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.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Y is for Year 2014

Happy New Year everyone!  I thought really hard about what to write this week and after reading an article in our Vancouver Sun newspaper, I thought I'd share some "Canadianisms" that leave other English speakers confused.

1. Mickey - I think most Americans would think of "Mickey Mouse" or a particular date rape drug, but you're wrong!  In Canada, a mickey is a 375-mL bottle of liquor.  It's quite common to say, "Let's pick up a mickey on our way to the party."  Other liquor-related "isms are "two four" (a case of 24 beer), "twenty-sixer" (a 750 mL bottle of liquor), and "forty-pounder" (a 1.14 litre bottle of liquor).

2. Toque - Canadians wear toques for half the year (well, not in my little corner of Lotusland).  They're knitted caps. By the way, it's pronounced "tooook."

 3. Freezies - These are popsicles that come in a plastic sleeve.  Kids everywhere in Canada beg for freezies all summer long.  Moms buy them in cases and store them in their garage freezers.

 4. Pablum - This is a food product made of a mixture of bone meal, corn meal, vitamins and grains that you mix with warm water to feed babies.  (Of course, one could also use "Pablum" to refer to Justin Trudeau's speeches as he tries to garner support for the federal Liberal party but that's another story.)

5. Parkade - In the United States, these are called parking garages or parking decks.  They are multi-storied areas in downtown - where you park your car so you can shop at the adjoining mall.

 6.  Pencil Crayons - Americans call these "coloured pencils" and the British call the "colouring pencils." It's possible the term came from the French "crayon de couleur."

7. Robertson screwdriver - This screwdriver was invented by P.L. Robertson (from Ontario) and is superior to its Phillips-head cousins.  Only 16% of Commonwealth people and 5% of Americans recognized the name.

 8. Hooped - 54% of Canadians use this term to mean "broken" or "useless" as in if your car's engine is seized, the car's hooped.  This is purely a western Canadian expression.
With that, you start out the New Year with a bit more trivia to add to your repertoire.  Hope everyone has a wonderful 2014.
Thanks to Denise, Roger and the entire team at ABC Wednesday for their hard work and support.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

X is for XMAS

A repeat post from December 22, 2012:
We who post at ABC Wednesday are lovers of the alphabet, and we are sometimes fascinated by the flexibility of the letter X.  It can be used to represent the sacred, the profane (X-rated), and the unknown (X-ray).

How many of you have ever wondered why "XMAS" is used as a short form for the word ''CHRISTMAS"?  How many of you really know the reason.  Have you ever heard the saying "Jesus is the reason for the season"?

The history of the word "Xmas" is actually quite respectable and predates by centuries its use in gaudy advertisements.   X is the Greek letter "chi", the first letter in the word Χριστός.  And here's the kicker - Χριστός means "Christ."  Using the letter X to represent Christ, known as a "christogram," has been an accepted representation of Christ for hundreds of years. 

So, in order to fulfill my promise of a short post this week, may I wish you all MERRY XMAS!  The following is not a slideshow, just a Xmas card to you all....but do turn up your sound if you enjoy the song "O Holy Night." 
Click to play this Smilebox greeting

Sunday, December 15, 2013

W is for WALKING

How many of you have ever thought about the act of walking?  We certainly take it for granted once we learn to walk by around one year of age.  But...take away the ability and how would you feel?

As most of my regular readers know, I broke my ankle mid-September and was in a freakishly stylish boot that I nicknamed Frank (short for Frankenstein) for seven weeks!  Also, for those of you who have followed me for years now, do you recall my back operation when my spine was fused in three spots and seven pins were drilled in to keep everything in place?  Now - picture me with this boot that raises me about 4 inches higher on one side and you'll know why I called the boot Frank....well, maybe it should have been Igor....but I digress.

A week after breaking my ankle (in two places, by the way) I had to see an orthopedic surgeon who would check to see if I needed to have an operation to pin it together.  When we arrived at the hospital, Lorne got me into a wheelchair because I was not to put any weight on the foot yet.  As a result, it had been h...e...double hockey sticks all week as I tried to hop to and from the most important room of the house.  My back was already killing me along with the pain in my ankle. 

Luckily, I didn't need surgery and I could start to put a bit of weight on the foot as long as I wore the boot.  And I didn't have to wear it to bed anymore, either.  So that was a big relief.  However, after moving around in the house with one foot 4 inches higher than the other, my hip started acting up.  I'm not used to wearing shoes inside, but I finally figured out that if I wore my walking shoe with the boot, it raised that side up a bit more so it wouldn't be so hard on me.

Counting down the weeks and finally the days, I arrived once more at the hospital to see the orthopedic surgeon.  My ankle was x-rayed and poked and prodded and I was announced "healed."  Yes, well, I still needed to go to physio because all the ligaments and tendons were stiff and inflexible.  That was okay with me and off I went to make some appointments.

