Fun Facts: Thomas More

Thomas More

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Saint Thomas More

Thomas More Signature.svg
Portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger (1527).

Born 7 February 1478, London, England
Died 6 July 1535 (aged 57), London, England
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Communion
Beatified 1886, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Canonized 19 May 1935, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Feast 22 June (Roman Catholic Church)
6 July (on some local calendars and in the Anglican Communion)
Attributes dressed in the robe of the Chancellor and wearing the Collar of Esses; axe
Patronage Adopted children; Ateneo de Manila Law School; civil servants; Diocese of Arlington; Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee; University of Malta; University of Santo Tomas Faculty of Arts and Letters; court clerks; lawyers, politicians, and statesmen; stepparents; widowers; difficult marriages; large families

Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535), also known as Saint Thomas More, was an English lawyer, scholar, author and statesman. He is also recognised as being a saint within the Catholic Church. During his life he gained a reputation as a leading Renaissance humanist, an opponent of the Protestant Reformation of Martin Luther and wrote long treatises opposing William Tyndale and others who wished to see the Bible translated into the English language.  For three years toward the end of his life he was Lord Chancellor.

More coined the word “utopia” – a name he gave to the ideal, imaginary island nation whose political system he described in Utopia, published in 1516. An important counsellor to Henry VIII of England, he was imprisoned and executed by beheading in 1535 after he had fallen out of favour with the king over his refusal to sign the Act of Supremacy 1534, which declared the king to be the Supreme Head of the Church of England, effecting a final split with the Catholic Church in Rome. More was beatified by the Catholic Church in 1886 and canonised, with John Fisher, in 1935. In 1980, he was added to the Church of England calendar of saints.

Diabetics 50-Year Medalist Study

Dear readers, I need your assistance in making a profit-for-science decision involving diabetes research.  This would especially apply to other people who have lived with diabetes for fifty or more years.  Hear me out.  Help me to decide.

To begin, after having applied for and received the rare and renowned bronze “Victory Medal” and Certificate this past January, my boasting capacity is limited.  Through the Joslin Diabetes Center (JDC) in Boston, Massachusetts, these specifically recognize “the remarkable achievement of a successful life with insulin-dependent diabetes for half a century.”  Okay, fine.  I am alive with most of my original parts, excluding my appendix and my virginity.

Now the JDC would like me to participate in a study.  My succumbing to this ‘study’ would assist the JDC to receive funding for a special research project from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).  They have demonstrated that there is still insulin being made in [the bodies of] several 50-year medalists.  Furthermore, this would allow the JDC to gain a “grant (money) to examine factors protecting against complications and complete destruction of insulin producing cells.”

Of course the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is involved along with “international leaders” and “experts from Europe and the United States.”  It is a study.  That word worries me.

If I submit and fly to Boston, the one-day, 8-hour, study “will include studies of the amount of blood flow in [my] eyes associated with protection from diabetic neuropathy, continued evidence of insulin production in the [my] pancreas, auto-immune diseases, and…” 

The tests that they perform involve a “mixed meal tolerance test that would challenge my pancreas to excrete any insulin that is there.”  Something about C-peptides and islet cells.  Blood tests every thirty minutes are also necessitated.  So far, their studies “suggest that there is a mechanism preventing the immune system from destroying all the cells with insulin.  This makes identifying individuals who are like this crucial to finding how to resist auto-immune destruction.”  Hmm.

Those are most of the facts that I have been told.  Sure, my flight expense would be re-imbursed, a one-night stay at a nearby Holiday Inn re-imbursed along with the taxi fare to the hospital. 

My negations involve #1. Coming up with the fares in the first place; #2. Traveling alone, which I do not like doing, especially cross-country; #3. Affording a rent-a-car to visit family and friends while I am there – if I go.  Why can’t “they” come out here and do their testing?!  Does not California have state-of-the-art scientific diabetes study facilities and capabilities of its own?  I guess Joslin wants to shine.

All in all, this study does not claim to procure a cure.  That is the end-product I would like to parttake in.  From what I am to understand, “they” want to find out how come I lived so long with this disease.  I can answer that: I take care of myself.  I’ll just have to have them read my book.  This whole medalist thing will be mentioned in one of my next books as well!

Yearning for Spring

It’s that time of year again.  Wetness from day-after-day of rain, colder temperatures, an ugly and constant muddiness, a consistent and persistent cloudy sky.  In sixteen days of this past mont, I saw the sun twice.   Because I work at home, my two dogs have become my salvation to get outside.  Otherwise, I would not go out at all.  Well, besides them and having to go to the grocery store.

Yep, I have a case of log-cabin fever with a touch of the doldrums.

Are you feeling that way?

