children behind. My friend made the comment that suicide was selfish and it really made me think. Is suicide really a selfish act?

I can’t imagine ever feeling there was no other way than to take my own life and what it would do to those I left behind. But…

What If I Believed The World Was Better Without Me?

Blessed crossI’m personally very blessed to have a great family and a wonderful life. My challenges have been mostly small in the grand scheme of things. Yes, I lost a son to cancer and we almost lost our home in the process. My wife and I leaned on each other and those around us for support at the time and we got through.

What if I believed I had no friends? What if I believed my wife wasn’t there for me? What if I believed I was in such a dark place I was taking everyone else with me? What if I believed my insurance would make everything better for my family? Maybe the world would be better off without me!

Now, I can’t imagine being that dark a place but I CAN accept that others might. If they truly believed the world is better without them and they are helping the people they left behind by taking their own life, is suicide truly selfish?

Next time you find yourself feeling someone you lost to suicide was selfish, think about what they may have been thinking before you judge them. Remember what you believe and say may have an affect on that person’s loved ones they left behind. 

Overwhelmed – Part 2 – Over from Connexus Church on Vimeo.

Ask For Help!

LifesaverIf you ever find yourself in such a dark place you think the world is better without you, please reach out to someone. If you really believe you don’t have anyone, call your local crisis line. In Canada,  there is a website provided by the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. I think the National Institute for Mental health is American.

Please, please, please ask for help!

Offer Help

Pay attention to the people around you and really hear them. It may be they just need someone to listen or maybe they need someone to help them see light at the end of a very dark tunnel. You could be the difference between life and death.

Let me just remind you that this is my space for thinking out loud. I’m not being judgemental, just expressing my thoughts. Please feel free to share yours in the comments box below.

Make it a great day! Whether for yourself or someone else. 


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for faith, family and friends. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/suicide-is-so-selfish/

Dec 31

Wedding In The Woods

My daughter celebrated her wedding in the woods December 2017. A young man from England stole her heart. I warned him that if he breaks it, there will be nowhere safe to hide!

Wedding In The Woods

Sometimes, I believe my daughter was born about 50 years late. Who but a hippie would decide they wanted a wedding in the woods?! In the winter!

Dad and daughter at wedding in the woodsMy little princess is certainly not faint of heart. Definitely a ‘chip off the old block’, her mother, that is! Ashley is 26 years old and has experienced more than many people do in a lifetime. Many of her travels have led to some outdoor living. She has developed a connection to the earth and all she has to offer.

The bride decided she wanted to be married where she is most comfortable. Of course, the groom, knowing what is good for him, agreed! Actually, he is a bit of a nomad himself. He came to Canada on an adventure and ended up married. They created a wonderful celebration to share with us all.

They rented a group of cabins at a place in northern Ontario called Voyageur Quest. Wood fired heat and solar lighting. No phones or access to social media! Can you imagine three days off the grid? 

The morning of the wedding, there was a record low of minus 35 degrees Celsius. Luckily, by the time of the wedding, it had warmed up to minus 20 degrees! 

On December 28, 2017, we celebrated a wedding in the woods. In the words of my daughter, the wedding was magical!

The Bride

father, son and babyAshley was born in Barrie, Ontario and grew up with three siblings. I believe that because we were a larger family and camping was the most affordable holiday, she basically grew up in the woods! Our city has a lot of woodlands where we spent time hiking and exploring. One of our favourite vacation spots is Algonquin Park and gave us somewhere different to go and still be connected to nature. 

When she left the house for education purposes, she chose to take an outdoor leadership program in Alberta. She trained to take people into the mountains climbing and to take people kayaking. At one point in time, she had decided to live in her van and go exploring. I told you she is a hippie! And then, she met the Englishman.

The Groom

Aidan SmithAidan was born in England and decided to go to Canada on a working adventure. He was just about to head back home when he met Ashley. He stayed another two years! Other than knowing he is an acrobatic pilot and spent the last couple of growing seasons flying crop dusters, I really don’t know much about Aidan while he was growing up. I look forward to learning more.

During Christmas vacation 2015, his Mom and Dad flew to visit the kids in Banff Alberta. In conversation with Pauline later, she told Denise that Aidan was smitten and this was very likely “The” girl. When Ashley had a rough spell just months after they met, Aidan stayed with Denise in British Columbia for five weeks while they tended to Ashley. I told people then that if Ashley didn’t marry him, I swear Denise would!

