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, November 13, 2017

S is for SMILE

Hi everyone!  Hope you all remembered "Remembrance Day" (as we here in Canada call it).  I know it's a service of remembering those who gave the ultimate gift to us by fighting against evil in the past wars.  However, I couldn't help but smile when recalling that so many men in my family were part of those who fought.  My grandfathers (both of them) fought in World War 1, with my paternal grandfather passing away at the young age of about 50 from complications of the gas he inhaled at one of the battles. I remember that night so clearly as I was about 7 years old and in bed when suddenly the house came alive with shouts and sirens as the paramedics tried to save his life after suffering a massive heart attack.  But I remembered my Grandpa with a smile on November 11th.  I also remember my other Grandpa and the photo I have of him in uniform.  My Dad and his sister, my Auntie Jo, were both in World War 2, my Dad as a flight trainer and pilot who monitored the east coast of Canada for German warships, U-boats and submarines.  He didn't go overseas and never got injured but he also never discussed his experiences in the war until the year before he died.  However, he focused on the happy times of flying through the clouds and goofing around during training periods. He lost a lot of his friends in those years. Here's my Dad at about 22 years old, proudly posing in his RCAF uniform.
I am also happy to being smiling broadly these days after having some dental work done.  I had to get a bridge done but after 2 attempts, my dentist decided that for some reason, my mouth was not accepting the new types of glues.  So, she had to do a sort of "old-fashioned" way of doing it.  I'm very happy now as I have a great smile with straight teeth now!
Finally, I am smiling because I made a BIG decision and I'm proud of myself.  Some of you know the background of my disastrous marriage almost 4 years ago and why I've been separated for almost 3 years.  Well, I went to my lawyer and have now filed for divorce and costs if he contests my application.  Hopefully, he will have learned that I'm not someone to trifle with and will simply sign the form - or else just ignore it.  Because we've been separated for almost 3 years, the application will simply go through the courts and "he" will be informed that he's now divorced.  But if he hasn't learned anything from me, he will try to get access to Tegan, my dog, and if he does, he will end up paying for my legal fees as well as his own.  But then I know him - he's too cheap and will probably give up.  So I will be divorced early in the new year - hopefully, January or February. Another fresh start for me!
Next year, 2018, I am planning a 6-week trip to England, Wales, and Ireland!  I'm smiling all the time with anticipation because I am going to try to rent a cottage in North Yorkshire (near my friend Jill) and hire a car to learn to drive myself around.  The car must be an automatic, though, because my brain won't work trying to shift gears AND stay on the proper side of the road.

So all in all, I'm feeling pretty good these days!  I just knocked on my wooden desk - just to be on the safe side.  LOL

Thanks, Melody, for keeping ABCW alive...not too many contributors - yet - but keep at it.  I always post mine on Facebook, too, so if anyone is interested in joining in, they can always contact me. Have a great weekend everyone!


Monday, November 06, 2017

R is for REMEMBRANCE DAY


November is always a time of remembrance and respect. We remember our Canadian Armed Forces for their participation in all wars since confederation (1867). Because of our ties with the British Empire, Canada joined forces in the Second Boer War, World War 1, and World War 2. Canada has also participated in multinational coalitions and fought in the Korean War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, and the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. As well, Canada has played an important role in peacekeeping operations worldwide and has sent more troops than any other country.

Along with remembering Canada's military forces for their sometimes heroic endeavours to keep our country and other countries democratic, we show our utmost respect to them on November 11 every year. We honour them for their specific actions and conduct and respect them for their dedication to freedom. Here is a poem I wrote about respect.


RESPECT

Respect is a blood-tinged soldier's cerise.
It looks like privates positioned at ease.
It sounds like everyone saying "Please."
It smells like the cool crisp scent of autumn leaves.
It tastes like the bread and wine we receive.
It feels like reverberating vibrations of sound.

I would like to share this slideshow from the photos I took at the Remembrance Day service in my village of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada on November 11, 2014. I also dedicate this post to my father, a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, who patrolled the east coast of Canada during World War Two keeping Canada safe from enemy forces that tried to cross the Atlantic in submarines, warships and German U-boats.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Thanks to Melody and her radiant and ravishing group of revolutionaries for keeping ABC Wednesday alive. We refuse to restrain ourselves as we revere the ridiculous to the reflective to the romantic revelations of our contRibutoRs. Please take part in your area's services to rejoice in renowned reflections.
Respect is honoring the moral high ground.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Q is for QUINCE

Welcome to one of the hardest letters of the alphabet - Q as in queen, quarter, quarantine.  This week, I'm showing you some photos of quince, a fruit that I'd never heard of before.  I discovered it quite by accident last month (September) when I took a drive out to Westham Island Herb Farm - a regular destination of mine.

