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.

Monday, February 22, 2010

F is for FANS

We may not be in the lead for number of medals earned at these Olympics, but I have never in my life witnessed Canadian patriotism like I've seen in the past week or so. Everywhere I look, I see red! Of course, I keep my own Canadian flag draped above the TV set and I have one stuck in my car window. But people are dressed in red...red hockey jerseys, red scarfs, red caps, red jackets...everywhere I look, I see red red red! The city is a sea of red!
This is indicative of the pride Canadians have in their country! We Canadians tend to be a somewhat quiet lot, with a reserved spirit of support towards their country and their athletes. However, the party is here now! And people are out in droves to support the Canadian athletes and to spontaneously erupt into our national anthem at any opportunity. Our natural manners, though, do remind us to cheer for the winners no matter which nation they represent. So, party on Canadians, Americans, Brits, Germans, Norwegians, Russians, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Georgians, et al...

Click on the photos to enlarge.

Photos taken by Lorne (except the one of him in his security uniform) just before the Canadian hockey team played the American team...The police were worried there might be a riot, but Lorne assured them that these people were all just excited about the game and everything went very smoothly - as far as getting the fans in and out of the stadium. The result of the game....well, that's another story. But the fans get one more chance to cheer on the Canadian team when they play Germany and if they win, will go on to the semi-finals.

Plus, Monday evening, a pair of Canadian athletes made history! Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir won the gold medal in the Ice Dancing competition, becoming the youngest and first ice dance pair in North America to ever win the gold medal in the history of the games.

So here's to all the FANS of the Olympics, no matter their nationality!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

E is for Events

Well, Roger, you were half right when you guessed that this week my word would be "exciting" regarding the Olympics! But ha ha...I thought of the word "events," too! So here are a few of the exciting events that lucky ticket holders are getting to experience - hey! there's another "e" word! I have chosen videos that are as short as possible as you might get bored, but here goes:

LUGE: One of the most dangerous of the winter sports, you've probably already heard of the death of the Georgian athlete. I don't want to put anything like that on here, but here's a sort of animated version to show what it's like going down that slide!

SPEED SKATING: This year, Christina Groves put Canada on the map with a Bronze medal in the 3000 meter speed skating at The Richmond Oval.

MOGULS: The most exciting thing to happen so far during the Olympics is that Canada won its first gold medal on home soil - ever! Alex Bilodeau won the men's moguls on Sunday! The excitement was palpable at the Medal Ceremonies on Monday night.

FIGURE SKATING: My personal favourite is the figure skating because both my daughters were involved in it when they were young. As such, I'm familiar with the terminology, the spins, and the jumps. Unfortunately, our pairs team only made 5th this year, but we're still rooting for our Ice Dance, Men's, and Women's teams. Go Patrick and Joannie!

There's also all the skiing, snowboarding and skeleton events, the biathalon, and Canada's favourite event - hockey! Both our men's and women's teams are in good form and are expected to be in the medals, hopefully gold for both! Here is the lineup for the Canadian Men's team - a lot of you Americans might be surprised as to who's on the team!

So there you have just a few of the exciting events that the world is focused on this week and next. Hope you enjoyed your visit. To see more contributions to ABC Wednesday, just click here.

Oh, and as this goes to press, Canada's medal count is 2 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympics 2010 in My World

Currently, my world is made up of the 2010 Winter Olympics. A few weeks ago, I went downtown to see what was going on and I managed to capture a few things of interest. There's so much more there now, but this will give you an idea.

First, there's a gigantic Canadian flag on two sides of a building and buses with Olympic pictures splattered all over the sides.

The Hudson's Bay Company, an official sponsor, has decorated its historic building with murals depicting all the different sports included in a winter Olympics. Unfortunately, some violent criminal elements smashed some of the glass panels of the building, not as a protest to the Olympics, but just because they're goons looking for a fun time. The Vancouver Police quickly deterred any more violence and things are going smoothly now.

On Tuesday, February 9th, the Olympic flame passed through my village and it was so exciting to watch it go by. A once in a lifetime experience for all to see!

