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.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Visit with Dad

I went to visit my Dad today - the first time since he's been moved to the really fancy section of the care home. He was so happy to see me and showed me all around his room. He thinks he's living in a luxury hotel now and was especially thrilled to show me his bathroom with the huge shower and the tap that turns on when you put your hands under it. It's good to see that he's happy and in no pain. He is even walking without his walker or even his cane. He continues to have mini-strokes and one day the big one will come and he'll be gone. But in the meantime, it's good to see him so content.
Then I had him sit down and gave him a small book of photos to look at. The photos were all of my little Noah whom he hadn't seen since last Thanksgiving. My daughter wanted to visit and bring the little guy, but Dad just hasn't been well enough. So while he was looking at the photos, I went out and got them and brought them in to surprise him. Well, Dad just welled up and was so thrilled to see Noah, hugged him tight and had him sit on his lap. We managed to get a few photos after he'd calmed down a bit and stayed for about 2 hours. Anyway, just thought you'd like to see this photo - I think it's the best one as they're all smiling.
We have to cherish every moment right now as we never know when will be the last time we see him. Realistically, he probably won't be here for Christmas, but only God knows. I'm just thankful that he's happy and that we can bring him some joy when we visit.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What Age Do You Act?

Oh man! I love this quiz! Turns out I'm 28 years old at heart. I think that's just about right for me. Give it a try and let me know how old you all are.:D

Cut and paste this address:

You Are 28 Years Old
Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.
13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.
20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.
30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!
40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Noah's First Field Trip

Noah went on his first field trip today. Mommy was disappointed that she couldn't go because of work, but Daddy was there to document the day.
Away we go on the big yellow school bus!
Oh boy! I love splashing!
This is SO much fun, Dad!
Cool dude, just like my Dad.
(Check out the t-shirt's words.)

Am I one proud Gramma, or what?

Oh, by the way, feel free to continue to comment on the Tom Cruise post below.

Tom Cruise's new role causes problems with Germans

I noticed this online today and wonder about your comments.

Casting of Scientologist Tom Cruise as German resistance hero raising ire

BERLIN (AP) - Two hot-button issues in Germany - the Nazi era and Scientology - are being pushed simultaneously by a new film in which Tom Cruise plays the country's most-famous anti-Hitler plotter, sparking controversy in Berlin.
Cruise, one of Scientology's best-known adherents, is to play Col. Claus Graf Schenk von Stauffenberg - the aristocratic army officer executed after a failed attempt to assassinate Hitler in 1944 - in director Bryan Singer's new film "Valkyrie."
The film's German co-producers say they were given permission to use the former German general staff headquarters in Berlin, where Stauffenberg worked and where he was executed, and that they plan a detailed, historically accurate treatment.

But word that a Scientologist would play Stauffenberg has rubbed some the wrong way. Germany's government considers Scientology a commercial enterprise that takes advantage of vulnerable people, and critics maintain that one of its adherents should not be playing one of the Nazi-era's few heroes.

Stauffenberg "is to be played by an actor whose sect, through dubious methods, attempts to lure people and make them pliable," Social Democratic lawmaker Klaus Uwe Benneter said on his website. "This is a slap in the face to all upstanding democrats, all resistance fighters during the Third Reich, and all victims of the Scientology sect."
Sabine Weber, a spokeswoman for Scientology in Berlin, said she was "shocked" that politicians would speak out against Cruise starring in the movie, saying that it was a "call to discrimination" against someone because of religious beliefs, which violates German and European human-rights codes.

The film's producers maintain the criticism is misguided, accusing politicians of making hay of a non-issue.
"Basically, some politicians are using the popularity of Tom Cruise to become popular themselves," Carl Woebcken, head of the Babelsberg studio that is slated to co-produce the film in Germany, told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
"This is not a Scientology film, it is a Bryan Singer film, and Bryan Singer is Jewish ... and they want to make this film to show that during the Nazi regime there was heroic resistance," Woebcken said. "The personal beliefs of Tom Cruise have to be separated from his skills as an actor. He is one of the best, if not the best, actors in the world for heroic roles and that is why Bryan Singer approached him."

United Artists called its film "a historically accurate thriller" and said in a statement that "Mr. Cruise's personal beliefs have absolutely no bearing on the movie's plot, themes or content."
Germany's federal agency that tracks extremism has had Scientology under observation for a decade on allegations that it "threatens the peaceful democratic order" of the country. The Scientologists long have battled to end the surveillance, saying it is an abuse of their right to freedom of religion, and the U.S. State Department regularly criticizes Germany in its annual Human Rights Report for the monitoring practice.

