About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Monday, December 11, 2017

W is for WALKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND

The famous Christmas song Winter Wonderland was first published in 1934. The composer was Felix Bernard (1897-1944) and the lyricist was Richard B. Smith (1901-1935). Probably the most popular versions of this classic Christmas song, Winter Wonderland, were recorded to high acclaim by the Andrews Sisters and Perry Como.
The lyrics of Winter Wonderland have undoubtedly contributed to the magical vision of snow at Christmas together with the tradition of building snowmen and therefore turning fantasy into reality by creating a real Winter Wonderland.

I recall one year in elementary school, we had a "talent" show - not that anyone really had any talent in those years.  But some kids took piano lessons or dance lessons so were in their glory.  A friend and I wanted to participate and all we could do was sing - we were pretty good for 10-year-olds.  So because the show was around Christmas, we decided to sing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" with some actions along with it.  Looking back, I don't think we were that good, but I'm glad we had the courage to get up and do it.  I've always loved that song and it reminds me of that day we sang for our classmates and parents.  

Where I live, winter is usually rainy rather than snowy, but I think the last time we had snow at Christmas was in 2008 - and it was quite nice.  However, we usually pray for sunshine and we are often blessed.  Anyway, here's Amy Grant serenading you all with Walking In A Winter Wonderland.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcXSm51UI5M

Monday, December 04, 2017

V is for VITALITY



Vitality refers to exuberant physical strength or mental power. Lately, my physical energy has felt drained, which in turn has felt like my mental energy is flushing away as well. It may have something to do with the time of year, as November is always such a dreary month and looking forward to Christmas is not as full of excitement as it used to be. It's been raining heavily a lot and the trails are muddy and slippery with rotting leaves.  But sunlight today and the forecast is for more sun, so I'm sure my mood will pick up. You can see in the photo below it looks like Chernobyl...
Tutoring helps me to be in top mental form, and this year I have all boys!  I have two new Grade 9s and I still have two Grade 11 boys and one Grade 12 boy.  I work 10 hours a week as some of them come more than once a week.  The province is in the process of changing the curriculums so I have a lot more to learn so that I can help my students.  I need to read and study up on topics that have never been taught before. However, I do think that not only my education and experience helps, but also simply my maturity and having lived through many historical events, as well as keeping up with the news on the environment and politics. But, just like the kids, I am looking forward to vegging for a couple of weeks. 

I'm stunned at the level of comprehension expected of students in this day and age. I'm also stunned by the topics studied, but then I guess kids at this age are more "aware" than we were in my prehistoric days. I do wonder, though, why kids in their early teens need to read books with themes about rape, sex, and murder. Ah well, it keeps my brain ticking along trying to keep up with them all while at the same time, I feel like one worn-out woman.


Continued thanks to Melody for continuing this ABC Wednesday meme. Her group of vivacious, vigilant, and valued helpers will visit each person's contribution and give valuable insight to you. If you haven't joined in yet, please do or consider starting with our next Round in about a month.

Monday, November 27, 2017

U is for UNDER and UP

I had no idea what to post for this week's celebration of the letter U.  It took a lot of looking through all my photos to come UP with an idea.  So I'm showing you a video of my photos honouring the words UP and UNDER - you'll see how it works.  In each photo, I am standing UNDER something and looking UP - except in the case of the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, I'm looking across and under it AND the last photo where I'm up in a plane looking out at the clouds over Greenland.

ENJOY!  And have an unbelievable final week of November.  Only a bit over a month until we enter into the year 2018!  Where have the years gone?  Thanks to Melody and her team for continuing to keep ABC Wednesday alive.

Oh...one more thing - when you see the photo of my looking UP at one of the Liver Birds in Liverpool, England, please note that those birds are 18 feet tall with a wing span of 12 feet.  So even though they look small in the photo, just imagine....

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Happy Birthday Tegan

I've written about my Tegan - yellow English Labrador - before, but this week is her 5th birthday and for a dog, it's a milestone!  We are so bonded, especially since we've moved to this condo and it's just the two of us living together.  She absolutely LOVES having company, especially the family and certain friends she's met here and her tail never stops wagging.

