About Me

My photo
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.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

K is for Keepsakes

Gee, we're almost halfway through the alphabet for the 5th time! This week, the letter K is brought to you by Mrs. Nesbitt, our ABC Wednesday hostess.
In keeping with the theme of my new life with Lorne, I'm showing you some of his keepsakes. And the first thing actually begins with the letter K - keys. He loves antiques, and when he saw these keys in an antique store, he just had to get them. When he showed them to me, I said "Oh, why don't you choose one that would look good on a silver chain and you can give it to me saying 'It's the key to my heart.' Wouldn't that be romantic?" And he actually agreed! So, I'm waiting.
Click to enlarge.

Last Sunday, we took a load to the storage locker and came home with another box. Inside were 6 ducK decoys. I chose this one to show you because it's the oldest and most "antiquey" looking one. We put it by the front door to use as a doorstop. The others are scattered around the main floor living area, but I think I just might have to hide some of them. A few months ago, he said that "I" had too many nicK-nacKs around but lately, I'm finding a few too many of "his." Click to enlarge.

Finally, I'd like to show you his grandfather's lighter. His grandfather had the same initials as Lorne (except for the middle initial, that is). I think it's quite unique and very macho looking. Of course, we don't need a lighter like this since we don't smoke and we use those long-handled ones for the barbecue. But it is Kind of a conversation piece and it's fun to hear stories of the past about his family. Click to enlarge.

To see other participants posts, simply click here and you'll be instantly transported to a Mr. McLinky where you can click on a name to see their contributions.

Oh yes, you might have been wondering about the wedding we attended a week ago. I said I'd post photos, but I don't think I should as the people might object. But here is one that fits in to our K-Day. The KISS:

Congratulations go out to Jon and Tiffany, hoping they have a wonderful honeymoon in Cuba!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

J is for Jib

Today at ABC Wednesday, hosted by Mrs. Nesbitt here, we're celebrating the letter J. Now, there are lots of J names in my family - father Jack (formally John), late FIL James, sister Jackie, daughters Jamie (who married Jason), and Jaclyn. But I needed to find a J word that would tie in with the theme of my new life with Lorne.

Lorne used to sail. Actually, he sold sailboats and raced them, too. Now I have never been on a sailboat in my entire life but I'm sure hoping that I'll get to go one of these days. Lorne no longer has his boat, but knows lots of people who have one. Anyway, I decided to do J is for JIB - of course, I had to ask him what a "jib" is because I had no idea which sail was called the jib. If you would like to read more about it, simply click here, but let me warn you that if you're not a sailing aficionado, it'll be as Greek to you as it is to me.

Lorne brought a few pieces of art with him when he moved in and, because I love it, this is one that will grace a wall in our living room. It's very large and will be a focal point and a conversation piece. Please excuse the poor photo but it was difficult to get the shot without a lot of reflections. But you get the idea.

I'd sure like to go sailing one day and feel the wind on my face out in the briny Pacific Ocean - well, at least the inlets that don't have huge thunderous waves that could wash me overboard. I might need to take a bucket with me, too, just in case......

I can tell how much Lorne loved to sail because whenever he talks about it his eyes just light up. A few of his cherished possessions are a gorgeous coffee table book about sailing and yachts, three brass ornaments of sailboats, and a photo his best friend took of him sailing his own boat, "Daisy," about 15 years ago. Look at the joy on his face in the photo.
Wouldn't you love to experience that same joy? If I ever get the chance, I'll strap my camera to me and snap away like crazy and get a photo of the jib, other sails, the sailors, and maybe one of me hanging over the bucket.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Monochrome Weekly

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a day over on the Sunshine Coast and did a post about it here. I didn't post this photo at the time because I was saving it for a Monochrome Weekly. These stairs led down to a beautiful beach where driftwood lay scattered on the sand and dogs fetched sticks for their masters. The day was absolutely gorgeous, sunny and warm, with not a cloud in the sky. And Iloved how the shadows played impishly on these steps. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed taking the photo.

Have a great week everyone and I'll try to get around to visiting everyone.

Be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it. It looks much better that way.

To view other Monochrome photos, click here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Very Special Wedding

We're going to a wedding this Saturday. No, not ours - not yet. Ours is a year and a week away, but this one is going to be very special. I think it's quite unusual for a guest to be as close to both the bride and the groom as I am.

The bride is the youngest daughter of a couple I've known for about 30 years. I actually know the entire clan! The groom is the youngest son of my late husband's best friend who was also best man at our own wedding over 36 years ago. My daughter and I have been to two showers for the bride and we had wonderful times at both, seeing old friends we haven't seen for some time and meeting new ones.