I had had about four sessions with the physiotherapist and the kinesthesiologist and was doing great!  I found that I could go up the stairs left/right, left/right and could almost do the same coming down.  Apparently, it's harder going down because of the angle the foot needs and I wasn't quite there yet.  But I was again independent, driving, and doing my Christmas shopping without too much trouble other than tiring quickly.

So guess what happened!  Last week, I was going out the door and as I looked back at the dog to tell her to stay, my bad foot went over!  OMG! It hurt like bl**dy h***... and I screamed at Lorne to help me!  The pain was so bad I started crying and saying "Sh*t! Sh*t! Sh*t" over and over again.  Anyhoo, long story a bit shorter, I went to my next physio appointment two days later with a swollen foot that looked like a piece of raw meat with five red sausage toes.  In one session the physio was able to get the red out and the swelling down almost to normal.  I can walk again (with a limp), am icing my foot every day and am thankful that by Christmas I should be back to normal.  Well, except for my brain that is! 

So don't take walking for granted.  Whenever I see a person on crutches, in a wheelchair, or pushing a wheeled walker, I remember to thank God I am better now.  I'm also much more open about helping someone out if they look as though they'd welcome it.  As I sat waiting for Lorne to park the car that first day at the hospital, I watched people walking as they passed me.  I can still remember how I felt - helpless - and thought about how important it is to be able to walk.

With that, I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and will only be posting a short Xmas message next week in honour of the day. 

Warm wishes for a wonderful holiday season!
Click to play this Smilebox greeting

Sunday, December 08, 2013


With the Christmas holidays upon us, I'm feeling like I need a vacation!  This past year has been a difficult one and both of us just want it to be over so we can go away to someplace warm, relax with a good book, and breathe in some tropical sea air.  We're thinking Maui in May...apparently, it's a good month for seniors like us to go because there aren't any families with young children and the weather is usually just perfect.

Both of us have been to Hawaii before (Lorne twice to Oahu and I've been to Oahu and Maui each once.)  Back in 1995, I took my younger daughter to Maui and stayed at a resort called Papakea, right on the water with two pools, tennis court, putting greens, and lots of shade from the palm trees.  I rented a car and we went into Lahaina a couple of times and halfway around the island for a nice leisurely drive.  This time, we'd like to go up Haleakala to see the sun rise and maybe go to Hana.  I hear the drive is quite something.

Of course, we might change our mind as to our vacation destination, but one thing is for sure - we need a vacation! Here's a quick slideshow showing some of the places I've visited and where we'd like to vacation soon.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Don't forget to give thanks to the vibrant Mrs. Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, to the valuable Roger, our administrator, and to his vital team of assistants.

Monday, December 02, 2013


Looking back at my posts from the last month, I find I've gone from "I Quit" to "Rough Ride" to "Smile."  Well, today, I am feeling UNDAUNTED!  Both Lorne and I are trying very hard to be resolutely courageous about our situation and continue to uplift each other.
Even though we each become a bit uncommunicative at times while we ponder what we're going through, we always come back together again.  He was a bit unapproachable this past weekend after receiving news that his former mother-in-law had passed away.  He was not close to her, but he was and continues to be close to his former brother-in-law; therefore, he is feeling his pain right now and reminiscing about the death of his own mother.  Today, he has to go for blood tests and psyche himself up for his next chemo (tomorrow) when his oncologist will only give him one of the three drugs he has been on. Fingers crossed the side effects will not undermine his health.

This past week, I managed to get the tree up and decorated.  Our Princess Tegan was very curious about all the boxes we pulled out and the strange thing now standing in the corner.  But she had been uncannily good about not poking about and stealing anything.  I've invited my single sister to come for Xmas Day with the two of us and she is delighted to be invited.  If Lorne needs to rest in the afternoon, we'll be able to have a nice time together - take Tegan for a little walk or even go to a matinee.  It will be a nice quiet, unexcitable day - just what we need this year.

Here are a few fun photos:  on the left is Lorne's oldest glass Xmas tree ball and on the right is mine.

This is an ornament my sister gave me one year, just for fun!

Below, Tegan dragged her blankie all the way up the stairs and...
promptly fell asleep with it in her mouth.
Unbridled thanks to Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABCW and to the unimpeachable Roger, our administrator.  Also, remember to thank the united forces of the ABCW team for their continued unrelenting energy for visiting all the contributors and taking a turn at the weekly introduction on our home page. 

As this round draws to a conclusion, please consider emailing Roger to offer your unrestrained excitement at becoming part of the team!  All that is required is that you visit 10 contributors to comment on their post and if you wish, sign up to do one introduction.  Easy Peasy!