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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hotter Than Hell

We have been having the MOST horrendous heat wave here in the Vancouver area! It's been in the mid-30's C or well into the 90's F, with no end in sight for at least another week. With all the fans going in the house, we still can't get any relief. Our sumers are always good but not this hot. Rather, it's usually in the mid-20's or mid to high 70's, which is a lot more bearable.

Click to enlarge photos - can you see the half moon in the sky? And the red sky over the North Shore mountains?

Last night, we resorted to driving (in the AC car) to the local beach down at Boundary Bay - took our collapsible chairs and a bit of a picnic supper and, with the breeze off the water, finally cooled down a bit. When we got home, I put on a shortie nightgown (that looks like a sun dress) and sat with my feet in a bucket of cold water while my sweetie watered the lawn and garden, periodically spraying me (accidently, of course!) with the mist. Oh, man! It felt so good - but don't tell him that I said that.

We are going again tonight and are going to stay until it's dark! And this time we're going to sit closer to the public restrooms so we won't have to go home so soon. And we're going to drink gallons of something or other! Hopefully, the little food stand will be open so we can get an ice-cream, too.

Note: Just home from spending time in a restaurant, drugstore, and grocery store trying to get cool and noticed the thermostat on the main drag read 100F/38C!!

Anyone else suffering like this?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

B is for BOXES

Continuing with the theme of a new life with "mi amore," this week B is for BOXES. As of the first of August, we're "officially" living together as a couple and as such all his stuff is now here. Wow! it's going to be a lot of work trying to rearrange the house so it's "ours" now.

My house has been rather feminine to date, so I'm finding it a bit difficult to accept his style and taste in some things. For example, the art I prefer is more Impressionistic whereas he prefers bright colours. He has some really nice antique pieces, which I do like, but they look a bit out of place with my more traditional decor. I have a small and ancient Sony CD player that sits on top of my TV, whereas he has the whole shebang - music center with hundreds of LP's and CD's.

However, I know everything will work out fine in the end and I'm hoping that next week I won't have to write C is for chaos or clutter, but rather C is for comfort or coziness. OR I could do C is for Clothes or Closet - I've never known any man to have so many clothes and shoes in my life! I already put my wintery things in another closet to make room for his things and we're going to have to buy one of those adjustable shower curtain rods to put in the upstairs storage room for "some" of his things. *sigh*

Anyway, enjoy the B is for Boxes this week and wish me luck with this mess! Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them!

ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt and this is Round 5, Year 3 so if you've never participated before, by all means join in. It's fun and challenging and you meet lots of great people around the globe. Just click HERE to see who's involved.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Spanish Banks is part of MY WORLD

Named by the earliest European Spanish explorers in the 1770s, Spanish Banks is home to three of Vancouver's superior beaches - Spanish Banks, Locarno, and Jericho Beaches. Far from the madding crowd, you can scan the open waterfront to the west or turn towards one of the most beautiful city skylines anywhere. My friend Josie and I spent some time there on July 1 this year (and she posted about it here) but it was so windy we didn't stay long. The sand was hot between our toes but it was also blowing wildly through the air, sticking in our hair and noses! Lots of seagulls floated on the wind currents or braved the rough waters. It was at this beach when I was 5 years old where I knelt down in the shallows and landed on a broken beer bottle. Apparently, my screams could be heard all the way to the doctor's office where my mother rushed me for stitches. To this day, I bear the 3-inch scar on my right knee. Ah, but what a gorgeous beach it is on a pleasant summer's day. Here are some of my photos from that day. Be sure to click to enlarge the photos.

Thanks to the folks at My World Tuesdays for organizing all this. Go on over and click on participants' links to see "their" worlds.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


For Round 5 of ABC Wednesdays, I'm going to try to think of something akin to my new life now that I've found true love again and am planning to get married next year. So how else could I possibly begin but with the song "That's Amore," made famous by Dean Martin. In Italian, "amore" means "love" and I'm here to say that you're never too old for love. And in honour of "amore," here's a photo of my first rose that bloomed just this morning. This is one of the 5 rose bushes that mi amore planted for me just a few weeks ago. La vita รจ bella - Life is beautiful.

(In Napoli where love is king
When boy meets girl here's what they say)

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita Bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole
That's amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's amore

When the moon hits you eye like a big pizza pie
That's amore(That's amore)
When the world seems to shine like you've had too much wine
That's amore(That's amore)
Bells will ring ting-a-ling-a-ling, ting-a-ling-a-ling
And you'll sing "Vita bella"
Hearts will play tippy-tippy-tay, tippy-tippy-tay
Like a gay tarantella(Lucky fella)

When the stars make you drool just like a pasta fagiole
That's amore
When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's amore(Amore)
That's amore

This is also an appropriate song because mi amore has promised me two weeks in Tuscany! (okay, I know Naples isn't in Tuscany, but it's close enough...) And where else could one possibly celebrate the lives of two people who are so in love but in romantic Italia!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Women and Public Toilets

When you have to visit a public toilet, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the cubicle doors. Every cubicle is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the cubicle. You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!

