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, November 30, 2009

T is for TIPS

I know I'm a bit early for this, but I was thinking about it and just got on a roll. Enjoy.
We have passed the one year mark of our reunion and boy, have we ever learned a lot! It's amazing how different love is when you're a mature adult, having been around the block once or twice (so-to-speak). It's not all that immediate lust and passion and googly eyes and heart palpitations - well, that does happen at first just like in the good ole days. But because we're older, wiser, and more realistic about the highs and lows, we've had to work hard to figure out if this relationship is right - or not. So far, so good. But it does take work! In that vein, I was researching relationships and came upon some good tips. And in order to keep things light, I've taken the liberty of adding a few cartoons to illustrate some of the points. Be sure to click on them if you can't seem them clearly.

Communication - Talk, Talk, Talk! We spend a long time over dinner every evening and we are able to tell each other things that are good and things that aren't so good in our life or in our relationship. I must admit that I tend to run away if I'm hurt or annoyed, but Lorne is better at making me sit down and face the truth. And the best time to talk about problems is when things are going well and we're relaxed.

Compromise - At some point, one or the other partner is going to have to give way and concede on what they would prefer. And sometimes, both partners will have to give way. If one or the other insists on having their own way all the time, there will be problems which may well result in a breakdown of the relationship. We've had to work on compromise a lot! And I must say that I tend to compromise more than "he" does, and I've had to be very careful not to hurt his feelings about some of his things. But we try to remember that we're two individuals with a different set of experiences, beliefs and world views. How we were brought up largely defines a great deal of our attitude towards things.

Commitment - We all know what it is like to not want to do something, but having made a commitment we hold to our word. Couple relationships are no exception. There will undoubtedly be times when we don’t feel like making an effort – but will do so. And generally, the more we give the more we receive! We also need to commit to keeping our problems to ourselves, to not sharing these things with friends or relatives. If other people get involved in our relationship, it will seldom help and could actually destroyed our relationship.

Celebration - One vital way of keeping a relationship alive is to celebrate it; share an activity together – seek to enjoy life and play together. This element becomes increasingly difficult when the daily struggles of day-to-day life intrude and finances are tight. We like to go for walks or on photo safaris, as we call them, and share the rare sunshine on an autumn day.

Choices - I learned through my church that love is a choice. I can choose to love or choose not to love. And we make a choice to make sure our relationship takes priority over anything else, be it work, hobbies, or friends. And in loving him, I end up receiving his love and that is the best dividend ever!

Well, besides doing a bit of research on relationships and giving you some tips that I found, I've had a really good laugh at these cartoons and hope you have, too!

ABC Wednesday is brought to you by Denise Nesbitt and if you're interested in participating or reading some other contributions, just click here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

One Way Telephones

I'm wondering how many of you know people like this.

You've been thinking about them, realizing you haven't heard from them for quite a while, so you finally give them a call.

You're greeted with something like the following:
"Oh my gosh! How ARE you? I haven't heard from you for so long I thought maybe you'd disappeared off the face of the earth!"

Or this:

"Oh HI! I thought you'd died!"

I had the lovely misfortune to have this happen to me twice in the last few days.

Honestly, do these people own phones that only receive calls? Can they not call out?

I replied to both these people, "Gee, does your phone not call out? You could call me once in a while, too, you know."But this type of person never gets it...they simply continue on yakking about themselves and just briefly ask how I am. *sigh*

Makes me want to reach through the phone and strangle them with the cord...except there's no cord on phones these days. ARGH!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

'Tis the Season

It is now less than one month until Christmas Day! So in honour of the season, I've changed my background colour to red and my Meez to show a Christmsay scene. We're heading out to Canadian Tire tomorrow to buy a ladder and lights for the house - it'll be the first time to have Christmas lights on the exterior since there's never been a man around to it for me before. Yeah, yeah, no reason why I couldn't do it, but I was raised NOT to climb ladders - seriously, my Dad thought I'd fall off and hurt myself.

You will be disgusted with me, but I have pretty much finished my shopping, too. Just have to pick up a couple more things and I'll be ready to start wrapping. And today, I actually wrote out a few cards to send to friends in the United Kingdom - always have to get those ones off early.

I suggested today that we get ourselves stockings to hang in case Santa decides to drop in for a visit. LOL I was rewarded with a smile and a chuckle, but methinks we'll do it. I'll go looking for one for each of us while "he" gets the ladder.

We already have a couple of social functions on the calendar, but we're still not sure exactly what we'll be doing on Christmas Day. Regardless, I'm sure it'll turn out to be great - especially if Santa Claus sneaks down the chimney! I do love Santa, but I also know that Jesus is the reason for the season!

I think I'll drag out the tree and the boxes of decorations this weekend and put a serious start to the enjoyment of this time of year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

S is for SHAG

Shag carpets were developed as a deep pile style of carpet during the mid-20th C and were considered to be essential components of contemporary decorating schemes in the 60’s and 70’s. While many people think of the shag carpet as a relic of the past, the fact is that long yarn carpet designs are alive and well in the 21st C.

