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, August 30, 2010

G is for GARDEN

Although last week I did F is for Flowers, I decided to continue along this vein by doing G is for Gardens this week. Saturday was the annual corn roast at some friends' place and it was so much fun! Lots of great old and new friends in a setting to make one green with envy. Every time I go over there, I wander through both the vegetable and the floral gardens. I left my friends to fend for themselves while I took the time to replenish my soul by seeing through my camera lens into the glory and beauty of God's creation. Then today, while I was thinking over what I wanted to post, I looked up some quotes about gardens. Much to my surprise, I discovered that I recognized myself and Lorne in some of these quotes:

The best place to seek God is in a garden. You can dig for Him there. (George Bernard Shaw)

You can bury a lot of troubles digging in the dirt. (Author Unknown)

I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day. (F. Frankfort Moore, A Garden of Peace)

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul. (The Koran)

We come from the earth, we return to the earth, and in between we garden.

Sometimes when I'm puttering around the house doing my chores, I'll stop and think "Where's Lorne?" Inevitably, he will be out in the garden doing something. These days, he always has a garden chair handy for when he gets a bit dizzy or feels weak so that he can sit down right away. He doesn't mind because he is in his glory in the garden. He might be sitting near the tomato plants keeping an eye on the hose, moving it into each plant pot as needed. He does the edging on the lawns, sits down for a rest, and then mows the lawns - both front and back. Just yesterday, he weeded all along one side of the house moving the chair along with him. When he finished, he sat for a while in the sun, admiring what he'd just accomplished AND the gorgeous rose bushes we have at the front. Not only do I appreciate all he's doing (and has done) to give me a garden worthy of note, but I also pray that he is feeling the hand of God on him as he struggles through this grim and grisly ordeal of chemotherapy. After the gardening chores are done for the day, he enjoys sitting near or in the garden reading a book, pausing to chat with the neighbours who come by to admire his garden and to inquire after his health.

I put together another little slideshow with some photos from Saturday's corn roast along with a few others that fit the theme. Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

F is for Flowers

This summer, Lorne was able to spend quite a bit of time in the garden since he can't work due to his chemotherapy. I think the gardening has been a form of therapy for him because he can get into creating beautiful things for me to admire and for him to forget for a while what he has to endure right now. Our roses did extremely well in the front garden, but the two in the back have been a bit disappointing - we only got a few blooms on them. Lorne also planted several varieties of lilies, which did very well, and we could admire them from the dining room window. His baskets of fuschias flourished again this year with gorgeous blooms and my clematis climbed the fence and gave us numerous blossoms. Here's a little slideshow I created showing some of our flowers from the summer of 2010. One of these days I'll learn how to add music to my slideshows. Oh, and if you double click on the slideshow, you can see it in full screen. Enjoy! And if you wouldn't mind mentioning, which is your favourite flower or photo?

Monday, August 16, 2010

E is for Enormous Edibles

Last summer, Lorne planted 6 tomato plants that grew to be over 7 feet tall. We had an enormous crop of both red and green tomatoes but we ended up having to throw a lot out. I even made a batch of green tomato pickle relish that we haven't managed to eat yet, even though I gave some away!
Ergo, this spring I suggested that we only do 3 or 4 plants. However, "he" ended up getting double the plants we had last year - 12 - so we now have an extremely enormous crop of tomatoes! They're all still green, but eventually, they will ripen and we'll be giving them away! Let's hope we don't get an early fall and they all end up rotting on the vines! The photo only shows part of the crop, too!
Last weeked, Daughter #1 stopped by with the two grandchildren and they were so excited to see these enormous plants. They spent at least half an hour helping 6'2" Lorne water them with his "special" water (full of some sort of growth enhancer). Sure was an easy way to entertain little ones!

Monday, August 09, 2010

D is for Drawbridge, Demolition, Disturbing

The Westham Island Bridge is a drawbridge located in my village of Ladner, BC, Canada. It passes over Canoe Pass in the Fraser River Estuary and connects Ladner with Westham Island. It was officially opened in March 1910 with a lavish banquet and ended the residents' desolation. Today, as we celebrate its 100th birthday, we still cross the original bridge to pick berries or buy produce from local farms, taste wine at the Westham Island Winery, or visit the Reifel Bird Sanctuary. To read more of its history, click here. All photos will embiggen if you click on them.

We had a devastating fire a few months ago right in the downtown area of the village and several stores were destroyed, along with the apartments above these stores. Some of our residents are very artistic and they banded together to decorate the plywood boards that had been erected to deter anyone from entering the area after the buildings had been demolished. I think they did an aDmirable job! Can you see some of the scaffolding in the back right side of the photo? Hopefully, the gap between the stores on the main drag will soon be filled by new stores.

Also demolished recently was Johnny's Store that had been a distinguished institution in the area since 1963. The building, which marked the entrance point to the old village, will be replaced by a two-storey design with retail space on the ground floor and offices above. The owner of Johnny's, Daniel Lee, has said that he's not sure that the store will be back, although he and his family have first dibs once the building is complete. For now, they're traveling in South Korea and relaxing after all their years of dedication to the village. Again, our local artists have deliberately decorated the plywood walls surrounding the building site.

Outside of the village, I love to drive around the back roads looking for delapidated old barns. While cruising one evening with Daughter #2, we came upon this dingy old wreck and took several photos. I gave it a chalk & charcoal look with Photoshop Elements to make it look dreadfully creepy. Does it look as disturbing to you as it does to me? It looks like it's drawing on children to come and explore inside...but...what might dwell there? The devil? Bwaahahahah!!!!

Monday, August 02, 2010

C is for completely common nouns

For this week, I thought I'd do a concise compilation of words beginning with the letter "C." Be sure to click on the pictures to see more detail. First up is my decorative bird cage. When I saw it, I fell into a complete crush of love for it. I would never put a bird in it, because that would distract from its intricate design and also make it unclean. Therefore, it covers half the top of my china cabinet and every time I walk by, I see it and continue to love it. Even though this cage is colossal, a Canada Goose would never fit inside it. So in order to admire these spectacular specimens, one must take the car and drive to the Reiffel Waterfowl Refuge.

Next in my collection of C words is our CD collection ranging from early 60s to current, from the Beatles to Abba to Joe Cocker to Phil Collins to Eric Clapton and beyond all the way to U2.

Coming to my next picture, we have an antique clock. This clock was refurbished by Lorne's Dad many many moons ago, but the innards need to be replaced in order for it to actually chime on the hour. In the meantime, we know it keeps the correct time twice a day. Next to the clock is one of pretty much everyone's favourite carbohydrate vegetable - the lowly corn on the cob. Did you know that in the past corn was cultivated as food for pigs, and that the cobs can be made into corncob pipes or into charcoal? Hmmm, better be careful not to overcook them on the barbecue!

Finally, I wanted to show you two cushions that one of my sisters gave me (2 different Christmases). They are definitely conversation pieces and I love to kid people that the one on the left is true. And whenever I'm not in the mood for conversation, I just hold the other one up in front of my face!

Well, there you have my collection of C words for this week's ABC Wednesday. I hope you all have a cracking good week and I'll catch you all next week for the letter D.