I was able to get a parking spot right alongside the corn patch that left me only a short walk to the entrance.  However, just as I got out of the car, a photo op presented itself.  This (what I thought was an apple tree with one of the farm buildings behind.
I took another look and thought, "Oh it must be some type of pear."  But later, as I was leaving, I noticed a little tag on the tree so I took a look and discovered it was a "bourgeot quince."  Once home, I looked it up online and discovered it's something like a cross between a sweet apple and a pear.  Now I have never tasted a quince, but it sure sounds delicious and from now on, I'll keep an eye out for them in the stores.

Apparently, most varieties of quince grow in hotter climates, but the "bourgeot" is acclimatized to British Columbia's sometimes cold winters.  If you are interested in reading more about the quince here is a great website from the BC Living Magazine.


Have quintessentially great week, everyone!  Many thanks to Melody and her team of assistants for keeping ABC Wednesday alive.

Monday, October 23, 2017

P is for PUMPKINS

Sorry I missed last week everyone, but it was a particularly busy time.  Still is, but I figured I should try to put together a little something just so you don't forget about me! I decided to show you a few of my latest photos of pumpkins out at Westham Island Herb Farm near to where I live. I really enjoy going there in the fall to see their wonderful displays of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. A scarecrow greets everyone at the gate with a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins and the store is filled with all sorts or pumpkins, gourds, and flowers.
Tegan and I plodded out to the pumpkin field but it appeared that a lot had already been picked. But she did sit nicely so I could take her picture there.
Finally, this is their fabulous "Produce Pickup" truck!
So pumpkin season is upon us as Halloween grows ever closer.  I won't be buying a pumpkin to carve as there aren't any children who go door to door in my condo development.  But I just might buy a pumpkin pie for dessert when the kids come over for supper next weekend.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

N is for Neighborhood

How many of you remember the TV show "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood"?  It was a staple in our house from about 1980 to about 1990 for my two daughters.  When Daddy arrived home from work about 5 pm, they would greet him with hugs and kisses and then off they'd go to watch the show while Daddy and Mommy would catch up on their days as we all waited for dinner to be ready.

Fred Rogers was born in 1928 and passed away in 2003 from stomach cancer - far too young!  He was beloved by all children because of his gentle and soft-spoken personality.  Did you know that he was a Presbyterian minister as well as being responsible for creating, hosting, and composing the theme music for this educational children's series?  I know that whenever I sat down with the girls to watch, I was mesmerized by his voice and the way he spoke to the characters as though they were real life people.

Did you know that when Fred Rogers worked for NBC in the early 1950s, he didn't like the fact that commercial television relied so heavily on advertisements and merchandising?  What did he do? He quit and went to work at a Pittsburgh public television station as a puppeteer on a children's show. Rogers began wearing his famous sneakers when he found them to be quieter than his work shoes as he moved about behind the set.
From Wikipedia, I found that Fred Rogers had a connection to Canada where it reads:
"In 1963, Rogers moved to Toronto, where he was contracted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to develop his debut in front of the camera, the 15-minute children's program Misterogers,[25] which though popular with children ran for just three seasons. Many of his famous set pieces—Trolley, Eiffel Tower, the 'tree', and 'castle'—were created by CBC designers. While in Canada, Rogers brought his friend and understudy Ernie Coombs, who would go on to create Mr. Dressup, a very successful and long-running children's show in Canada, and similar in many ways to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Mr. Dressup also used some of the songs that would be featured on Rogers' later program. The two of them co-starred on Butternut Square on CBC TV between October 19, 1964, and February 10, 1967.

In 1966, Rogers acquired the rights to his program from the CBC and moved the show to WQED in Pittsburgh, where he had worked on The Children's Corner. He developed the new show for the Eastern Educational Network. Stations that carried the program were limited but did include educational stations in Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City."

 Here is the famous "Neighborhood Trolley".

Click HERE to view an episode of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood." You don't have to watch the entire thing, but be sure to listen to Fred Rogers sing the opening song about "won't you be my neighbor."

Have a wonderful week, everyone. I must say I'm so glad to have you all as my ABCW neighbours!

Monday, October 02, 2017

M is for MOORS


As I've been so busy lately, please excuse this repeat from October, 2016.  But I think the new contributors will enjoy it and the old ones might, too.