The dispenser for the modern 'seat covers' (invented by someone's Mum, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your bag on the door hook, if there was one, so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mum would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR !) down with your pants and assume ' The Stance.

In this position, your aging, toneless, thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but having not taken time to wipe the seat or to lay toilet paper on it, you hold 'The Stance.'

To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, 'Dear, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!' Your thighs shake more.

You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your bag (the bag around your neck, that now you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do, so you crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.

Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your bag, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest and you and your bag topple backward against the tank of the toilet.

'Occupied!' you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, while losing your footing altogether and sliding down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try.

You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, 'You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get.

By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl and spraying a fine mist of water that covers your bum and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force and you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a sweet wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.

You can't figure out how to operate the taps with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.

You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it?)
You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, 'Here, you just might need this.

As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's toilet. Annoyed, he asks, 'What took you so long and why is your bag hanging around your neck?

This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with any public rest rooms/toilets (rest??? you've GOT to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers that other commonly asked question about why women go to the toilets in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your bag and hand you Kleenex under the door.
Of course, there's always the following option.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Z is for ZAMBONI

In 1949, Frank Zamboni Jr. invented a machine that transformed the job of resurfacing an ice rink from a three-man, 90-minute task to a one-man, 10-minute job. Go here to read all about the Zamboni, its history and how it works.

As some of you might recall, I met my fiance at an ice-skating rink in Vancouver. I loved to skate with him because he played hockey and could literally whiz around the arena, and all I had to do was hang onto his arm. He played pro hockey for a year, but because of an injury wasn't able to continue to play professionally. However, he still loves the game and goes to all the Vancouver Giants games during the season.
When we first started going out again last fall, he gave me something to give to my grandson. I've kept it because I want my fiance to give it to my grandson himself. It's a 2001 "Team Collectible" Limited Edition NHL Vancouver Canucks miniature Zamboni. It happens to be the sixth in a series of licensed Diecast Collectible Mini Zambonis and I just know my grandson will treasure it. I hope we can get together soon so they can get to know each other and enjoy their time together talking about hockey. I think grandson's Dad might enjoy it, too.
ABC Wednesday is hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt. Click here to see other participants' entries.

Monday, July 13, 2009

That's My World

As most of my readers already know, I live in a small village just south of Vancouver, BC - right on one of the tributaries of the mighty Fraser River. There's a wharf in the village where you'll find Kaymaran Adventure Tours, which offers a variety of eco tourism activities from motorized boat tours to Guided Kayak Tours of the nearby Ladner Marsh. You can even rent a bike. Bird watching and wildlife viewing opportunities are superb in the estuary which is home to the well known Reifel Island Bird Sanctuary on Westham Island. Our guides and river pilots also provide fascinating commentary regarding the cultural and economic history of the Mighty Fraser, a working river today and an important part of our heritage here in British Columbia. The sheltered waters and pleasant climate here in the estuary provide year round boating, paddling, and bicycling enjoyment for adventurers of all ages.

I was down at the wharf about 2 weeks ago and got these shots of the KAT rental office, one of their boats carrying a kayak, and a few of the private and fishing boats moored along the river. Hope you enjoy the photos and I'm looking forward to seeing others' worlds.

Visit the creative team behind That's My World Tuesday by clicking here.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Monochrome Monday

Looking back, it seems I've been remiss in contributing to Monochrome Mondays for about 6 months now. Ah well, most of you know I went through major back surgery and have recently become engaged. So hopefully you'll forgive me - I never forgot you all but have just been trying to recover from everything that's been going on.

Thanks, Aileni, for keeping this going. Hope you like my current contribution, actually taken by my fiance when we were at White Lake, near Shuswap Lake in central BC this past June.

Click here to see other contributions to Monochrome Mondays.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Y is for YACHT

Living as I do on the west coast of Canada, I see lots and lots of boats, especially sailboats gliding in the waters here. On any given day, you might see any number of boats as you drive along Pacific Avenue by English Bay. On windy days, especially, you'll see so many sailboats that you'll wonder how they manage to keep out of each other's way. Here's just one shot of the skyline of Vancouver with boats resting on a calm day.

I've never actually been on a sailboat in my entire life. We used to have a power boat that we'd use for water skiing or cruising on Shuswap Lake in the summers. And Lorne used to have his own sailboat, yellow, called "Daisy."

Here in my little village of Ladner, we actually have a Yacht Club! I went down to take a few photos of the boats moored in the little river harbour and realized that they weren't quite what I had in mind as a yacht. They're more like fishing boats, although there were a few sailboats, too.