My sweetie is the Venue Manager for BC Place Stadium where the Opening Ceremonies were held and where the Closing Ceremonies will be held. Also, every night they have the Medal Ceremonies there. He captured a few sights when at work one day. Here is a shot of the Athletes' Village from the waterfront side.

This is a shot of some of the portals where lucky ticket-holders pass through to be screened for dangerous items. It's just like at the airport, but in individual tents (because of the rain).

Olympic flags adorn all the buildings where things are going on. This is part of Canada Hockey Place where all the hockey games are held. Did you see the Canadian Women's Hockey Team play their first game?

Of course, not only is security tight, but there are actually snipers on top of the buildings keeping an eye out for any danger!

I love this shot that my sweetie got of Science World one night when it was clear and calm. Don't you love the reflections in the water?

Sweetie even managed to catch a shot of Wayne Gretzky as he jogged past on his way to light the eternal outdoor flame at the waterfront.

Unfortunately, the eternal flame is currently behind a chain-link fence because it's location is right beside the Vancouver Convention Center and the International Broadcast Center. People are not pleased but eventually, the fence will come down and I'll go and take a photo of it for myself.

The Vancouver Olympic cauldron burns at Waterfront Plaza in Vancouver Sunday, Feb. 14, 2010.


Some friends came over to watch the Opening Ceremonies on Friday night and we had a great time. It was noted in the newspaper on Saturday that a lot of people didn't like the way our national anthem was sung, but anyone I've spoken to thought it was great! I think Vanoc did a phenomenal job depicting Canada and its culture, except I hope people realize that we're not a country of First Nations people - we're all nationalities and races, which is what a multicultural country is supposed to be.

NBC is covering the Olympics in the USA, so I hope if you're interested, you'll watch. We're all thrilled that Canada finally has a gold along with a silver and bronze - so far!

Go Canada! But if you'd like to see other places around the world, just click here to see the My World contributors.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

DELTA gets the Torch, Part Deux

Okay, well I went down to the festivities and it was SO exciting! Actually, the build-up was almost more fun than when the actual torch went by. I got to the school early and then went out to the sidewalk to help herd the kids until all the adults finally just gave up and let them scream and run out into the street to their hearts' content.

There was a juggler, juggling lit torches, and he was fantastic! "Mr. Spirit of Delta" came by and my friend got a shot of us together. Flags, big and small, were waved and most people were dressed in red and white - several Canada hockey jerseys were seen and lots of the official Olympic mittens. I was given a pair of "Light the Spirit of Delta" gloves that were designed by the mother of some students from my school and they kept my hands warm as we waited impatiently for the runner. It was sunny today, but cold, and I wore a heavy sweater and one of Lorne's sweatshirts underneath his official Canada Hockey team jersey, so I was well-padded.

Before the torch came by, there was a little parade of sorts. There was a blue Royal Bank of Canada truck with guys on the back screaming and hyping up the spectators as well as a red Coca Cola truck - both are official sponsors of the Olympics. Lots of Delta police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police were present and Vanoc trucks. Community representatives were giving out hot chocolate and huge red apples and a Coke rep came by with triangular Coke/Canada flags and bottles of Coke. Too bad the Royal Bank wasn't giving out samples!

Finally, after a very long wait with excited and anxious children and adults alike, the young woman jogged past holding the torch high in her hand. She was flanked by Vanoc officials jogging beside her to keep the crowds at bay but it was an exilarating moment, to say the least.

And then it was all over.

However, excitement is mounting by the minute now, as the torch went through the tunnel to Richmond this evening. It'll be heading through Stanley Park (Arnold Schwarzeneger is running there, by the way!) and then over to West and North Vancouver until it comes back via the Second Narrows Bridge into Vancouver where Michael Bublé will run with the torch for a ways.

And finally, on Friday night someone will run into the stadium with it. No one knows who it'll be, but there are usually a few people who run it to the end. Remember when Muhammed Ali stepped out onto the stage to light the flame in Atlanta in 1996? What a surprise that was! There's lots of speculation that it might be Terry Fox's mother Betty who will light the flame on Friday night, and I think if it is, all Canadians will be extremely proud!