Aidan is a gentle, caring soul who seems to worship the ground she walks on. Just as he should, I might say! I have always said that one day there would be a man to take my place at her side. It was difficult but we were proud to give Ashley to Aidan to love and cherish just as we have.

I’m trusting my baby to Aidan Smith from England. I’m very proud to have such a fine son-in-law!

The Morning After

Would you believe the silly buggers went dog sledding the day after nuptials!!! Sledding didn’t actually happen until after lunch but this meant there wasn’t much sleeping in. Besides, we had to keep getting up during the night to feed the fires for heat.

Ashley and Aidan sledding

Ashley and Aidan Smith On Their First Adventure As A Married Couple

Now, I have to say, this is how you do a wedding in the woods!

Congratulations to Ashley Clermont and Aidan Smith, now Mr. & Mrs. Smith, as they continue on this next leg of the great adventure we call life!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for our new extended family, Ontario’s winter wonderland and Air Transat. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/wedding-in-the-woods/

Nov 26

Mortgage Rules in Canada Changing Again!

Mortgage, this word strikes fear in the hearts of Canadians! Do you understand how the upcoming changes will affect you?

Mortgage Renewal

House in hands.

Click image to learn more about mortgage risk.

In past, there wasn’t really much of an effect. It’s likely most institutions would consider you as a client without too much hassle. Not any more. Your mortgage provider may have a lock on you because you don’t meet the new criteria. They don’t want to lose your business and will likely renew your mortgage provided there are no changes.

If there are ANY changes like extending the term or doing some debt consolidation, you must meet the new lending criteria and pass the stress test. You can use online tools like TD’s Affordability Calculator to see if you qualify.

Oh, and by the way, you won’t necessarily get a “preferred client” rate on renewal if they know you won’t be able to move your mortgage!

New Mortgage

Click image to learn about making your mortgage tax deductible.

In 2017, the rules changed and people with less than 20% down payment had to pass the stress test. Starting January 1, 2018 we all have to qualify. You will have to be able to carry the mortgage if the rates go up 2% from your negotiated rate. You won’t pay that now but you must have the ability to.

It was already tough for people to get into the housing market with the changes in 2017. Now it will be tough for the rest of us to get a new mortgage, whether making changes to existing or maybe considering getting into buying rental units. 

I was at a Vogue Simcoe Exclusive Networking meeting last week where Anne Lesperance did a presentation that included a comparison. For example, let’s say a couple was selling their home and wanted to upgrade from $400K to $600K. Under 2017 rules, they would qualify for the $600K mortgage. The same couple would only qualify for $475K under the 2018 rules.

Banks are required to build in “what if” and this can affect how much house you can buy. Make sure you understand how much you can afford when the interest rates go up. 

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for snow, gainful employment and teachers like Anne Lesperance. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/mortgage-rules-canada-changing/

Nov 05

Blogging: Short Essays, Down and Dirty!

Blogging – Keep It Simple

Just words.Have you ever thought about blogging and just found it so intimidating? Stop! It doesn’t have to be.Blogging can be really easy, it’s just writing short essays.

I never realized at the time that my grade 13 English teacher was preparing me to be a blogger. We had to write a 500 word essay every week and I used to write them Sunday afternoon because they were due Monday morning! I actually wrote better essays that way. Then I would go back and create “rough notes” because he used to ask me for them. Go figure.

Blogs can be short and sweet. Many of mine are simply the result of a thought I had as I was walking the street on a lunch hour or in the morning on the way to work. For example, my musing about coffee drinkers in the morning.Have you ever noticed  the change over the couple hours before 9am and how fewer people hav coffee in their hand the later it got.

Blogging can be this simple. Write what you are thinking about. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling as you write, you can fix that later if you really feel you need to.

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for internet, computers and WordPress. What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/blogging-short-essays/

Nov 02

Happiness Comes Before Success

Happiness is actually the precursor to success, not the result.


You can choose to have happiness. Yes, just choose!

To be honest, I’m feeling lazy today and came across a great video by Jeff Olson. I have had the pleasure of spending time with him with a beer by the pool!

Very smart guy and he has been “preaching” leadership for a number of years. He has always believed that working on yourself leads to success, virtually by accident. Watch Jeff’s video below.

I hope you enjoyed the video!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for meeting Jeff Olson, learning from him at LegalShield (PrePaid Legal at the time) and I’m thankful my wife stuck with it! What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/happiness-comes-before-success/

Nov 01

LegalShield Testimonial: Wireless Service Provider

My son got a cell phone for his 16th birthday. He was told he had unlimited texting. No one explained the difference between texting and MMS. This was 9 years ago and that was all new.