Stauffenberg's son Berthold Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg has spoken out against Cruise playing the role, telling the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that "he should keep his fingers off my father," and adding that he feared the movie would be "terrible kitsch."

Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung was quoted as saying such a film involving Cruise could not be made at his Ministry - the same building where Stauffenberg kept his offices and was dragged into the courtyard and shot after his plot failed.

But, Woebcken noted, the film company had not asked to film at the part of the Defence Ministry building occupied by the military, and already has preliminary permission from other agencies to film at the area where Stauffenberg's offices were, and where he was executed.
A Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed that the moviemakers had not asked to film in his ministry's areas, and said if they did, the application would be considered like any other.
Stauffenberg and the other plotters were caught and executed after Hitler survived the explosion at his headquarters in what was then East Prussia.

Woebcken said authorities should be welcoming the decision to shoot the film at original locations.

"The Defense Ministry ... says that if a Stauffenberg film is done, it has to be authentic, and for exactly that reason United Artists wants to do the film in Berlin in the original places," he said. "Otherwise they could have done the film anywhere in the world."
"Valkyrie" is scheduled for release in 2008.

© The Canadian Press, 2007

Sunday, June 24, 2007


Josie and I had a great time today at the Ladner Village Market. It's held every 2 weeks during the months of June, July, and August. Every year it gets bigger and better and today was no exception.

As you approach the market, you're greeted by this sign.

Yes, Ladner is considered the 'burbs and this bright red tractor outside ABC Restaurant proves it.
First thing we had BBQ smokies fresh off the grill.Here I am in the midst of the throngs in the closed-off main drag of the village.
This is where the entertainment was happenin'
Mister Wes Mackey, blues singer, was fabulous!
Here we have "Salty the Seagull" chatting up pretty ladies.

Y'all come back, ya hear?Finally, we couldn't leave without sampling Sara's ice cream.The next market is scheduled for July 8th, so mark your calendars. Hope to see you there.

We rested at my place while we sipped tea and listened to the thunder and lightning. When the storm ended, we headed out to Sharkey's Seafood Bar and Grille for scrumption halibut and zesty oysters. We managed to crawl out from there, bellies full, to see a heron perched on a post in the middle of the Fraser River tributary. We wandered around the wharf, admiring the view and discovered Kaymaran Ecoadventure Tours so we decided that one day this summer, we'll go for it.

Josie thinks she might move out here when she retires. That'd be GREAT, 'cuz I ain't moving nowheres nohow!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Footprints in the sand

I have a good friend who is going through a particularly stressful time right now. I shared this poem with her and hope it helped because it's helped me in times of trouble, too. If you're of a mind to, please pray for peace and healing in her life.This is the original version of the poem written in 1936 by Mary Stevenson.

Footprints in the Sand

One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”

The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Camping Adventures

My older daughter and her husband took 3 1/2 year-old Noah camping over Father's Day weekend with another couple and their 3 year-old daughter. It appears they all had a fun time so I thought I'd share some of their photos.
Mommy and Daddy
The forest is a bit spooky.
Well, actually it's kinda pretty.
Fishing with Daddy.
Playing chase with Payton.
Stoking the campfire with Daddy.
Roasting wienies with Payton.
Snuggling with Daddy.

Do you like your cookie, Payton?

Monday, June 18, 2007


This is a repeat of a post I did way back in September of 2005. But, it's a good one and it helps me on rainy days like today.
An American decided to write a book about famous churches around the world.For his first chapter he decided to write about American churches. So he bought a plane ticket and took a trip to Orlando, thinking that he would work his way across the country from South to North.

On his first day he was inside a church taking photographs when he noticed a golden telephone mounted on the wall with a sign that read $10,000.00 per call. The American, being intrigued, asked a priest who was strolling by what the telephone was used for. The priest replied that it was a direct line to Heaven and that for $10,000.00 one could talk to God. The American thanked the priest and went along his way.

Next stop was in Atlanta. There, at a very large cathedral, he saw the same golden telephone with the same sign under it. He wondered if this was the same kind of telephone he saw in Orlando and asked a nearby nun what its purpose was. She told him that it was a direct line to Heaven and that for $10,000.00 he could talk to God. "O.K. thanks" said the American.

