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, 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!