I remember the first house we bought in 1978 that had shag carpeting everywhere. The master bedroom had orange shag and the living room had brown shag carpeting. (Of course, the fridge and stove were that golden colour that was so in style in those days!) And does anyone remember those British movies with the ShagMobile? and in Britain the word "shag" has a totally different connotation from American or Canadian slang.

So when my girlfriend slash real estate agent slash stager recommended I get a shag area rug for my living room, I was a bit concerned for her sanity. However, upon further research, I saw that shag really is 'IN' again as long as it isn't wall-to-wall like it was in the "olden days."
I went to a very prominent business that deals in high-end home furnishings (their wholesale outlet) and as soon as I walked in, I noticed a pile of area rugs. On top of the pile was THE rug! After minimum discussion (what's the size? what's the price? what's the quality? what's the policy if it doesn't look good when I take it home? blah blah blah) I said, "I'll take it."

Knowing I had only 48 hours in which to return the rug, I quickly laid it down. With a bit of adjustment as to its proper positioning, I stood back and said to myself, "Perfect!" And here it is! I really like the texture and the mix of colours in the rug. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
ABC Wednesday is brought to you by Denise Nesbitt and you can view other participants' entries by clicking here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monochrome Weekly

The November rains are taking a toll on all of us right now. We've been inundated with pounding rain, tiny hailstones, and thunder and lightening. Apparently, it's not about to let up any time soon. It seems as though it's dark all day and by 4 pm, we're deep into the twilight time with pitch black coming by 5 pm. *sigh*
So in choosing a photo for today, I went back to my photos from Italy where I had the trip of a lifetime - at least so far. I thought this one would work in black & white as it's an ancient fortress on Sicily. Just revisiting this area warmed my soul and gave me a new lease on the day. Click on the photo to enlarge it. Hope you like it.
Pop over to the Monochrome Maniacs site here to check out participants' posts. MM is hosted by Aileni here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From Romance to Reality to Relationship

ABC Wednesday is up to the letter R in this fifth go-round, hosted by Denise Nesbitt. Check out other participants' ideas on each letter of the week by clicking here.

Romance is a general term that refers to the attempt to express love with words or deeds. Within the context of "romantic love" relationships, it usually implies an expression of one's love, or one's deep emotional desires to connect with another person. So how does one express love towards another? Verbal expressions like "I love you," "I adore you," "I want to make you happy," "You make me so happy," are typical. Showing love towards another person in deeds could be expressed through bringing unexpected gifts like flowers, or through making a special meal, taking the loved one out for the evening, or simply by holding hands.

However, eventually, reality sets in. Reality, in everyday usage, means the state of things as they actually exist. No matter how deeply a couple is in love, they still have to face the fact that the garbage needs to be taken out, bills need to be paid, one or the other will get sick, one might lose a job, or one might snore.

Romance that survives reality can become an enduring relationship that involves a level of interdependence. People in a relationship influence each other by sharing their thoughts and feelings and by engaging in activities together. Because of this interdependence, most things that change or impact one member of the relationship will have some level of impact on the other member.

Yes, reality has intruded upon our romance, but that was to be expected. Now, we're working on developing that enduring relationship that will hopefully surpass all the doubts and fears that constantly creep into our lives. The bottom line is that we love each other.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Monochrome Weekly

On a recent sunny afternoon, we went for a stroll in Deas Park near our home. I loved how the light played on the leaves of the trees, creating shadows along this path. Hope you like it, too.

Monochrome Weekly is the brainchild of Aileni and if you'd like to participate, or see others' contributions, simply click here.

Also, you can click on the photo to see it in a larger format.

Have a great week, all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Early Sunday morning, my sleepy little village was rudely awakened by fire engines screaming down the main drag towards the small business core. Fire gutted three places - Marco's Bistro, Heritage House Interiors, and the Dragonfly Gallery. I frequent all of these stores, especially the furniture one - it's where we recently bought our new dining room furniture and where I had my family room furniture made.

Firemen swarmed the area, squirting their hoses to contain the blaze. And when I drove by on Monday, firemen and insurance and restoration people were there surveying the damage. Apparently, the fire isn't suspicious, but it certainly took its toll. Click on photo to enlarge.
This is the report from the Editor of the South Delta Leader (local newspaper).
Delta Fire and Emergency Services personnel were still sifting through the charred debris of three Ladner Village businesses Monday (Nov. 9) after a fire on 48th Ave.

Deputy Fire Chief Rick Lehbauer says that while no official cause has been found to the early morning blaze on Nov. 8 that gutted Marco's Bistro, Heritage House Interiors and The Dragonfly Gallery, initial findings do not point to anything suspicious.

Lehbauer adds the fire possibly started at Marco's Italian Bistro and because the building was quite old it did not have any firewalls to slow the spread of the flames.

"The fire was knocked down pretty quick at the restaurant by our guys, but the flames had gotten into the spaces in the floor joists and moved pretty rapidly east-west and into the other buildings," Lehbauer says.

The residents in an apartment above the businesses managed to leave the structure without injury.

While insurance adjusters have to formally assess the scene, Lehbauer estimates the businesses suffered heavy damage.