The wedding is to be held at Hycroft, an absolutely gorgeous mansion in the Shaughnessy area of Vancouver. It's going to be quite formal, with the ceremony outside, weather permitting, and the reception and dance inside. I've been to Hycroft before, at the University Women's Club's annual Christmas Fair, and I can vouch for its opulance. At the right you'll see the gated entrance and then you can see the portico at the front door. The entire place will be a fantastic location for a special wedding complete with photo shoots deserving a place in "In Style" magazine!

Lorne and I are honoured to be sitting with the groom's parents and relatives and next to the bride's parents' table. That just shows how close we are to both the families. I can hardly wait to dress up for the event and watch these two wonderful young people (ages 25 & 27) get married! They've both lived at home all their lives so this is going to be a very special time in their lives.

Keep an eye out for photos of the wedding here next week.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Exploring the Sunshine Coast

Thanks, David, for the mention re POTD.

What a full day I had yesterday! Up at 6:15 and over at my friend's place by 7:30 to drive together to the Horseshoe Bay Ferry to go over to a part of the Sunshine Coast. The last time I was there was last November but just to look around for a couple of days with another friend and to "get away." This time, I had an ulterior motive...the area is in the running as a place to live in our retirement years. The Sunshine Coast is located north of Vancouver BC and is accessed by water or air and once there, you'd think you were on an island. However, it is attached to the mainland of British Columbia but there just isn't any road access.

I have lived in my little village of Ladner for many many years and came here specifically because it was a quiet little burb away from the hustle and bustle of noisy city living. However, lately it seems to be growing by leaps and bounds and we hear traffic, sirens, and children shouting all the time now. There has also been an increase in homelessness, drugs, and crime. So for our retirement years we'd like to live in a more peaceful location that suits our lifestyle.

My friend knows several people, including her immediate family, who live in Gibsons, Sechelt, Roberts Creek, Halfmoon Bay and other areas. The climate is mild, being protected by the outlying islands and there are more than 20 provincial parks, lakes, beaches, a lot of artisans, and great food. We visited 2 totally different Bed & Breakfast accomodations run by people my friend knows - one quite elegant and the other more laid-back/countryish with outdoor fire pits. Here are a few photos I took that might help give you an idea of the beauty of the region. Be sure to click to enlarge the photos to get the best effect possible.

So, two thumbs WAY UP for the Sunshine Coast. How could anyone say "no" to such gorgeous beaches where you can walk your dog and let it go swimming at any time of the year, the sealife, the sailing and other types of boating, its history, peace and quiet, all the friendly folks, and lots of the "Arts."
Of course, the Okanagan (namely the town of Peachland) is also in the running. But we won't know for a while as I think we both need to visit these places a few more times to make an informed decision.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

ABC Wednesday - H is for Honey

Honey is produced by honey bees and comes from the nectar of flowers. It's a naturally delicious alternative to sugar, and although it's available all year long, it's especially good in the fall when it's just been harvested. Research has shown that honey's unique composition makes it useful as an antimicrobial agent and antioxidant.

"Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree" is an animated Disney film (1966) that tells the story of Pooh's love (obsession) of honey and his misadventures in his search for more when his honey pot runs low. See here for a synopsis of the plot. It's a hilarious musical movie that even adults can enjoy.

Winnie-the-Pooh, commonly shortened to Pooh Bear and once referred to as Edward Bear, is a fictional bear created by A. A. Milne. The first collection of stories about the character was the book Winnie-the-Pooh (1926), and this was followed by The House at Pooh Corner (1928). Milne also included a poem about the bear in the children’s verse book When We Were Very Young (1924) and many more in Now We Are Six (1927). All four volumes were illustrated by E. H. Shepard. The hyphens in the character's name were later dropped when The Walt Disney Company adapted the Pooh stories into a series of Winnie the Pooh featurettes that became one of the company's most successful franchises worldwide. (Wikipedia)

A A Milne named the main (human) character, Christopher Robin, after his son, and other characters were inspired by his son's stuffed animals, most notably the bear named Winnie-the-Pooh. Christopher Robin's bear, originally named "Edward," was renamed "Winnie-the-Pooh" after a Canadian black bear named Winnie (after the Manitoba city of Winnipeg). This Canadian black bear was used as a military mascot in World War I, and left to the London Zoo during the war.
When my daughters were very small, they had several of the (stuffed) characters from the Winnie the Pooh stories. The first one was Winnie himself, given to our older daughter when she was just a year old. At that time, Winnie was almost as big as she was! Then came Tigger and Eeyore, and Piglet. Along with the characters came the books and videos that both the girls loved so much.