I thought I'd tell you about two incidents that have happened to her within the last two weeks.  First, she nearly drowned in the river when she leapt in and grabbed a small buoy to bring back to shore.  However, she couldn't make it for two reasons:  first, the buoy was attached to a rope that was itself attached to a pipeline at the bottom of the river and wouldn't move.  It was small enough for her to hold onto with her mouth but she - being a retriever - wanted to bring it ashore.  The second reason was that the tide kept pulling her away from where we were screaming at her to come! come! come! And of course, being just a dog, didn't have the brains to let go of the buoy!  A fisherman and his wife were on their boat and saw what was happening and came running out with a long stainless steel fishing stick of some kind with a barb on the end.  The fisherman managed to hook it onto her collar and jerked it so she dropped the buoy and he pulled her in.  Whew!  I was ready to throw off my coat and boots to go in after her, but thankfully, she was rescued.  She knew something was wrong because as you can see in the photo below, she was scared and couldn't even look me in the eyes.

The second incident was a happy one when I decided to take her to a new dog park about a half hour away from home.  We were having a glorious walk in the woods and she was so happy to run around free and sniff every tree, bush, and leaf!  I spotted a couple of yellow English Labs ahead of us so scurried to catch up to them.  Of course Tegan beat me there, but the ladies were waiting to ask me where she had come from (breeder).  It turned out they ALL - all three of the dogs - were from the same breeder - the male was 7 years old, the female 6 and Tegan is turning 5 on Friday.  They may even have had the same mother and father! At the very least, they are all cousins and maybe even actual brothers and sisters (but not from the same litter). What a fantastic meeting - we chatted and continued to walk together for quite a ways until I lost track of them when I was chatting with someone else on the trail.  Here are some photos of the 3 dogs.

Tegan is the smallest one with her pink tongue hanging out.  And in the next photo, she's the one sitting prettily saying, Please.

 So - one scary incident and one very happy incident - all within a few weeks of each other.  Tegan is still my love bunny and even at 65 pounds, she loves to jump up on my lap (when permission is granted) and snuggle in with me on my big leather recliner.  We love going on our daily walks, weather permitting, and visiting friends and family whenever we can.  When I have to go out to work, she settles nicely in her very own lazy-boy (my late mother wouldn't mind her using it) and has a nap until I come home to feed us both our dinners.

Here she is at just under 3 months old


Here she is on her favourite trail now telling me to hurry up.


HAPPY 5th BIRTHDAY, TEGAN

Monday, November 13, 2017

S is for SMILE

Hi everyone!  Hope you all remembered "Remembrance Day" (as we here in Canada call it).  I know it's a service of remembering those who gave the ultimate gift to us by fighting against evil in the past wars.  However, I couldn't help but smile when recalling that so many men in my family were part of those who fought.  My grandfathers (both of them) fought in World War 1, with my paternal grandfather passing away at the young age of about 50 from complications of the gas he inhaled at one of the battles. I remember that night so clearly as I was about 7 years old and in bed when suddenly the house came alive with shouts and sirens as the paramedics tried to save his life after suffering a massive heart attack.  But I remembered my Grandpa with a smile on November 11th.  I also remember my other Grandpa and the photo I have of him in uniform.  My Dad and his sister, my Auntie Jo, were both in World War 2, my Dad as a flight trainer and pilot who monitored the east coast of Canada for German warships, U-boats and submarines.  He didn't go overseas and never got injured but he also never discussed his experiences in the war until the year before he died.  However, he focused on the happy times of flying through the clouds and goofing around during training periods. He lost a lot of his friends in those years. Here's my Dad at about 22 years old, proudly posing in his RCAF uniform.
I am also happy to being smiling broadly these days after having some dental work done.  I had to get a bridge done but after 2 attempts, my dentist decided that for some reason, my mouth was not accepting the new types of glues.  So, she had to do a sort of "old-fashioned" way of doing it.  I'm very happy now as I have a great smile with straight teeth now!
Finally, I am smiling because I made a BIG decision and I'm proud of myself.  Some of you know the background of my disastrous marriage almost 4 years ago and why I've been separated for almost 3 years.  Well, I went to my lawyer and have now filed for divorce and costs if he contests my application.  Hopefully, he will have learned that I'm not someone to trifle with and will simply sign the form - or else just ignore it.  Because we've been separated for almost 3 years, the application will simply go through the courts and "he" will be informed that he's now divorced.  But if he hasn't learned anything from me, he will try to get access to Tegan, my dog, and if he does, he will end up paying for my legal fees as well as his own.  But then I know him - he's too cheap and will probably give up.  So I will be divorced early in the new year - hopefully, January or February. Another fresh start for me!
Next year, 2018, I am planning a 6-week trip to England, Wales, and Ireland!  I'm smiling all the time with anticipation because I am going to try to rent a cottage in North Yorkshire (near my friend Jill) and hire a car to learn to drive myself around.  The car must be an automatic, though, because my brain won't work trying to shift gears AND stay on the proper side of the road.