One of those trying to pick up the pieces is Mark Rattee who opened Marco's Bistro last December.

He says the popular location was enjoying some of its best nights in past few weeks with plenty of repeat customers coming through the doors.

"I'm just kind of numb right now. I put my heart and soul and just about every penny into this business and I'm not sure what happens now," he says. "Things were just starting to turn around. We were getting plenty of business and had sold a lot of tickets to our wine pairing event next Saturday."

Rattee says he left the restaurant with is son about 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, "And we did all the things we normally do. We made sure everything was turned off."

Just over four hours later, Rattee says he got a call from his alarm company advising him the restaurant's motion detectors were being set off.

"So, I jumped in the car, drove down there and saw the front windows were all blackened," he says, adding he then went around the rear of the property and opened the rear door of the restaurant.

"When I did that, rather foolishly, the smoke just came billowing out," he says, adding he then called 911.

To see footage of the carnage, click HERE. If it weren't for quick action by the Delta Firefighters, more of my village would have gone up in flames and people could have been killed or badly injured!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Monochrome Weekly - Sails

This is a cropped photo of a piece of art that now graces one of the walls in our living room. It's my favourite piece of all the artwork that he brought with him and I love how it looks in black and white.

Monochrome Weekly is brought to you by Aileni and if you'd like to see other participants' pieces, just click here. You'll be amazed at some of the shots.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I'm feeling a bit under the weather today with a wicked headache and a bit of a sore throat. So as I was lying down waiting for the extra-strength Tylenol to kick in, I realized that today would have been my late husband's birthday.

I quickly calculated that he'd have been 63 years old today. I wonder what he would have been like now. My memories of him are of a tall, handsome man with brilliant blue eyes and a sense of humour that totally cracked me up. He was highly intelligent; loved hockey, golf, and tennis (in his younger years); and was a real family man.

When we were expecting our first child, my older sister loaned me the crib she'd used for her two sons. Since we didn't have a garage, Brian lugged it over to his parents' house to paint it. I recall sitting on a lawn chair the summer before Jamie arrived, facing the open garage, and watching him paint the crib white with yellow trim. He worked so hard on that crib, making sure that everything was perfect. And when she arrived late in October, he was so thrilled that she had "chubby cheeks" just like me. (Well, I could have done without that comparison!) Three and a half years later, Jaclyn arrived and she used the same crib, freshly washed and made up just for her.

Brian would do anything for his girls. He took them horseback riding both here and in the interior where we'd spend our summers at the cabin. He taught them to swim and water-ski and took them fishing. He built bonfires every evening and serenaded us all with songs as he played his guitar. Jaclyn now has that guitar and treasures it and the memories it invokes. I think two of the songs she remembers the most are "Puff the Magic Dragon" and The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun." He gave them opportunities to do figure skating, ballet, soccer, skiing, and other sports. He gave us all the opportunity to live in Ottawa, our capital city, for almost three years leaving us with a wealth of memories about that part of our country.

Brian made sure we all had the best Christmases we could afford, and even sometimes more so, to my chagrin. Every Christmas Eve, after they'd had their bath, he'd read "The Night Before Christmas" to the girls. He also made sure the girls had fantastic birthdays, sometimes with their friends and sometimes just with family. And he made sure they knew all about caring for their pets - the cat Velvet, the two dogs Cassie and Star, and even goldfish.

Yes, we had many adventures together, both before and after our daughters were born. Unfortunately, illness took its toll on him and the good life vanished before our eyes. It took me a long, long time to get over his loss and my daughters still, to this day, mourn him. But we must move forward with our lives.

Left: Jamie age 6 1/2 and Jaclyn age 3 at the Vancouver Animal Park in Aldergrove, BC
Right: last photo I have of the girls with their Dad at Christmas 1991. Jaclyn was 11 1/2 and Jamie was 15.

I'll never forget his telling me that he wanted me to find someone else - someone to love and be loved by. It's taken almost two decades for that to happen, but even though I'm happily moving forward in the direction he wanted for me, Brian will always be a part of my life.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

P is for Peaceful Path

Halloween day dawned bright and sunny, so we decided to go to Deas Park, about a 10-minute drive from our place. It's a beautiful, peaceful place to stroll, with lots of trails and paths in which to wander and take photos. We took the Dyke Loop Trail and enjoyed the warmth of the sun, the colourful trees, and the wildlife that we saw - woodpeckers, ducks, rabbits, and even a dog named Coco (a brindle boxer - okay, she wasn't "wildlife" but she was great, and so cute and friendly.)

I had trouble uploading the slide show, so here's the first photo where the trail began. Then please click on "View All Images," (below) click on "full screen," and you can see the rest of the photos.

ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Denise Nesbitt and if you're interested in participating or simply seeing others' posts, simply click here.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Monochrome Weekly

On Saturday, we took advantage of the balmy, sunny weather and took a stroll down along the river in Deas Park. Here's one of the shots I took that I turned it into black and white. Be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it.

Keep an eye out for ABC Wednesday this week when I will be posting a colour slide show of our visit to the park.

MM is hosted by Aileni and you can contribute and/or see other contributions here.