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.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year to All

Sending out New Year's wishes to all my blogger friends around the world. I especially want to thank those who have given me such support in the ups and downs over this past year. And as Benjamin Franklin said, "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let each new year find you a better man." And may all your tomorrows be better.

Monday, December 27, 2010

X is for Xenophobia

There was an intriguing article in our local Vancouver Sun on December 26th written by Ethan Baron. It is entitled "Xenophobes beware, more immigrants are coming!" Well, I had no idea what a "xenophobe" was so I just had to continue reading.

Xenophobia: an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange. (from Wikipedia)

Gee, if you're a xenophobe, I suggest you would be more comfortable NOT living in Canada right now. That is, unless you'd like to move to the BC Stikine region, which according to the 2008/09 Stats Canada report, had only one foreign invader. Or you could move to the Central Coast, which had only three. However, be prepared to live amongst the First Nations who make up the majority of the population in those two areas. Hmm...

Baron's article is really tongue-in-cheek and goes on to describe how many of which races and cultures have immigrated to Canada since 1997, and particularly in 2009. I especially enjoyed the last part of his opinion piece:

I know, I know, you racist and xenophobes have it tough, sitting powerless while these different-looking, funny-talking foreigners pour into B.C. by the tens of thousands every year.
But take comfort, you have a champion in Ottawa! Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government on Thursday announced they're cutting $53 million from a $393-million annual budget for helping immigrants integrate into Canadian society and the economy.
That'll teach 'em.

Right! Now Canada will become not only a bilingual country in which French is spoken in only 2 of the 10 provinces and 3 territories but also a country in which neighbours can't communicate with each other because of simple language barriers. I wonder how that will help our society and economy. Thanks Mr. Harper. But more importantly, thanks Mr. Pierre Trudeau, who turned Canada into a multi-cultural country and then before he died said, "Oops!"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

W is for Woman

John Lennon wrote the song "Woman," as an ode to his wife Yoko Ono long after the Beatles had disbanded. He called it the '80s update of "Girl," a track on Rubber Soul and was released as a single in January 1981, about a month after Lennon was murdered.
I can remember hearing it for the first time as we were driving up to Shuswap Lake for our summer vacation in 1981. Sleeping in the back seat were our two little girls, one a toddler and one a baby. I can remember the moment so clearly because of the words "I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain." It would be only 10 years later that my whole world came tumbling down around me and those two girls. Whenever I hear this song, it brings to mind that happy summer day when life was easy, I loved and was loved, and I felt safe as the wife of a wonderful man.
Two talented men, both dead in their 40's, one murdered by a lunatic and the other dead by his own choice - what a waste. John Lennon lives on in his music while my husband lives on in the memories of those who loved him and in this song. (Scroll down to watch the Youtube video as you listen to the lyrics.)


Woman I can hardly express,
My mixed emotion at my thoughtlessness,
After all I'm forever in your debt,
And woman I will try express,
My inner feelings and thankfulness,
For showing me the meaning of success,
oooh well, well,
oooh well, well,

Woman I know you understand
The little child inside the man,
Please remember my life is in your hands,
And woman hold me close to your heart,
However, distance don't keep us apart,
After all it is written in the stars,
oooh well, well,
oooh well, well,

Woman please let me explain,
I never mean(t) to cause you sorrow or pain,
So let me tell you again and again and again,
I love you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I love you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I love you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I love you (yeah, yeah)....

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, December 13, 2010

V is for Village

As I headed out last Friday evening to attend my village's annual tree-lighting ceremony, the village clock caught my eye. I liked how it looked so eerie in the mist and I'm pleased with how the photo turned out.
The tree lighting ceremony was well attended and was complete with an enormous tractor-driven wagon laden with people leading the crowd in Christmas songs. After the tree was lit, the wagon led a small parade of children on decorated bicycles to the wharf. All the children's bikes were lit up and below you can see the unique way they did it - on the small wagon, which was cleverly disguised, was a generator that supplied power to light up all the bikes.
Everyone followed along to see the Carol Ships go by at the river's edge. They weren't really "ships," but local boats decorated in lights.
Afterwards, I headed to the grocery store and took a few shots of the decorations in the outdoor parking area. There are lots of lights on the rooftops showing snowmen, trees, snowflakes, etc.