Not to be inappreciable with nature, I know some geographic areas are lots worse than mine – weather-wise.  For instance, I have lived many many years on the East Coast of the continental U. S. A. and do not miss that weather!  Although I do miss watching snow-falls and ice skating, I do not miss the cold temperatures (the lowest I have personally experienced was negative 23 degrees below Fahrenheit!).  Nor do I miss that areas’ summer humidity.  Having lived a few months in the south-eastern U. S., the humidity was so heavy that I contracted a fungal discoloration and disorder in my skin!  I was medically told to treat that condition with Head & Shoulders shampoo, of all things.  Are you familiar with that?  I had to “smurf up” every day until it disappeared.  

I need a physical ‘re-birthing’ with some sunshine.  Spring allows me that grace.  Summer is another story in this area of northern California where I reside.  Having witnessed day-upon-day of temperatures above 105 degrees fahrenheit (the highest I lived through was 118 degrees), I think and remember the winter cold.  Autumn is a welcome reprieve and my favorite time of year.

On and on we go. 

How are you and your area’s weather?

The Final Product – YAY!

The proper use of your time after you think you have finished writing an upbeat piece of news is of the utmost importance.  Not only is it important to you, but you believe it to be important for the rest of the world to read as well.  Right?  Once it has been proofread, edited – oftentimes more than twice – then submitted to a publisher, patience surely maintains it virtuosity.  I know.  I just went through these motions with a book.
With that in mind, I am glad to share the finished project with you: “My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography” by A. K. Buckroth. 
To summarize, I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1959 at the age of two. The resultant and most recently celebrated fifty years with this disease is celebrated through this book.  As my writing skills were continually encouraged, expected and sharpened throughout college, I gained knowledge of expressionism and empowerment to culminate in this fruitious ultimatum.
While this particular book describes the maintenance of my balanced yet overwhelming life, I am proof that diabetes is not a death threat. Accomplishments and encumbrances happen with or without having to minutely strategize one’s lifestyle because of a life-threatening disease.
Written to inspire the ever-growing global populace (a reported half-a-billion) with diabetes – to include their parents, siblings, relatives, caregivers, medical personnel, etc. – I have aspired to maintain an inspirational message and reality redeemer for all readers. Through a lifetime of growth factors, personal experiences, personal research, readings, theories with concrete and established hypotheses, my story is told.
This book travels through the tumultuous steps of childhood with this disease; being an adolescent run-away; experiencing peer pressures; one marriage with three miscarriages; single-motherhood; college graduations; world travels; and careers all while fighting to stay alive on a daily basis.
Everyone needs a heroine and a miracle. Five decades – a half century! – of living as a diabetic has been an honor, a divine gift. Readers will be inspired to fight for their lives, distinguishing right from wrong on a daily basis; to strategize their lives with a private appreciation for themselves. 
My Diabetic Soul – An Autobiography by A. K. Buckroth is an inspirational must-read. For further information, please visit my website: or click here to purchase your paperback copy today.
A. K. Buckroth

Old News, On My Mind

Oprah, Oprah, Oprah – yes, the one and only “Oprah [Winfrey]” with whom many of us are familiar.

I am referring to her television show that aired Thursday, February 4, 2010, regarding “diabetes.”  Having read enough blogs from naysayers, I would like to rid of the negativity or at least try. 

As I am not a consecutive viewer of her show, I was able to catch the last ten minutes of this particular one.  Thanks to bloggers’ notifications about its date and time, I never would have known. 

To go on, I simply want to thank Ms. Winfrey and her compatriots for attempting the subject of diabetes.  I am unfamiliar with other television show hosts having ever attempted this subject.  As a life-time diabetic, this disease and all of its subject matters are complex, baffling, intricate in daily details, tiring, and unending.  How could one show-host cover it all?  “Impossible,” I say. 

Aside from “dTV (diabetic television),” a supposed television show pertaining strictly to diabetes, I have never known diabetes to be internationally broadcast.  “dTV” is unavailable to me, therefore, I cannot comment on its progression.  I knew of its existence through a magazine advertisement seen many years ago.  Why not comment on that show?  I, for one, would like to hear about it.  Perhaps it no longer exists.

To conclude, Ms. Winfrey brought international notification and realization to the pandemic of diabetes – if only by simply giving it time.  Time is what is needed.  Unless a person lives with it, it is difficult to understand.  It may be appreciate; a diabetic’s efforts to thrive may be appreciated; but to understand is different.  It is a worldwide concern in competition with so many other human diseases.  Hindsight, as always, will materialize.  Simply, thank you, Ms. Winfrey.