So all in all, I'm feeling pretty good these days!  I just knocked on my wooden desk - just to be on the safe side.  LOL

Thanks, Melody, for keeping ABCW alive...not too many contributors - yet - but keep at it.  I always post mine on Facebook, too, so if anyone is interested in joining in, they can always contact me. Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, November 06, 2017

R is for REMEMBRANCE DAY


November is always a time of remembrance and respect. We remember our Canadian Armed Forces for their participation in all wars since confederation (1867). Because of our ties with the British Empire, Canada joined forces in the Second Boer War, World War 1, and World War 2. Canada has also participated in multinational coalitions and fought in the Korean War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, and the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. As well, Canada has played an important role in peacekeeping operations worldwide and has sent more troops than any other country.

Along with remembering Canada's military forces for their sometimes heroic endeavours to keep our country and other countries democratic, we show our utmost respect to them on November 11 every year. We honour them for their specific actions and conduct and respect them for their dedication to freedom. Here is a poem I wrote about respect.


RESPECT

Respect is a blood-tinged soldier's cerise.
It looks like privates positioned at ease.
It sounds like everyone saying "Please."
It smells like the cool crisp scent of autumn leaves.
It tastes like the bread and wine we receive.
It feels like reverberating vibrations of sound.

I would like to share this slideshow from the photos I took at the Remembrance Day service in my village of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada on November 11, 2014. I also dedicate this post to my father, a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, who patrolled the east coast of Canada during World War Two keeping Canada safe from enemy forces that tried to cross the Atlantic in submarines, warships and German U-boats.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Thanks to Melody and her radiant and ravishing group of revolutionaries for keeping ABC Wednesday alive. We refuse to restrain ourselves as we revere the ridiculous to the reflective to the romantic revelations of our contRibutoRs. Please take part in your area's services to rejoice in renowned reflections.
Respect is honoring the moral high ground.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Q is for QUINCE

Welcome to one of the hardest letters of the alphabet - Q as in queen, quarter, quarantine.  This week, I'm showing you some photos of quince, a fruit that I'd never heard of before.  I discovered it quite by accident last month (September) when I took a drive out to Westham Island Herb Farm - a regular destination of mine.

I was able to get a parking spot right alongside the corn patch that left me only a short walk to the entrance.  However, just as I got out of the car, a photo op presented itself.  This (what I thought was an apple tree with one of the farm buildings behind.
I took another look and thought, "Oh it must be some type of pear."  But later, as I was leaving, I noticed a little tag on the tree so I took a look and discovered it was a "bourgeot quince."  Once home, I looked it up online and discovered it's something like a cross between a sweet apple and a pear.  Now I have never tasted a quince, but it sure sounds delicious and from now on, I'll keep an eye out for them in the stores.

Apparently, most varieties of quince grow in hotter climates, but the "bourgeot" is acclimatized to British Columbia's sometimes cold winters.  If you are interested in reading more about the quince here is a great website from the BC Living Magazine.


Have quintessentially great week, everyone!  Many thanks to Melody and her team of assistants for keeping ABC Wednesday alive.