Finally, I wandered around a bit and found these two shop windows all trimmed for the season. Santa lounging in his swim suit is in the front window of the tanning salon, and the one with the dancing elf and Rudolph is in the window of the barber shop. I think it's great that the businesses are getting into the spirit of things. However, I am a bit disappointed that they are trying to be "politically correct" in that they don't even mention the word "Christmas."

Many people have adorned their homes with brilliant lights and some even have scenes on their front lawns of Santa, snowmen, angels, the Nativity, miniature railroads, and stars. One street away from my place, the entire neighbourhood is lit up and is in the local paper's list of places to see over the Christmas season. It's great to see so many getting into the spirit of Christmas but I do hope everyone remembers that Jesus is the true reason for the season.

Monday, December 06, 2010

U is for once UPON a time

"Once upon a time" is a stock phrase that has been used since around 1380, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, in the telling of stories and became widely accepted around 1600. Usually, these stories end with "and they lived happily ever after." The phrase is found mostly in fairy tales for younger children and is also often used in oral storytelling.
I admit that I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately, and after a particulary depressing weekend of dwelling on my relationship disasters, decided to write a little story. Unfortunately, the story has no title or ending so if anyone so wishes, please help me out here.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in a house made of sand. She learned very early in life that her house could crumble at any time, so she decided to be a very quiet, very still little girl. Even though she was as quiet as a mouse, there were many times when sand either rained like needles upon skin or buried her up to her neck making her feel like choking. Sometimes, the sand was so heavy that she felt she could barely breathe.
One day, the little girl thought she would try to fix her house of sand by adding water, just like she would do at the beach to make a sand castle. By packing the wet sand together, she would make the house stand strong, and then everyone would say she was a very smart little girl. What she did not realize, though, was that the tide always came in and washed the sand castles away. So, the little girl continued to live in her house of sand, trying very hard to help keep the house from falling down by being very quiet and very still.
When she went to bed at night, the little girl would dream of castles and palaces and great stone and brick houses that she'd read about in storybooks. She determined that when she grew up, she would have a house just like one of those and her house would never fall down.
Finally, the time came when the little girl met her prince, married, and set off to build her house. Since they couldn't afford a castle or a palace, they decided to build a house made out of rocks. However, the little girl still worried that even the rocks might fall down and bury her even deeper than the house of sand. So she stayed very quiet and very still, trying to keep the rocks from falling down around her. Sometimes, a few would drop and cause the little girl's heart to pound very hard. Sometimes, a lot of rocks would tumble and the little girl thought she would faint. Suddenly one day, the entire house started to shake and rumble and roar and with one mighty thunderous explosion, the whole house crashed down around her.
Buried deep beneath the rubble, the little girl dug and clawed her way to the surface, finding that her prince was gone and she was all alone. But because she felt she was a very smart little girl, she thought she could figure out a way to keep her new house from falling down. She worked very hard and built a house of wood that seemed to stand the test of time. Finally, she was content and felt safe for the first time in her life.
But, she was very lonely.
One day, the little girl was happily strolling along when suddenly, she ran into a very handsome little boy. He wooed her, making her feel like the most beautiful princess in the world. He gave her pretty baubles and lovely bouquets of flowers. He cooked her sumptuous meals and played music enchanting to her ears. He convinced her to build a new house with him.
The little girl was excited about building a new house with her new prince. However, it didn't take long for her to recognize that the new house was a bit shaky. It seemed to be made of bricks, but in reality, they were simply giant grains of sand. Almost immediately, the house started to crumble and one day, a big clump of bricks fell completely off the side. The little girl tried to pile them back up using mortar to glue them together and packing them firmly against the rest of the house. But more and more bricks fell to the ground every time there was even a gentle breeze. Then one day, the wind roared and lightning struck and the entire house fell down around her. The little girl felt her heart breaking under the crush of all those bricks.
After digging her way to the surface again, the little girl went back to her house of wood to try to start over again. But she cried and cried because she was so disappointed and lonely. She couldn't sleep at night and when she finally did drift off, she would dream weird dreams. Sadness drifted into her soul until she felt like she was being sucked into quicksand. She tried to put her life together by thinking good thoughts and appreciating what she had, but she still had aches and pains and sometimes the grief made it hard to breathe...