He then traveled to Indianapolis, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Boston and New York, then on to Portland and north to Seattle. In every church he saw the same golden telephone with the same $10,000.00 per call sign under it.
Upon leaving Seattle, the American saw a sign saying "Route 5 North to Vancouver CANADA" and decided to see if Canadians had the same golden telephone.

He drove for awhile and finally arrived in Ladner, BC. Sure enough, there again in the local church was the same golden telephone, only this time the sign under it read 25 cents per call. The American was surprised and so intrigued that he asked the church's pastor about the sign.

"Father, I've traveled all over America and I've seen this same golden telephone in many churches, I'm told that it is a direct line to Heaven, but in every state the price was $10,000.00 per call. Why is it so cheap here?"

The priest smiled and answered: "You're in Canada now son, it's a local call."

Friday, June 15, 2007

What we do for fun...

Just home from a picnic at my former school - was invited by a couple of good friends who are still teaching there. The food was supplied - barbecued hamburgers, roast beef, and teriyaki or spicy salmon complete with all the trimmings. For dessert there were chocolate and carrot cakes plus watermelon. Everything was delicious! For fun, there was a bouncy castle for the kids and then for something really exciting this year, we had a tractor pull. Yes I live in the 'burbs very close to the country - some of the students actually live on farms in the area and their parents/grandparents open their homes for visits to the pumpkin patch or to see the baby animals that are born in the springtime. A great time was had by all tonight at the 3rd annual school picnic.

Miscarriage of Justice?

I read in the paper this morning about a young man who was arrested and convicted of aggravated child molestation. He was 17 and the girl was 15 - it was consensual oral sex. Genarlow Wilson was a good student and an athlete in high school and at a New Year's Eve party in 2003, the two teens got carried away. Now this young man has to serve 10 years in prison and another year on probation plus he has to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Read more about it here and here.

On the opposite page, everyone is up in arms about Paris Hilton having to serve more time than others who have been convicted of the same crime that she committed. She received how many days in prison for driving without a license that had been revoked because she had been driving drunk? She could have KILLED innocent people! This photo shows Paris brazenly driving again without a license after having been convicted of drunk driving.

Now I ask you, "Which is the crime here?" Granted, I wouldn't be pleased to find out my young teens were involved in sexual acts at a wild party. But was anyone harmed? I believe it is a travesty of justice that this young man has been convicted of a "crime." Apparently, no one seems able to reverse the sentence because of some antiquated law in the state where he lived. And poor little Paris will get out in a few days after she could have murdered someone.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Back to Work?

Well, I had a very promising interview this morning. The position is as an educational assistant, working with a gifted child who also has some learning disabilities. The hours are good, the pay is decent, and I'd be home by 4:00 pm. The job starts next week so that the student would get used to his new aide and continue once a week in the summer. I've missed being in the classroom and even though this isn't teaching an entire class, it'll be a new experience for me without the 60-hour work week. So wish me luck, everyone.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Rags to Riches makes history

This morning as I was getting dressed, the exciting and historic win of Rags to Riches was shown on the news. I actually started cheering as she was nose to nose with her closest competitor and clapped when she won!

Rags to Riches is racing’s queen for a day.
The fabulous filly outdueled Preakness winner Curlin in a breathtaking stretch run and won the Belmont Stakes by a head Saturday, becoming the first of her sex in more than a century to take the final leg of the Triple Crown.

“My hat is off to Rags to Riches,” said Curlin’s trainer, Steve Asmussen, who never gave up hope his chestnut colt would prevail in the dramatic final strides.

No one was happier with the victory than trainer Todd Pletcher and jockey John Velazquez, who both ended long droughts in Triple Crown races: Pletcher was 0-for-28, Velazquez 0-for-20.

“It’s a special feeling now matter when you do it, but when you do it with a filly for the first time in 102 years it’s really special,” Pletcher said.

Despite a slight stumble at the start, Rags to Riches turned the Belmont into a sensational showdown — a true battle of the sexes.

When the field of seven 3-year-olds turned for home, four horses were up front, Rags to Riches on the outside and Curlin sneaking in between two other rivals.

In an instant, it became a two-horse race — a quarter-mile to the finish of the 1½-mile Belmont, the longest and most grueling of the Triple Crown races.

Even the normally reserved Pletcher stood and cheered, along with the Belmont Park crowd of 46,870, as the horses battled saddlecloth to saddlecloth to the wire.

