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, February 28, 2011


What with all the hoopla about "The King's Speech" winning Best Picture this year, I thought it would be timely to show you Glamis Castle where the Queen Mother grew up in Scotland. I had the privilege of visiting this stunning home in 1998 with my #1 daughter Jamie as we toured England, Scotland, and a bit of Wales.

The family has lived in Glamis Castle since 1372 when Sir John Lyon was granted the thaneage by King Robert II. In 1376, Sir John married the King's daughter, Princess Joanna and since then, Glamis has been visited and lived in by many members of the Scottish and British Royal Families. The current Lord Strathmore lives in the castle with his wife and three sons.
I didn't take many photos while there because I purchased the souvenir booklet. As such, except for the last photo of D#1 (the tiny white dot on the right) outside the front entrance to the castle, I've scanned a few photos of the rooms I personally visited and which really made me gasp in awe. Take note of the ceilings! I particularly liked the Chapel as it seems so personal, spiritual, and conducive to being in the presence of God. I hope you enjoy this little virtual visit to Glamis Castle. We start with the Line of Descent. Please enlarge the photos to see detail. Once the photos are enlarged, simply click on it again and you'll get an even larger, albeit a bit fuzzy view.

The Chapel....

Here is the Queen Mother's sitting room - the photo spread across the center of the page, hence the bit of distortion.

Wouldn't you love a game of billiards in this stunning room?

The Drawing Room (below) is where the Royals would entertain.

My daughter and I joke about "our arrival for tea with the Queen Mom" since she was still alive at the time of our visit. Click here to find out more about ABC Wednesday and be sure to check out other participants' contributions. Join in - the more the merrier!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Florence - one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It's full of history, art, pageantry, fabulous food, and stupendous scenery! It has been far too long since I was there and I can hardly wait to return and spend more time wandering around the streets, window shopping and buying leather goods and jewelry. I'd also love to take at least one cooking course and spend a day at the Uffizi gazing at the art. Here are some photos from my previous visit - the statue of David, flag throwers in a parade, statue in the Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo, a street artist, and a parade that happened by just as we arrived in the piazza!
ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Denise Nesbitt and she has added a great team to help her out weekly by visiting various participating blogs. Join in - it's lots of fun and you meet people from all over the world!

Monday, February 14, 2011

E is for ETNA

This week, I'd like to take you to Mount Etna, a volcanic mountain in Sicily. During my 2006 journey through Italy, this was one of the last amazing sights I experienced. In fact, as soon as we got settled in at the San Domenico Palace Hotel (check out these photos to see this amazing place!) in Taormina, we headed up to the town piazza for a coffee and gelatto. From there, just at twilight, we saw poofs of smoke and little fingers of fire rising from the volcano's depth. It was very exciting as all the tourists "oohed" and "aahed." Of course, it wasn't as terrifying as it was last month when the mountain erupted and lava poured down its sides, frightening even the most hardened locals. Actually, it does erupt every few years, but this last time was a bit too much! I'm not going to write much about the mountain here because you're all smart enough to look up facts online if you're interested. Below is my photo of Etna from the Teatro Greco in Taormina. And below that is one from the web and one fro youtube of Etna erupting Jan. 12/13, 2011 - quite spectacular!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Nasal Creaking

Have you ever been so sick that you wished you could die but actually were afraid you might? Well, I have been stricken with the worst flu/cold in about 5 years and when I look in the mirror, I see death personified! I hurt all over - my head, my back, my shoulders, my chest - and I feel like a feeble centenarian when I hobble to the bathroom. And when I cough, it feels like fire and razor blades are vying for postion in my chest.

After getting up early this morning and finding that the 102F temperature had finally abated to the mid-99s, I crawled back into bed for a bit more sleep. It was so early, even the birds weren't up yet. Feeling more aware of my surroundings than I have been for the past two plus days, I noticed the silence. Suddenly, there was the faint sound of something - something - sounding like a creaking. Remaining still, I listened carefully. And then I realized what it was - my sinuses were creaking!

The way I'm feeling today, I think I'm going to be out of commission for another week. And yes, I did get my flu shots - the regular one and the swine one! I can't imagine how sick I'd be if I hadn't. And for a bit of humour amongst all this torment...

Sunday, February 06, 2011

D is for Destination Disneyland

This week, D1 and her husband, along with their two children, are in Disneyland. Therefore, it's an apt subject for our D week here at ABC Wednesday. I remember when my late husband and I took D1 and D2 to Disneyland in November of 1989 when D1 had just turned 13 and D2 was 9 1/2. Walt Disney said, "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world." And so it has changed since it opened on July 17, 1955. When I went back in 2000 with a girlfriend, I saw a lot of new things. But it has changed even since then! So I'm hoping my daughter and her family will have a wonderful time and bring back lots of photos and memories of their visit. Here are some photos from 1989 when we were there.

We left Disneyland exhausted, but happy. After all, they say it's the "happiest place on Earth!" What more can I say about it, since everyone knows about it even if they haven't been able to go there. There are "lands" all over the world now - in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, along with California and Florida in the USA. I'd love to go and see the one in Florida as I've heard that the Epcot Center is amazing because it showcases countries from around the world.

When D1 and family return from their trip, I'll see if she'll let me post some photos of their holiday.