Okay, now it's your turn to become a writer. Please help me with an ending and/or a title. I did write an ending, but it just seemed trite and I didn't like it. Maybe the story needs to remain unfinished right now...who knows?

Monday, November 29, 2010

T is for Teacher

Once a teacher, always a teacher, unless like me you become a tutor after you retire. Today, I thought I'd tell you all a few totally interesting things about the letter T.

Things you may not know about T:
* T is the twentieth letter in the English alphabet and the sixteenth consonant
* T is pronounced the same as a drink - tea
* T is the second most commonly used letter in the English language
* T may have represented a cross in early alphabets
* T is one of the letters given to contestants in the game show Wheel of Fortune
* There are six T tiles in the English game of Scrabble

There are tons of tremendous T words in the English language. When my older daughter was a tot, she fell in love with Tigger, Winnie the Pooh's friend, and she still has her tiger-sized stuffed one to this day. Some of the greatest inventions of all time were the telegraph, telephone, and television. I remember that I taught my fourth graders all about tall tales, tremors, tenses, tactics for totalling numbers, the classroom taboos, the senses of touch and taste, all about spring flowers like my favourite tulip, and I liked to tease them about upcoming tests. When my mother was young, she would take the tram to town, whereas I could take a trans-Atlantic flight to trek around Thailand, Tibet, or Timbuktu!

To tantalize you further, take a trip over to this site to see other posts on this week's letter T.
And to terminate this post, here is a photo I took of my favourite flower, the tulip. This was the first bloom in my garden last Spring and I received compliments on this photo from a favourite photographer friend of mine - some of you may also know him as authorblog aka David McMahon. A positive comment from him is praise indeed! (click to enlarge for details)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back to Normal

The weather has been rather frightful here this past week, but we seem to be back to our normal grey drizzle, sometimes turning to periods of sunshine. I must say it is a big relief to me 'cuz I always feel housebound when it snows. I have all-weather tires but they are no good in snow. I always keep track of the weather reports, so did manage to get out before the deluge and made sure I had plenty of soup and crackers, a few treats, and most especially toilet paper. A girl just cannot go without toilet paper, can she!

The snow is pretty at first, but here it doesn't last long and quickly turns to a mucky mush. That's because I live at sea level looking UP to the mountains. I love clear, cold sunny days when I can look north and see dustings of dry snow on the Lions. And I'm happy for those who enjoy sledding, skiing, and snowboarding - they can go up there or drive up to Whistler and have the time of their lives. Me? I prefer the mild days when I can go drive down to my beach and enjoy the views.
Back to normal also means realizing that Christmas is less than a month away, so I thought about what I am giving myself this year. Every year since I became widowed, I treat myself to something special. One year it was taking the girls to Hawaii for a week, sometimes it's clothes, a few years ago it was new chandeliers for the dining room and entrance hall. This year I decided it's going to be a new coffee table for the living room. So off I went today in search of just the right table. I drove into Richmond and looked around two furniture stores, one a mid-priced one and the other a high-priced one. I got so frustrated that I decided to just go home. However, I suddenly remembered a little shop in my village where I'd seen a coffee table I really liked several months ago. As luck would have it, that one was gone but an almost identical one had just come in yesterday. I actually liked it better because it was lighter in colour. At first, they said it would take about 12 weeks for it to arrive as it was the only one they had, but I said "Oh, but I wanted it for my Christmas present!" And since I'm such a great and loyal customer, they said I could have the floor model. So...they're bringing over my Christmas present this coming week and I know just how I'll adorn it for the festive season! I put out a few Christmas decorations when I got home this afternoon, but will need help dragging the tree out of the shed. Maybe I'll get it up next week when D2 comes over to give me a hand.
So a normal day - mild with a bit of sunshine and no rain - and a normal Saturday night of watching Midsommer Murders on TV.

Monday, November 22, 2010

S is for Sweeping Saga

I'm almost finished Kenneth Follett's newest novel, "Fall of Giants," a sweeping saga set on the tumultuous stage of World War I. The story has sucked me in! I'm fascinated by historical novels as I learn so much more than I ever did in high school history class.

The story revolves around five families - American, Welsh, British, German, Russian - and it brings readers into their everyday lives, from the stuffy drawing rooms of British aristocracy to the savage battlefields of Europe. In addition, women's suffrage is part of the story as it also was a major movement of the early part of the twentieth century.