If you can't afford to buy a boat, you can always rent one - or a kayak, through Kaymaran Adventure Tours right off the wharf in Ladner.

We've been talking about buying a sailboat some day in the near future. Since Lorne not only owned one in the past AND raced them, he knows everything possible about them. He even said he'd teach me to sail when I suggested my taking lessons.

However, sailboats can be very expensive. Lorne saw an old one, derelict, in the Steveston Yacht Club harbour and made an offer on it. He planned on restoring it to its former glory. But so far that deal hasn't come through. Then today, I found another one for sale. What do you think? Any real future for this one? (click to enlarge) They're only asking $7,000.00!!!

Actually, I think I must have champagne taste because this one (below) is more of what I have in mind when I think of sailing. (I stole this image off the web, but it's actually a sailboat sailing near Vancouver, BC. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be able to own a yacht!

Dream on, Leslie....

ABC Wednesdays is hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt. Click here to participate or to view others' contributions.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Jazz Festival Lures Burbite to Inner City

Don't forget to click on the photos to enlarge them.
Saturday night, younger Daughter and I took the bus deep into the downtown area of Vancouver to see a bit of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. I probably wouldn't have gone had it not been for the fact that my fiance was working at the upper bar at the David Lam Park site. Having never been there before, I figured we could at least get a ride home. The bus was quite an experience for me, having lived in the 'burbs for most of my life and driving everywhere. Of course Daughter was horrified that I didn't even know which slot to put my fare and that I didn't know about the tickets the drivers give you as proof of payment. When I looked at her in awe after hearing the computer announce the next stop, she warned me not to look so much like a rube! So from then on, I sat quietly and enjoyed the view from up so high.

Once there, our first goal was to find my fiance and let him know we had arrived. On the walk to the upper bar (above photo, left, & notice the waterfall), I got a few shots of the stage and some of the surrounding area, including the skyscrapers that loomed over the park. (Note: just as I was posting this photo, I noticed Daughter in bottom right hand corner.) At one point, Daughter decided to fill out some sort of questionnaire on a computer "thingy," so I sat on the cement wall and watched people as they filed past on their way to one or another of the venues. It was amazing (to me) to see so many women who had "let themselves go" with grey or greying hair that was long and straggly and were wobbling along without wearing a bra. And a lot of the men looked like they were still in the "hippie era," too, with the same sort of look (sans bras of course).

Anyway, once we had "checked in," we wandered around the kiosks filling in forms for a free ipod, free music downloads, etc. and found a spot on a cement stair to listen to the music that was starting at 8 pm. Because my scrawny butt doesn't take well to sitting on hard surfaces, we decided to head down towards the water, False Creek. (Click on link to see better photos than mine of this celebrated area of Vancouver.) We could still hear the music, which was great by the way, but we were able to take a lot of photos of the sailboats, motorboats, and a paddlewheeler that happened by. We also got a bit goofy and took silly photos of each other. I'll save those ones for Facebook, but here are a couple of nice ones.

It was also fun to watch a young fellow who was throwing a ball into the water for his dog to chase. That dog never hesitated, but threw himself wholeheartedly into the water. As we had descended the steps to the seawall, I'd noticed a HUGE elephant ear plant so Daughter dutifully took my photo in front of it. Further down the steps, I noticed a cement sculpture with writing inside the circular top. It reads: "The Moon Circles the Earth and the Ocean Responds With the Tides." What an amazing sculpture!

When it started to get a bit dark, we decided to climb up to the bar for a drink. We stayed there for the rest of the evening until my fiance was finished working. But we did meet a couple of his friends who showed up and had a great conversation. After everyone except the workers had left, we were allowed to stay because we were "with the band" so to speak, and we went over to the ledge and got several good night shots. I even got one of my sweetie, but you'll notice it looks like a shadow or a double exposure - that's because I had the setting on my camera at "night" and it took a few seconds to take. He walked away before the picture was taken so all I got was this ghostly image of him! But I think it looks kind of neat.

It was such a warm, clear evening and the lights reflecting in the water were mesmerizing. The moon was almost full and had a soft halo over it. And the lights went on in the skyscrapers.

My first foray into the jazz scene was pretty good, even though I wouldn't have considered the music they were playing last night to be what I call "jazz." Maybe some of you have heard of the Vancouver-based group - delhi 2 dublin. Click on the link to hear a bit of what we heard last night.

As we drove home, Daughter remarked how much she'd love to live in the city so close to all the action. For my part, I was quite content to return to the 'burbs to enjoy my garden and the peace and quiet. Next time I want a bit of "action," I know that I can easily make my way there via the public bus. And that's a taste of "my world" - a world I don't often see, being a "burbite."

For more worlds, click here.