I think most kids are given a Winnie the Pooh and/or other of the characters from the stories sometime in their little lives. I remember the wonderful times my girls had playing with theirs.

Oh, and if you're wondering how this ties in with my "theme" this round re my new life with L, well....he calls me "Honey."

ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Mrs. Nesbitt and people from all over the world participate. If you'd like to, or even read some of the posts from participants, simply click here.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Pennies for Luck

I heard on the news yesterday that this weekend, Labour Day, is second only to Christmas for retailers making big bucks. Unfortunately, it appears that most people are being extremely circumspect in their buying right now. Kids are getting the essentials for the start of the new school year - paper, pens, pencils, binders, shoes, etc. - but the clothing racks remain full.

We have friends in the Okanagan region of BC (a huge tourist mecca for Canadians and Americans alike), but the hotels, motels, and B & B's aren't getting the business they've had in previous years. At first I thought it could have been because of all the forest fires in the region, but the friends say that doesn't appear to be the reason. They feel it's the economy.
My daughter needs something "decent" to wear to an upcoming wedding this month. She's decided that since she's injured her knee and won't be able to dance anyway, she's only going to get a new top to go with basic pants. I bought a Nygard silk swirly printed skirt on sale about a month ago and am going to wear a basic black Tee with it.

Seems we all need to watch our pennies these days. I remember a little rhyme my mother used to say. It went like this:

Find a penny,
Pick it up,
All day long
You'll have good luck.
It might be a good idea to heed this bit of advice these days.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Who's heard of the movie "Spanglish?" This 2004 film was a portrayal of family problems and self-identity and, to a lesser extent, communication across cultural boundaries.

Studying Spanish all summer reminded me of this film. At first, I was like a deer caught in the headlights, my brain black with fright that I was going to terribly embarrass myself. How dare I think I could speak Spanish well enough to tutor students? Would the vocabulary come back to me? Would I be able to conjugate verbs? Would I remember which adjectives precede and which follow the nouns? Would I remember the gender of the nouns?

Today was my last session with a wonderful woman who has guided me through the Spanish language over the summer. (In return, I helped her to refresh her French.) This morning, we met for breakfast and over omelettes, orange juice, and coffee we chatted back and forth (as usual) about our lives, what had gone on since our previous session, etc. I hadn't looked at my books for a week and I'd forgotten (already!) the past participles of some of the irregular verbs. However, we managed by my sometimes speaking a sort of "Spanglish" and she sometimes speaking a sort of "Franglish."

And we laughed!

We're going to keep in touch over the school year and maybe next summer we can do the same thing. Hopefully next year I'll do much better - especially if I get some students with whom I can continue to work with the language.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I've Been Tagged By Welsh Liz ...

... to do this simple photo meme. Here are the instructions:

1. Open the fourth file where you store your photos.
2. Pick the 4th photo.
3 . Explain the photo.
4. Pass challenge onto 4 other bloggers.

So here's my Photo (click to enlarge). It's of Lorne and me having dinner on the deck of the cabin at White Lake on June 5th of this year. The very next evening over dinner, he gave me my engagement ring.

Okay, who to tag? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

You're hoping NOT ME ~ NOT ME ~ right?

The lucky quartet:

David over at authorblog (Australia)

Shrinky at shrink wrapped scream (United Kingdom)

Anne in Oxfordshire (England)

Welshcakes Limoncello at Sicily Scene (Italy)

Have fun, you guys!

G is for Guests, Part 2

We had such a fun time last night! Chris and Bonnie brought us an engagement gift...a bottle of Italian wine they ordered especially for us, some Italian cheese, an Italian baguette, and a beautiful coffee table book about Tuscany. What a surprise! AND to top it off, they printed out a photo of us the day we got officially engaged back in June when we were all at White Lake. Now these are guests that will always be welcome in our home! More partying tonight before they leave for home (Kamloops) tomorrow.

Click to enlarge. Notice the champagne bottle and glasses - we've kept the bottle!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

G is for Guests

We're having GUESTS for a few days. These are very special GUESTS in that we've known them for over 40 years. I met Chris and Bonnie when Lorne and I were going out way back "then" and they've all remained best friends for all these years. I met them again when we went on our Big Chill Weekend back at the beginning of June and it was as though no time had passed.

Tonight we'll celebrate their first visit to "our" home by barbecuing steaks, potatoes, and corn on the cob plus the Sebeka Cabernet Pinotage will be flowing! Tomorrow, they're heading off to the PNE and later, we plan on doing bbq salmon with asparagus and Sebeka Chardonnay....*hic*

Anyway, here's to GUESTS - the best kind, the ones we've known forever and are still the best!