While the scope of this story seems impossibly broad, it brings to life universal issues such as world war, the Russian Revolution, votes for men and women, and shocking descriptions of battles like the one at the Somme where thousands of British soldiers were slaughtered.

I'm excited that the story will not end at the end of this book. Two more books will follow the descendants of these five families through the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. However, we'll have to wait until 2012 and 2014 for these stories. In the meantime, I highly recommend this smart and sophisticated story.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

R is for Ruminate

I just finished reading (for the second time) Sebastian Faulks' Charlotte Grey, the story of a young Scottish woman who went on a dual mission to occupied France during WW2. Towards the end of the record of her journey when she had safely returned to London, she reminisced about what an old French painter had told her:
When you are forty you have no cell in your body that you had at eighteen. It was the same...with your character. Memory is the only things that binds you to earlier selves; for the rest, you become an entirely different being every decade or so, sloughing off the old persona, renewing and moving on. You are not who you were...nor who you will be.
This resonated deeply with me, considering what I've been through the last two years by renewing a past love. I still wonder if the possibility of happiness he once held out will rise above the reach of memory to become a reality we can live with, together or separately. I do know he is relying on this hope.
Just ruminating.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Q is for Quotations

I've been feeling quite querulous lately, as though I'm living in a quagmire. But, I've decided it must all stop. Enough of the quavering and quarrels inside my head. It's time to look at myself in the mirror and state, uneQuivocally, that I am born of quality, the queen of my realm, a quintessential mother and grandmother, and no quitter. I'm beginning to enjoy the quiescence and am quenching my soul through planning and researching for some of my needier students. I no longer question some of the decisions I've recently been forced to make; instead I quote my personal mantra: "Tis better to be alone than to wish you were." And following are some famous quotations from those much wiser than me (even "anonymous") about the loss of love:
It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
(Alfred Lord Tennyson)
Relationships are like glass. Sometimes it's better to leave them broken than try to hurt yourself by putting it back together.
Never regret. If it's good, it's wonderful. If it's bad, it's experience.
(Victoria Holt)
When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.
(Alexander Graham Bell)
If you're going through hell, keep going.
(Winston Churchill)

Friday, November 05, 2010

What Do Teachers Make?

I'm so tired today. My brain feels like mush and I can't think straight. I've had more work than I really need and I think I'm feeling my age right now. But then I received an email from a friend, and it picked me right up. This is for all you teachers out there who don't receive enough kudos from students, parents, friends, and families.

The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued, "What's a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?"

To stress his point, he said to another guest, "You're a teacher, Barbara. Be honest. What do you make?"

Barbara, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied, "You want to know what I make?"

She paused for a second, then began...

"Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor winner. I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their parents can't make them sit for 5 minutes ithout an IPod, Game Cube, or movie rental.

You want to know what I make?"

She paused again and looked at each and every person at the table.

"I make kid wonder.

I make them question.

I make them apologize and mean it.

I make them have respect and take responsibility for their actions.

I teach them to write and then I make them write. Keyboarding isn't everything. I make them read, read, read.

I make them show all their work in Math. They use their God-given brain, not the man-made calculator.

I make my students from other countries learn everything they need to know about English while preserving their unique cultural identity.

I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe.

I make my students respect the Canadian flag and the men and women who serve under that flag, proud to be Canadians.

Finally, I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were gien, work hard and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life."

Barbara paused one last time and then continued.

"Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing that money isn't everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because they are ignorant.

You want to know what I make?


What do you make, Mr. CEO?"

His jaw dropped. He went silent.

Monday, November 01, 2010

P is for Photography and Painting

My first night in Italy at the Piazza Navona (Rome) having pizza for dinner

Here I am with the group in Tuscany!

I'd love to go back to Italy and take a course in Tuscany to learn how to paint the cypress trees dotting the hillsides. (my photo)

It would be paradise to stay in this little piece of heaven on earth.
(rest of photos courtesy of Yahoo images)

The views there are pastoral.

I'd stay in a palatial villa.

I know I'm passionate about the country, but I wonder if I'd meet any passionate Italian gentlemen. (I think this one has passed away, though)

Even if I didn't do well with the painting, I'd take a lot of photographs.
I'd choose the best of the photos and have the pictures framed to hang in my house.