This week on ABC Wednesday, we're celebrating the letter M as in moss, mother, mist, mushroom, macadamia, melancholy, Manitoba, marching, mud, and magnanimous!  I am focusing on the moors of North Yorkshire where I spent a week visiting my dear friend Jill and her family and friends! It was the most marvelous week and I miss them all very much - the people and the moors and look forward to making another visit some day.

For those who are not aware, the North York moors contain one of the largest heather moorlands in Great Britain covering an area of 554 square miles or 1,430 square kilometers.  When the heather is in bloom, it a magnificent sight to behold!  But even when it's not blooming, if you go up to the highest point on the moors, Chimney Banks, there are vast expanses of gently sloping hills and valleys with farms scattered throughout and sheep grazing on the hillsides.  The coastline here along the eastern edge of Great Britain boasts of small towns and villages, some perched precariously on the edge of cliffs or hillsides.  Whitby, Scarborough, and Robin Hood's Bay are all places I visited during my trip and made me want to never leave!

If you're a fan of the TV show "Heartbeat," on Knowledge Network in British Columbia and maybe on public networks elsewhere in the world, you will see the locations where the show was filmed. So now when every Saturday night at 8 pm, I settle down to continue watching the show, I can make note of places I've seen with my own two eyes - Beggar's Bridge, the high road along the top of the moors, the cemetery at Egton where they filmed all the funeral scenes, the village of Goathland where the fictional "Aidensfield" is set and its train station where parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed, Scripps Garage and the "Aidensfield Pub" where Jill and I had a glass of wine one evening.
I truly believe I could happily move into a small cottage in a small village in this area and spend much time photographing the people and the scenery in all seasons.  And I can picture myself finding spots along the beaches, hills, or valleys where I would take a notebook to do some creative writing.  I know that I am fortunate to live in a country like Canada, on its west coast near the ocean with its spectacular scenery, but there is something about the moors of North Yorkshire that continue to call me during my waking hours and whisper to me as I gently slip into dreamland. 

I hope you enjoy my photos of these moors but I am sorry I don't have any from when the heather is in bloom. So here's one from Mr. Google so you can marvel along with me. I recognize this spot as it's quite near the village of Grosmont where I stayed with Jill. 

I dedicate this post to Jill for her friendship and hospitality and especially for the wine!

Turn up your sound and click for full screen to fully enjoy the video with its haunting music.  With thanks to the merry Melody, our new administrator of ABCW, and to the matchless team of assistants.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


Monday, September 25, 2017

L is for Lounge Chairs

Welcome to L week here at ABC Wednesday!  I thought I'd share with you a few photos I took at Whistler when I was there the last 3 days of August with my daughter.  My camera was in hand all the time, and I spent a lot of time focusing on the perfect shots.  Some of the ones I really like from the mini-vacation are of the chaises longues or lounge chairs that were scattered around the village. I tried sitting in one of them, but because they are made of metal, they weren't very comfortable for my back.  But the chairs were okay.  Most of these chaises longues were around the central lagoon that was surrounded by a beautiful and lush lagoon and greenery.  Following are some shots of the lagoon and loungers.

Hope you like these shots as much as I do.  I had a lovely time at Whistler and found that it had changed a lot since the last time I'd been there.

Monday, September 18, 2017

K is for KIWIS

Welcome to K week at ABC Wednesday! I really had some trouble thinking about anything to show you, but I finally remembered something.

Last year, I visited Westham Island Herb Farm and discovered a kiwi tree.  There were so many kiwis hanging off the branches, I wished that I could pick them.  But instead of "stealing" them, I took a few photos and here's one that turned out quite nicely. You can even see their fuzzy outsides. I had had no idea that kiwis would grow in our climate, but there you have it.  They do! I'm also quite pleased that this photo made it into the middle of the top ten on a challenge in Red Bubble.
Kudos to Melody and her team who have been successful in bringing a new ABC Wednesday to life! There has been a good turnout of contributors, including some new ones.  Keep plugging ABCW to your friends and family and it will become THE best meme on the internet.  Who knows? Someone might end up on Oprah one day.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

J is for JAY (bird)

Welcome to ABC Wednesday, Round 21, where this week we celebrate the letter J.  This letter could begin words like jam, jar, jump, jealousy, jonquil, or names like Janet, Jaclyn (or Jacqueline), John, Jason, or James