When his first bill came in, there were charges for $168 worth of messages! My wife was on the phone for the better part of 2 hours with the service provider and getting frustrated. She told the person on the phone that she had enough and maybe she would just call her lawyer. I think the representative on the phone thought she was kidding and said “If you think you need to do that…” at which point my wife ended that discussion and called LegalShield.

The lawyer reviewed my son’s contract and  offered to write a “motivational” letter to the wireless service provider. About two weeks later my son received a cheque for $168 AND and apology from the service provider saying “we don’t do business that way”.

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/legalshield-testimonial-wireless-service-provider/

Nov 01

LegalShield Testimonial: Power of Attorney

person cryingHaving been named Power of Attorney for both my mother and father, I was in a dilemma when Dad had a major stroke and really couldn’t be reasonably expected to make decisions and Mom was in a coma. I was being asked to make a decision about taking my mother off life support. Dad was actually supposed to be her Power of Attorney before me, I was secondary with my brother. What do I do?!

First, I called my father’s lawyer but he didn’t return calls. I have LegalShield! I called in mid afternoon. About 2 hours later, the lawyer called me. We discussed the situation and he advised that technically, there was a process to go through to be officially able to make a medical decision for Mom. Then we talked about how the hospital will often consider our wishes as long as they know the power of attorney exists if needed.

Peace of mind. How do you put a price on that?

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?


Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/legalshield-testimonial-power-of-attorney/

Nov 01

LegalShield Testimonial: Can I use my membership for a medical question?

November 26, 1986 - October 10, 2010My wife was with my son after surgery while I was home with the other kids. My son had just had a lung removed and was in extreme pain. We suspected a possible blood clot in his legs after surgery. It was Saturday on a holiday weekend in May and there was only skeleton staff. They weren’t going to do anything until Tuesday because the doctor wasn’t in the hospital! 

My wife called me and asked if I thought LegalShield could do anything. It was Saturday on a long weekend! I called the emergency number and got a Toronto lawyer on the phone who said he didn’t have experience in that area but asked to give him some time to check with a friend in Alberta. About an hour later, the Alberta lawyer called my wife in the Toronto hospital and gave some advice that resulted in the hospital reacting more appropriately.

Can I use my membership for a medical question? Maybe. You can use it to find out if you have a legal right! So, yes you can use your LegalShield membership to ask what appears to be a medical question!

Thank you LegalShield!

How much justice can you afford?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/legalshield-testimonial-can-i-use-my-membership-for-a-medical-question/

Oct 06

Cappuccino, So Hard To Find A Good One!

Cappuccino became my favourite drink almost 40 years ago when I went on a school trip to Italy. The problem is finding a good one in Canada. Until now!


beans for cappuccinoThis Italian specialty, cappuccino, is usually made with a double espresso and steamed milk. I like cocoa sprinkled on mine. No sweetener for me! I’m sweet enough already 😆 . In 40 years, I haven’t been able to find a really good cappuccino, until today. Creative Bean is a relatively new place I learned about last night at a local business networking meeting with a group called Vogue Barrie. I went to their store today and thought I had died and gone to heaven! 

Creative Bean

Not only does Tracy’s mother make a wicked cappuccino, they have a business services area right there in the cafe. You can have a consultation to have your website designed, or have materials printed while you enjoy your drink!

Cappuccino at Creative BeanI spent some time with Tracy and talked about how the business came to be. Her husband had always wanted a café and she wanted to be able to put her graphic design skills to use. At first, the combination seemed odd but she decided to try it anyway.

I can’t speak much to Tracy’s graphic design skills but she certainly has done a great job on the café side of the business. 

Tracy was telling me how she had no experience with coffee beforehand but she applied her learning skills to that and has created a masterpiece. As an example of her focus on developing the skills to prepare a great experience, she told me she spent two days over and over again making one specific latte. Apparently her family must have been high as kites testing them for her.

I had the best cappuccino I have had in years and a breakfast sandwich to go with it. I can’t wait to try out her business services!

I highly recommend Creative Bean for a delightful environment whether just to relax or hosting a business meeting.           

So, if you don’t live in the Barrie area, sorry for your luck! Creative Bean is part of why it’s worth the drive to Barrie.

My Own Meeting

If you have a referral to share in Barrie, use the comments below!