And when Rags to Riches won, it was a great day for ladies as racing had it’s first filly to win a Triple Crown race since Winning Colors took the 1988 Kentucky Derby.

The defeat was a tough one for Curlin, who staged a remarkable rally to beat Street Sense by the same margin in the Preakness three weeks ago.

“The filly ran a great race on the right day,” Asmussen said. “And now they’re taking her picture.”

Even without a Triple Crown on the line, and with Street Sense not in the field, this Belmont will be one to remember.

Rags to Riches became the third filly to capture the Belmont — Ruthless took the first running in 1867 and Tanya won in 1905. Only 22 fillies have tried the Belmont, with Rags to Riches the first since Silverbulletday finished seventh in 1999.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sleepy Quark Dawg

I just had to share this photo of Monty the Wonder Dawg who is Pam's pride and joy. Monty sent Josie a photo and note and he sent me this one. I LOVE it!! It shows just how I've been feeling lately what with things going on in my life and all this #*(%#@ rain we're getting again. Will it EVER end? I feel like I'm suffering from SAD and it's June already. Enough with the winter weather! I have a job interview Monday morning and I hope I don't arrive all soggy. I think I'll sleep for the rest of the weekend.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Monet to Dali at the Vancouver Art Gallery

From the Vancouver Art Gallery's website:
Monet to Dalí represents the most comprehensive showing of European painting and sculpture in Vancouver in more than half a century. Drawn from the superb collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition consists of more than 80 paintings, drawings and sculpture that demonstrate key examples from the European modernist movement. Organized into four groupings, this exhibition covers a century of art making from 1864 to 1964 and showcases important work by the major Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, early modern sculptors and avant-garde artists interested in Dadaism, Cubism and Surrealism. Most notably, the exhibition includes key works by Manet, Monet, Cézanne, van Gogh, Rodin, Picasso, Dalí and other renowned artists. Together, the works in this stellar collection illuminate the breadth of creativity in one of the most extraordinary epochs in the history of Western art.
I am so excited that this display will be here for us to see. It is at the gallery from June 11 to Sept 16 and is being promoted as the most significant showing of European art EVER in Vancouver. The last time I saw anything remotely close to this was when I was in San Francisco and visited the Legion of Honor. There I viewed some Rubens, Rembrandt, Watteau, Gainsborough, Monet, Bouguereau, Matisse, and Picasso. I just cannot find the words to express my feelings then. Monet is one of my favourite artists and as such, I always taught a unit on him and the impressionist style of painting to my 4th grade classes. The kids loved seeing photos of me on the bridge over the lily pond at Giverny. (yes the one pictured above!) I will be attending this display soon. Who wants to join me?

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Leslie Likes...

I've been pretty stressed out lately, so decided to try to think of positive things. So, today I am concentrating on things I like or appreciate about myself. Another day I might do my dislikes. Feel free to share your own likes.
1. The saying, "If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all."
2. Clothes, parties, and intelligent people.
3. A little protein with my salad (any type of cheese or seafood will do).
4. To keep active.
5. My independence.
6. Listening to music and reading books.
7. To spin magical stories.
8. To laugh and enjoy life.
9. To challenge myself.
10.The idea of hanging out on clouds.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gramma's Day

Noah and I had such a fun day today! It was the first time I'd spent a whole day with him alone. Of course, I've babysat him or spent several hours with him, but today was "our" day. After lunch, I took him for ice cream (chocolate brown, of course!) and he was so cute as he finished it off oblivious to the chocolate marks all over his face. After making jello together, we had some fun kicking the ball around the yard.
Then we got out the magnifying glass and looked at bugs and flowers.
We then headed for the bird sanctuary where we spent almost an hour.
After that, we went to the park for some active fun. First, the slide.
Then the big "licorice" climbing apparatus.
Then we went to the water park and boy, was that fun!

It's amazing how much fun a 3 1/2 year old can have with a little yellow boat that he found at the water park.

We ended the day at "Old" McDonald's with nuggets and fries and great fun in the playground.

I adore the little girl of about 8 or 9 who asked if Noah was my son or grandson and expressed amazement that he's my grandson. She said with great seriousness, "Oh my gosh, you look like you're only in your 20s or 30s!" It made me think back to when I told my students (4th graders) when Noah was born and one of them said (with great seriousness), "Well, gee Mrs. C, you better retire now!"

I have to admit to being a tad "pooped" but I can also admit to looking forward to the next time Gramma has "her" day. It was better than Mother's Day! Grandchildren are gifts from God.