Maybe later I could pop over to Provence to do the same thing in France.

Can you tell what I've been pondering for my next holiday? Thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and the team at ABCW for this phenomenal meme.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I have just finished reading the most wonderful book by the Seattle author, Garth Stein. I'm a sucker for dogs so the idea of a book written from the perspective of a much-beloved dog on the brink of death intrigued me. Also, I probably would never have known about the book had it not been because one of my students had to read it for Grade 8 Literature and was having some trouble getting through it and doing his assignment. So thanks, A.......!

It only took me two days to read the book but I probably would have spent more time absorbing all the detail if I hadn't needed to finish it by Saturday. I think I might go back and reread it another time even though I could hardly see the last several pages for the tears running down my face.

Here is a link to a synopsis of the story and if you scroll down a bit, be sure to watch the two videos included. Neither video is very long. One is about Enzo (the dog) talking about his belief that he will be reincarnated as a man, and the other is the author discussing how he got the idea for his novel. Both videos are really worth a look and the book very much worth the read. No point in my telling you anymore, so go on over and have a look for yourself.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a children's book written by British author Roald Dahl and was published in 1964. It's the story of Charlie Bucket, a little boy with no money but a good heart who dreams of being able to buy candy just like any other child. Charlie wins one of the five "Golden Tickets" to visit the mysterious chocolate factory owned by Willy Wonka and run by his crew of mysterious Oompa Loompas. Charlie takes his Grandpa Joe as his guest and once behind the factory gates, he joins the other winners on a journey to discover that a kind heart is more valuable than a sweet tooth.

I read this book years ago while taking a Children's Literature course at university and then made sure my children got a chance to read it, along with seeing the 1971 movie starring Gene Wilder, retitled "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factor." The movie was remade in 2005 starring Johnny Depp, but I must say I prefer the original. I loved the music in the movie as it really brought it alive.
So just who or what are Oompa Loompas? Well, they come from Loompaland, which is a region of Loompa, a small isolated island in the Pacific Ocean. They were preyed upon by the Whangdoodles, Hornswogglers, and Snozzwangers so Willy Wonka invited them to work at his factory to get away from their predators. They tend to speak in rhyme and are mischievous, love practical jokes and singing. As each bad child makes his or her exit, they sing moralising songs accompanied by a drum beat. To me, they just make the story! The music in the 1971 and the 2005 movie versions are different, but I love the earlier movie's music better. Scroll down to get a taste of it - can't figure out why it won't sit right below here, but it's worth a listen.

Our thanks to creator/producer/director/hostess Denise Nesbitt and her team of Oompa Loompas for keeping the fun Ongoing.

Monday, October 18, 2010

N is for Nothing

I have nothing today. I even looked through the crossword puzzle dictionary and there were lots of N-words. But nothing has come to me that I want to write about. I thought of the word "nature" and thought I could put up some photos of my garden or the neighbourhood or the changing colours of the leaves. But my mind said, "No!" Not today.

I've been through a helluva couple of weeks, most nights not even being able to sleep without a little prescriptive assistance. No, I don't do narcotics....just a half a tranquilizer. After about an hour or so, it starts to kick in and I can relax.

It's not that I'm sad, but I'm not happy either. I feel nothing. I keep myself busy by going to aquacizes at the pool, talking to friends, and preparing for my students. I enjoy watching some things on TV at night but then I get bored so I read.

I have no right to complain. After all, I own my home and car and have money put aside. My daughters are happy in their lives and my grandchildren are healthy. I have social plans for Thursday breakfast and a pedicure in the afternoon. I'm having massage therapy Friday morning and getting my hair done Friday afternoon. And I'm going to a dinner party on Saturday. There is always something to do.