Make it a great day,


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for new people. I’m thankful for time to visit. I’m thankful for a great cappuccino! What are you thankful for today?

Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/cappuccino-so-hard-to-find-a-good-one/

Sep 13

Things Have Meaning: Be careful what you make fun of and don’t touch that thing!

Things hold memories. We tie meaning to objects and get hurt when those are made fun or defensive if someone tries to take them away.

Things Have Meaning

Some things bring joy, others heartache.

Most of us have at some time or another had things like paintings, records or maybe special sweaters that caused a flood of emotion. If someone shows you things that for whatever reason cause you to want to make a smart comment or try to take the thing away, STOP! It’s not your thing and you have no idea what that may mean to the person showing it to you.

For example, I went to my basement recently because my wife had been cleaning and moving things. I know there are certain things that I like regardless of what others think. I came across an old velvet painting my brother had given me a few years ago, slightly in jest. The reality is there are some great memories attached to that thing!

A Little History

Photo of paintingBack in the early 1970’s my father met a guy named Vance Linek who was selling these velvet paintings on street corners. He was making a good margin on them, approximately 50%. For some, that would be a markup of 100% if that means more to you. Bottom line, good money for something you could do weekends on the side. Vance introduced Dad to George Keller who was bringing these things in from Mexico. 

Many of the paintings were nice scenes or portraits, and then there were the tar ships! These things were so gaudy they were beautiful. Actually, this was one of my favourites next to the Elvis that I lost track of years ago. My brother found one of the tar ships years later. I would bet that we sold it originally.

Selling those paintings was a great ride until there was too much competition. There were a bunch of brothers who moved into town selling the same paintings. Those guys were nuts! They would drive through their brother’s display! Dad decided if we were going out of business, we were taking them with us. He went to George and bought all his damaged stock for $5 each and fixed most of them to sell for 10 bucks. In the end, those guys thought we were nuts!

Memories Attached to Things

Not So Happy Times

Photo of chairI don’t like to dwell on negatives but I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that sometimes things hold sad memories. For example, my son passed away and one of the things he left behind is his comfy chair. My wife sits in it all the time.

As much as the chair has sad memories of him sitting in it as he fought cancer, I believe it gives Denise some peace. No matter how beat up that chair gets, there is no way it will ever leave this house. I wouldn’t dream of getting rid of that chair. 

As much as there is great sadness attached to that thing, there is great peace in being able to sit with him in spirit. That chair symbolizes the fact that he is never gone. That’s why that chair is here to stay.

Happy Times

The reason there were so many great memories attached to that painting I found is that when I was young, we were a lower middle class family struggling to make the bills and put food on the table. Don’t get me wrong, we never lacked for anything important. We had a great life camping and so on but the thought of something like a new vehicle or luxury items was not much more than a dream. Then Dad found the paintings.

photo of vanIn the following years, we travelled most of Ontario, earning as we went selling those things.

Dad bought his first brand new vehicle. A 1977 GMC Vandura 25. No, the photo isn’t of Dad’s van, I couldn’t find one that was in electronic format so I borrowed one. The van was big enough to travel with Mom, Dad and four kids, even with a small load of paintings on board. Add to that a house trailer from Sicard in Hamilton. We put an above ground pool in the back yard which necessitated a good fence. All of those extras were paid for by paintings like the tar ships. We did a lot of work together as a family but it never seemed like it.

Don’t Touch That Thing!

My wife and I had a little social media fun with the velvet tar ships. As attached as I am to that painting, I recognize the oddity of it and enjoyed the “fight” with my wife over keeping this thing. We are pretty active on social media and our followers enjoy our banter. What I didn’t realize is my younger brother and his wife were NOT enjoying the slights people were making of my painting. For that I apologize.

In the end, I may give my brother the painting if he truly wants it. It will be with conflicted feelings. I love that painting for all the reasons above but don’t really have a good place to hang it where it would get the respect it deserves. Although, my wife is warming up to it hanging over my desk!

That thing holds a lot of great memories!

Next time someone shows you things that make no sense to hang onto, think twice before you open your mouth. The value of things isn’t always financial and may not be measurable. Be respectful and find a compromise everyone can live with.

By the way, would you believe there is a velvet painting museum?! Check out Velveteeria in Los Angeles, California.

Make it a great day!


P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Mexican velvet paintings. I’m thankful I had great parents. I’m thankful for all of my family.





Permanent link to this article: https://barryclermont.com/things-have-meaning/

Load more