A Silly Lip-Smack on Smoothies

When hearing the word “smoothie,” thoughts of hot summer morning chores such as yard work were often awarded with a smoothie.  The short-drive-when-you-could-walk to the 7-11 was the closest smoothie location.  The summer mood is languorous, awaiting a saw-sucking delight splayed and sprayed from a metal container specifically for this purpose and in the store.  Desperate heat waves call for such measures. 

With that in mind, I never cared about the smoothie ingredients inside those large metal cylinders.  I wanted cold and sweet and that’s what I wanted!

Now I know better.  I think my age is teaching me to pay more attention to my body.  Therefore, I make my own smoothies.  As much of my daily life is spent between my kitchen and my home office, I greatly enjoy blending various fruits or colorful vegetables with the thought of being healthy.

Proclaiming to be a creative wizard, my concoctions are rarely shared  because much of the time I cannot remember what I put in the blender.  That’s the type of cook I am as well.  And I am a good cook! 

The blender is the mechanism of choice; the only kitchen appliance I use for my smoothies.  Oftentimes I have to hurry to find a container to refrigerate what was made in order to wash out the blender to make something else.  The easy and pleasant convenience of the smoothie container safely kept in the refrigerator is always looked forward to.

This habit has become a convenient and expected delight for any time of day in any type of temperature.  When I do not have time to make a sandwich or warm a bowl of soup or prepare a general meal, my smoothies are there – fruit or vegetable.

I delight in the fact that it is all natural with so many essential vitamins and minerals and pheromones, and whatever-mones that a body can handle.  This is what makes healthy eating fun.  There are many recipes on the internet that I indulge in or use as a base when adding my own ingredients.  It depends on what is available in my refrigerator. 

Hmm.  It is time to take a break.  You know I’m heading for the refrigerator for that banana-blackberry-stevia sweetened-2 peeled oranges-with water smoothie that I blended this afternoon.  It is waiting for me too!

Enjoy!  AK.

Raw Foods

Raw Foods may be an old topic for some readers.  It certainly is for me.  However, this subject has been wildy rejuvenated and highlighted in the areas, albeit counties, of Northern California.  I know, I live here.

Whether you know it or not, raw foods consist of uncooked, uncanned, unfrozen, and/or unprocessed foods, especially fruits and vegetables.  Foods come in many packaged ways.  Shoppers and food preparers and daily planners know this.  All food types have different ingredients.  For instance, when in the supermarket choose two acceptable, familiar loaves of bread.  After reading the labels of each, turn them over and read the ingredients as well as the dietary amounts of each (e.g., carbohydrates, proteins, fats, sugars, vitamins, minerals, etc.).  Known as “label reading,” it is important to me and many of you, to know what you are putting into your bodies as well as that of your family members.   I refer to this action as self-respect. 

If you do not know what an ingredient is and cannot pronounce it, do  not eat it meaning do not buy it.  It is really that simple. 

Farmers’ Markets have been in existence for decades.  Purchasing such homegrown, local, and fresh-fresh-fresh delectible edibles not only helps the human body and soul, but helps to support our farmers.  The United States Federal Government cannot do everything.  We do not want them to!  Too many consequences!! 

Household vegetable and herb gardens can be enjoyable hobbies with positive results as well as a cost-saving results.  With this trend in mind, those folks whom do not have land property to grow edibles are encouraged to grow vegetables and herbs in patio pots and/or window boxes.  Ideas are everywhere.  Visit your local library! 

Keep in mind that retaining good health is an effort, but it is up to you.  On a small-scale raw celery, carrots, certain squashes, green beans, bell pepers along with all fresh fruits may be – perhaps should be – ingested on a daily basis.  This is up to you.  The benefits are countless!  Eat colors!  Doesn’t that sound like fun?  The amount is up to you.  Keep it simple and start small.  We are natural after all.  Best of health takes best of intentions.  Good health to all!


Jury Duty

Here is a situation that we all come across sooner or later among these beautiful United States – Jury Duty

Through our beloved USPS ( United States Postal Service), I have been “hereby summoned to serve as a trial juror for the Superior Court…”  At first impressed that a Superior Court would want me for any reason conjures up positive emotions.   After the 30 seconds it takes me to get over myself, I think rationally.  After all, I have done this numerous times in the past.  So being, the anxiety never lessens. 

Hmm.  My responsibilities will need to be put on hold.  That means a dog-sitter and walker, getting a lead on laundering (and not just personal clothes), pre-paying monthly bills, making unpaid-for-work arrangements, fill the gas tank, collect loose change for vending machines and lunch money, change my voice mail with directions, set my e-mails to ‘vacation response’ without a vacation, cancel appointments, meal plan, get my exercise workouts in now, pack reading materials and medications, and so many more errands that were once enjoyable and done at my leisurely pace!