Lorne is now at work until 1:00 am and when he just called, he was hoarse from yelling at the venue. Things are hopping down there as tomorrow is the final (big) dress rehearsal. He's working anywhere from 12 to 16 hour days right now! Everyone involved in security is stressed to the max and tempers are short...but it's all going to be fine in the end.

Friday night is opening night and I have 3 girlfriends coming over to share in the excitement as we watch the spectacle on TV. I'll hang the Canadian flag in the family room and we're all going to wear something red. We'll eat dinner off our laps if there's time between all our "oohings" and "aahings" at the show.

And I know that I will cry from pride when the 200+ Canadian athletes enter the stadium, led by Clara Hughes, a four-time Olympic medalist in cycling and speed skating!

DELTA gets the torch!

First off, I must say I absolutely LOVE the new ABC Wednesday design logo! Whoever put it together gets huge kudos from me!
So we're already up to the letter D for Round 6 and I have a teeny bit of a stretch today in order to keep my Olympics mode going. The torch is being run right here in my municipality of Delta, and in my little village of Ladner, this afternoon. Everyone is so excited to see the torch as it's already been all across Canada, beginning October 22 in Greece and coming on October 30 to our provincial capital of Victoria on Vancouver Island. It travelled by land, air, and water over its 106-day journey and visited over 1,000 communities en route. If you click HERE, you can see the blue line showing the route through Ladner! And I will be front and center down by my former school, wearing Lorne's red Canada Hockey Team jersy and waving a huge Canadian flag. I think everyone can get into the spirit by watching this musical video sung by Nikki Yanofsky! Do YOU believe?

Personal photos coming later! Stay tuned!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Country Fair

The school from which I'm retired had a Country Fair today. It was a bit of a play on words because it was to do with the OLYMPICS. Each class was assigned a country to study and they all had to do a display and an oral presentation on what aspect of their country they'd studied. One of my tutoring students was involved, so I promised I'd go and see her and I'm so glad I did. Not only were the displays fantastic, but all the teachers were dressed as airline hosts/hostesses. I got some photos, but will show here only the ones without children in them. I didn't get shots of all the countries, but here are just a few.

First, Australia, done by a Grade One student
complete with a kangaroo pelt.

Of course, I had to photograph the France display, since I used to be their French teacher. Plus here's an excellent display about Germany, done by a former student who is now in Grade 8.

And here is my tutoring student's display all about Swiss foods. She had lots of cheese and chocolate to taste and she even had a little warming tray to melt a piece of Raclette cheese that she put on top of a piece of cooked baby potato. It was DELICIOUS! And then we have a few shots of some displays about Canada and its careers, culture, and foods.

Please make sure you click on the photos to see the details. For example, the next one on the left shows some First Nations culture complete with beaded moccasins, a piece of birch bark, and a replica of a canoe. The boy also trimmed his display to look as though it were framed with wood.

The students obviously had a great time with their displays (plus the fact that they got out of classroom work for two hours today.) Next Tuesday, the Olympic torch is coming to our little village and there will be street entertainment right on the grounds of this school. So my daughter and I will be heading down with our Canadian flag and cameras to catch as much of the excitement as possible. I'm also going to wear my Canada hockey jersey (with Lorne's permission, of course). So stay tuned for next week's ABC Wednesday and I'll post some photos if I get any good ones.

Monday, February 01, 2010

C is for Charismatic Canadian City

Instead of writing a whole bunch about my crazy Canuck city, which is the host for the upcoming Winter Olympics (in 10 days), I thought I'd just give you a peek at how beautiful it is. So sit back, relax for about 6:50 minutes while I take you away to Lotus Land. If you're coming for the Olympics, you're going to get really excited and if not, well, sorry...but be sure to watch on TV. In Canada CTV is covering it and in the USA, NBC has the rights. Not sure about other countries, so check your local listings.