But I feel nothing right now. Nuts! I wonder how long this will last.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Haunted: (1) to inhabit, visit, or appear to in the form of a ghost or other supernatural being or (2) to come to the mind of continually or obsess over

What with Halloween just around the corner, you might think I'm losing my mind, thinking that my house has recently been inhabited by ghosts and goblins. Well, that is not the case.
I have just finished reading the sensational book by Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, and I'm haunted by her depth of vision and wisdom at such a young age.
In 1942 and only 13 years old, Anne and her family along with 4 other Jews, went into hiding in Amsterdam. Over the course of the next two years, Anne wrote a diary of her experiences in the "Secret Annexe," the top floors of an old office building. They all were cut off from the outside world and faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters with no privacy and the ever-present danger of discovery and death at the hands of the Nazis.
In her introduction to the book, Eleanor Roosevelt writes that she was made "shockingly aware of war's greatest evil - the degradation of the human spirit."
What astonished me was that Anne's accounting of day to day life in hiding shows how rapidly she matured in only two years at a time of life that is so difficult for every young girl. She shows great warmth and wit with a high degree of intelligence and great sensitivity to others in her diary. The most profound part for me was when she wrote on Thursday, July 6, 1944 (less than a month before German soldiers broke down the doors of the Secret Annexe and dragged these eight innocent people to Gestapo headquarters in Amsterdam) the following:
People who have a religion should be glad, for not everyone has the gift of believing in heavenly things. You don't necessarily even have to be afraid of punishment after death; purgatory, hell, and heaven are things that a lot of people can't accept, but still a religion, it doesn't matter which, keeps a person on the right path. It isn't the fear of God but the upholding of one's own honor and conscience. How noble and good everyone could be if, every evening before they fall asleep, they were able to recall to their minds the events of the whole day and consider exactly what had been good and bad. Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day...Whoever doesn't know it must learn and find by experience that: "A quiet conscience makes one strong!"
Anne died in the Belsen camp in 1945 and her old school friend recounts their reunion there. "...I saw her beyond the barbed wire. She was in rags. I saw her emaciated, sunken face in the darkness. Her eyes were very large. We cried and cried, for now there was only the barbed wire between us..." Another survivor recalled that "Anne, who was already sick at the time, was not informed of her sister's death, but after a few days she sensed it, and soon afterwards she died, peacefully, feeling that nothing bad was happening to her."
She never saw her 16th birthday.
I wonder what Anne would have accomplished in her life had she lived. She wrote many times that she wanted to become a writer and to go on living even after her death. And her dream came true, albeit in a horrifying way.
Author Ernst Schnabel wrote, "out of the millions that were silenced, this voice no louder than a child's whisper...It has outlasted the shouts of the murderers and has soared above the voices of time."

I am haunted.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I was really looking forward to spending the rest of my life with Lorne. We had planned on getting married this past September, but had to postpone everything due to his chemotherapy. At least that's what we told everyone. In actual fact, things started to fall apart a long time ago and came to a head in March.

I'm not going to go into details, but the man of my dreams turned out not to be as magnificent as I'd remembered him to be. I will be magnanimous towards him and admit that I, too, perhaps was not the maiden that he'd remembered, either.

As we got to know each other more deeply on a much more mature level, we both realized that life experiences had changed us and we began to have misgivings about a future together. After my husband's death in 1992, I had major resposibilities towards my children and had to work to maintain them through their teenage years and beyond. I had to become markedly self-disciplined, organized, and maternal. On the other hand, he had absolutely no experience or understanding of what it meant to be a married mate. We clashed on so many issues that it became impossible to continue our relationship. In essence, we were enormously mismatched.

He is now living elsewhere and will finish up his chemo without my direct support, although I do wish him well in the mending process. We might eventually be able to maintain a social relationship, but in actual fact, I think we will most likely go our separate ways.

I mourn the loss of the dream with him a second time in my life. Maybe God gave us the chance to come to the realization that we were not meant to be. But now I must move forward, marvelling in the joy I have with family, friends, and fulfilling work with my students. I'm also excited about planning my next trip - a cruise to Alaska next May with Daughter #2 and hopefully, an extended trip to the United Kingdom next summer or fall.

Monday, October 04, 2010

The Letter L, Brought to You by Leslie

Last Friday, October first, I spent a lovely morning sipping a Starbucks' Americano Misto (light, extra hot) and nibbling on homemade muffins with my friend who's going through chemo. After lunch and doing all my crossword puzzles, I decided it was too lovely a day to stay inside. So off I went, camera in hand again, for a lively stroll around the neighbourhood. This time, I took a slightly different route and kept the letter "L" in mind as I perused possible photographic possibilities. (Gee, maybe this should be for the week of the letter P...) But, I digress. Lots of things popped out at me (oops, there I go again with the letter P...) and I had a great time. I've put the photos together in a little slide show for you all and hope you have as lovely a time watching as I had doing it.