I have been told to “throw it [the summons] away,” and claim that it was never received.  I have also been told by others who have themselves been told (hearsay) that if you do not respond, “they” will find you.  Who are “they?’  And once “they” find me, what are they going to do with me?

In bold, red print on the summons it reads: “Failure to appear when instructed is punishable by contempt and/or fine, pursuant to [whatever states’] code of procedure section 209.”  Phew!  That’s a lot of guilt for a temporaty volunteer position!   Being found “in contempt” means jail time – I do not want that.  Being “fined” is no better because I do not want to pay for someone else’s legal wrong-doing.  Throw them in the slammer and be done with it!  No no, can’t take that attitude.

So, by the ‘systems’ useful force of guilt-by-duress, I concede.  Following the printed instructions by making a necessary telephone call for reporting instructions, my jury duty-ship-ness is postponed for two days with a message to “contact this office after five o’clock in the evening.”   Such a bother! 

Well, my house is now the cleanest it has been since before Thanksgiving.  My bills uptaded.  The taxes are filed.  Errands are accomplished to include extra dog food and treats.  Everyone has been notified whether they need notification or not.

I am going forward.  Although being forwarned that I will be placed on “Standby Service,” a chosen book will keep me busy as I wait to be chosen – or not – while sitting on a hard plastic chair for six to eight hours.  Sure, I could choose to ‘disqualify’ myself, but there is no recourse for that.  I will go forward and promote my country’s legal system with my brain and my time.   If this is the best I can do to serve my country and its citizens, then so be it.  I’ll catch up on some reading.

Stay positive and expect the unexpected! 



Having a bit of a doldrum day.  Three of the days events: on-call nannying, chiropractic visit, and volunteerig – were cancelled allowing me to be lazy.  I did not choose to be lazy.  I did not want to be lazy today.  I would prefer to have been more vivacious and people-greeting, site-visiting.  

This predicament is not up to the stars because there are no stars due to the constant and tenth day of rain.  It is not up to the stars.  Ho hum. 

I do look forward to seeing two friends this evening.  Cake and birthday tune is wonderful.  I am grateful for the little bit of recognition received.  I greatly enjoy some off-the-cuff attention as much as anyone else.  Birthdays are meant for that.  E-mail birthday wishes have been wonderfully surprising.  Those alone make me glad. 

It’s my birthday!  I am glad.


Insulin: Discovered or Invented?

The history of insulin goes back to the early 1920s.  “Dr. Frederick Banting and Charles Best are known as the discoverers of insulin.  They first extracted insulin from the pancreases of dogs in 1921.” and

   Ingenuity and desperation were the necessary mothers of this invention, so to speak. As a child, I was often reminded or heard remarks pertaining to the organs of cadaver cows and pigs that were used for their extraction of pancreatic fluids – insulin – for human use. The documented history of this disease amazes me as well as answers some questions. For one, how did people survive? They didn’t. How was it detected, diagnosed? How did anyone know what to do? I learned most of this through my research preparation of the yearly Science Fair at St. Mary’s. I never won, but I am sure I brought early attention to parents and peers to this disease. That was my sole purpose. It was unpopular in the early 1970’s. People didn’t seem to care as long as there was ‘insulin.’ 

   There is one story I heard of or read about of how a person had to sharpen his/her own needles. How was that done? I have never found an answer and this question will remain in my mind. I am very curious.

   There is another story I came across some time ago that I will never forget. During World War I, a highly educated and young husband and wife escaped the harsh European regime at the time. I recall that the wife was 19 years old and a schoolteacher. Although she suspected she was sick, suffering with typical diabetes symptoms, medication was not easily available. Not until they made their own from the cadaver of a cow. To make a long story short, she survived on this concoction until arriving in America where she was able to purchase animal extracted insulin. This full yet short story can be found in an older issue of Diabetes Interview, specifically Issue 114, Volume 11, Number 1 © 2002, page 50, entitled “Eva’s Insulin,” written by Radha Mclean. It is truly awe-inspiring and worth your research and reading. Interestingly enough, through my research, I also found a substance extracted from, believe it or not, salmon that enhanced insulin that same time period. Amazing.

   I have always wondered how it was for many people many, many years ago who suffered with and through the systems and agony of diabetes, even before it was named. I can only think that their lives were short and uncomfortable. 

   As a “controlled substance, my use of insulin for over fifty years leads me to believe that I am an addict. I have had to use it, I need it, I crave it, I want it. These are the standard physical and emotional strains as with any drug, legal or illegal. Reality check!

   Present day “elders” of this disease, whom I prefer to call “champions” are those individuals whom I have only read about that have dealt with diabetes for longer than I. This fact continues to amaze and awe me; to have this disease for 50, 60, 70, and even 80 years is mind-blowing. I’m right there with them if only due to my choice to live while having a strong spirit.