In August of this year, I took my Welsh visitors for a drive to Shannon Falls.  We had a great time strolling upwards towards the stairs leading to the falls. We wandered through forest growths of cedars and beside the creek where the waterfall ends up and people were jumping from rock to rock or just simply cooling their feet in the frigid water.
 JANE
 JUMPS
Then, on our journey back to the car, as we were winding our way through the old forest growth, I just happened to look up - I have no idea why - but there was a bird sitting on a branch immediately above my head!  I quickly and quietly readied my Canon EOS Rebel T4i camera and started shooting.  The bird didn't move.  So I went in for a closer shot - and then closer - the bird didn't move.  It was almost as though this bird was actually posing for me!  I thought it was a blue jay, but on further research after returning home, I discovered it's a Stellar Jay

Apparently, the blue jay resides through most of eastern and central USA, although western populations may be migratory. It is predominantly blue with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest. It has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest.
The stellar jay, however, is native to western North America, and has a black head and upper body. It is also known as the long-crested jay, mountain jay, and pine jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains.
Here he is in all his glory!

Isn't he gorgeous!

Hope you all have a jolly week and we'll be back next week for the letter L as in Leslie!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

I is for IRISH


May the sound of happy music, and the lilt of Irish laughter fill your heart with gladness!
On the last day of my holiday at Whistler, BC, my daughter and I decided to check out the Irish pub located in the Pan Pacific Hotel (Mountainside).  Long story short, I think it would be even better on a snowy winter's late afternoon after a day of skiing.  There is an outside gas fireplace so people can gather around to warm their hands, feet, and cockles.  I bet it would be lots of fun!  We sat at the table on the right side under the green umbrella.  There were no snow skis there - just lots of mountain bikes!
I tried out an Irish cider with a pear flavour, which was excellent!  However, after drinking about 1/2 of it, I could feel the bubbles in my toes, so had to stop before staggering my way back to where we were staying.
This was just a taste of what I have planned for next summer's travel - roughly two weeks in Ireland with my Welsh friend Jane!  I'm so looking forward to it as it is a country that I've not yet visited.  I have a friend who was born and bred there and she has given me lots of ideas of where and what to visit and has promised to pop over once I get a map of Ireland so she can help me plan out the tour. Jane hasn't been there, either, even though she's just a ferry ride away!

Here's a website I found online - check out the very brief video to hear a lilting Irish accent!

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, August 28, 2017

H is for HOLIDAY

HI everyone!  I'm finally going away on a HOLIDAY this week!  So if I don't get back to you please forgive me.  This summer, I already had a "staycation" with good friend from Wales and we did lots of things around here and then I relaxed while they went off to Vancouver Island.  But now it's my turn - instead of going thousands of miles away, I'm only going about a 2 1/2 drive to Whistler Village, a very popular resort (especially in winter for skiing).  I'll be staying in the center of the village so if I get bored from reading and relaxing, will go out to do some people watching and photography.
As it's extremely expensive to stay in Whistler, this is a real treat.  After tutoring one student for 9 years, her parents gave me 3 nights at their condo as a thank you gift!  Pretty nice, eh?  I'm taking my daughter for a Mom/Daughter bonding time and expect we will really enjoy it.  I'll post photos for another post later in the round.  The one major thing we're going to do is the Peak-to-Peak adventure.  It's the world's highest and longest (4.4 kilometers) lift and I really hope to get some outstanding photos, not only from the gondola, but also from the spot where we land.  Check out this site here to see what else there is to do at Whistler.

See you next week!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Grouse Mountain

Sorry to be late posting, but have just said good-bye to friends who have been visiting from Wales.  The grand finale of their trip was a visit up Grouse Mountain to see the spectacular view of the city of Vancouver in both daylight and at sunset when the lights came on. 

Grouse Mountain is one of the North Shore Mountains of the Pacific Ranges in the District Municipality of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Exceeding 1,200 m in altitude at its peak, it is the site of an alpine ski area, Grouse Mountain Resort, which overlooks Greater Vancouver with four chairlifts servicing 26 runs. In the summer, Grouse Mountain Resort features lumberjack shows, a birds of prey wildlife demonstration, a scenic chairlift ride, and a 2.9 km hiking trail known as the Grouse Grind, as well as helicopter sightseeing. Year-round operations include a 100-seat mountaintop theatre and a wildlife refuge. Public access to the mountain top is by a Swiss Garaventa aerial tramway, or by the Grouse Grind hiking trail.

We took in the lumberjack show, always a comical way of demonstrating what lumberjacks did in the olden days, a scenic chairlift ride to the peak of the mountain where we watched people paraglide (tandem-style with a professional) off the top of the mountain to soar over the treetops, watching the grizzly bears wander around their huge enclosure, and a lovely dinner overlooking the city of Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet flowing into the Georgia Strait.




Hope you take advantage of the views from the top of Grouse Mountain if you ever come for a visit.  It is well worth it to spend at least half a day up the mountain.