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, September 28, 2015

L is for LOVELY

This week ABC Wednesday is brought to you by the Letter L - not only as for MOI (Leslie) but also for LOVELY as in the lovely weather we've had since the drought ended.  It had to be one of the worst summers I've spent here at home.  There was absolutely no respite, not even a drop of rain or drizzle and the heat was unbearable.  I don't know how people live in hot and humid climates! 

Anyway, I thought I'd bring you a few photos of my little corner of the world to show you how lovely it is right now.  My favourite place to be is near the water.

First up, here's a lovely little home-made sailboat that was docked at Wellington Point the other day.
And here's another little outboard motor boat that was hiding in the grasses and reeds down by Sharkey's Restaurant at their wharf.
Here's a shot of part of the river that runs through Ladner (OH! Another L word!)
Here is a shot across the water to the marina where lovely fishing boats are moored.
And finally, I just can't resist including a picture of my "granddog" Lucy and Tegan waiting patiently while I do my thing.
Thanks to the lovely Lady Nesbitt, the creator of ABCW, and to the likeable Lord Roger, our administrator.  Don't forget about the loyal team of ABCW'ers who leap from blog to blog to leave lovely comments for everyone.

Friday, September 18, 2015

K is for British slang words


No story, no moral, no point today except to bring you a few odd British words that we also use in Canada that begin with the letter K.  Just for fun.
KERFUFFLE (a big fuss)
KNACKERED  (tired, exhausted)
KNICKERS (underwear)
KNOCK UP  (wake up)

KNICK (to steal)

 KNEES UP (to party hardy)

So there you have it - some strange vocabulary for some but if anyone has any British heritage at all, I'm sure you've heard at least some of these.  Thanks to the adorably kitschy Mrs. Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday and to our keen administrator Roger.  Also many thanks to each member of the team who leaves knockout comments so everyone feels welcome.

Monday, September 14, 2015


With my mind turning towards my students as they return to school this month, I started thinking about some of my favourite Shakespearean plays that I will have to help them understand. 

Othello stands out as one of my favourites when Iago says to Othello, "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;  It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock The meat it feeds on; that cuckold lives in bliss  Who, certain of his fate, loves not his wronger;  But, O, what damned minutes tells he o'er  Who dotes, yet doubts, suspects, yet strongly loves!"  What he's actually saying (in modern parlance) is "I hope you get jealous and kill your wife because that would fit in perfectly with my plans."  Iago is nasty, malicious and evil just for the pure fun of it! 

Jealousy can turn people into monsters just like Iago.  It can cause insane rage and play on one's selfishness and fears.  This is not going to be a missive on how to overcome it.  I thought I'd just share my thoughts on the emotion through a poem I wrote a few years ago when I was teaching my class about nouns that depicted emotions.

Jealousy is a green that’s hard to define.
It looks like terribly tangled vines.
It sounds like wallowing and whimpering whines.
It smells like a strange scent on his neckline.
It tastes like muddy paranoid pies.
It feels like razor blades when he tells his lies.
Jealousy is sin in others’ eyes.
However, jealousy can also be a positive emotion.  Really?  How could that possibly be true?  Well, it could be an indicator of where you want to be in your life.  It could cause some curiosity about how someone else attained their goal, which could be a precipitator to reaching your own goal.  Jealousy can also cause you to look inside yourself so you can see and become more grateful for what you have been able to do so far in your life.  This is the best quote I've seen recently on the topic of jealousy:
With thanks to the jolly Mrs. Nesbitt, creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the jovial Roger, our administrator.  Also, don't forget to throw out a big "Thanks" to the joyful team members who like to join in the fun by jumping over to many blogs to read your jottings or about your latest journey or your favourite jam or jelly recipe.  See y'all next week for the letter K.

Monday, September 07, 2015

I is for ICE

This is an updated version of I is for ICE that I posted in September, 2009.  Sometimes the creative juices fail, so in this case, I went back to reread some of my old posts and thought this would work.  Hope you enjoy it.

Living in Canada as I do, ice is an expected form of precipitation. However, in this little corner of the country, known locally as Lotusland, we don't get as much of it as in the rest of Canada. Here, one would usually find ice in a cold drink in the form of cubes in any season throughout the year.

It does occasionally get cold enough for ice to form on top of the puddles in the fields. And when we were kids, there were ditches in front of the residential area where I grew up so we'd put on our ice skates and go bumping along, trying to avoid the overhanging bushes or tree branches that got in our way. Also, every Saturday afternoon we would get on the bus to travel into the city of Vancouver to go ice skating at Kerrisdale Arena. Until we got our very own figure skates for Christmas one year, we would rent dirty old ones at the rink. I remember one c-c-c-cold January weekend, we gathered up a bunch of friends and drove out to Fry's Corner (the "real" country) and skated and played a sort of hockey on the farmer's field. (That's me in the middle with my late husband on the right and his best friend on the left.)

Of course, ice hockey is almost our national sport! I say "almost" as it isn't officially our national sport because lacrosse takes that honour. But if you think of Canada, you'll usually think HOCKEY. (Did you happen to notice we all have hockey sticks in the photo above?) My Dad was a great hockey fan and every Saturday at 5:00 pm, we'd hear the familiar tune of "Hockey Night in Canada" playing just before the national anthem(s) were sung and the game began.
When my daughters were young, they were involved in figure skating with my older daughter competing at provincial and national levels for her age category. We have an entire photo album of her skating "career," starting with when she learned how to ice skate at the age of 3 and her Daddy would push her around the ice rink as she held onto a sliding frame. Then as she got older, we'd proudly watch her as she pirouetted, spun, and glided herself to many medals and cups.
My younger daughter was on a precision team both here in BC and when we lived temporarily in Ontario. Again, our hearts burst with pride as we watched her participate in many ice competitions. Her ice skating album is right beside her sister's. By the way, I actually made that red and grey polka-dot skating outfit for her when she was about 3 years old.

Did you hear that southern Alberta got snow already this month and the mountains at Whistler, BC, already have snow on their peaks?  Both these bits of news have never been heard of before! I don't mind the cold weather sometimes, but no one around here (except the skiers) like snow because it's so unusual that the city practically grinds to a halt.

So you see, ice is an important item in my world. When it's hot, we put ice in our drinks and if it's cold enough, some of us will venture out to ice skate or play ice hockey.

Thanks to the imaginative Denise Nesbitt who created ABC Wednesday ice ages ago and to the inimitable Roger, our illustrious administrator.

Monday, August 31, 2015

H is for HELL

One of my students had to read Dante's "Inferno" a couple of years ago, so I thought I should read it, too.  The old style is a bit difficult at first, but I had a copy that explained practically every line.  If you haven't had the pleasure, Dante Alighieri describes Hell as having nine circles (levels), each of which describes various types of sins.  As Dante sinks deeper into the circles of Hell, the descriptions of the circles' conditions become worse and worse.  The 9 circles of Hell represent the sins of (in order of level of evil) Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery.   I can't insert an image from the poem because all are just too gruesome, but this illustrates the inscription that Dante sees as he approaches the entrance to Hell.
From Wikipedia:  In the very centre of Hell, condemned for committing the ultimate sin (personal treachery against God), is Satan. Satan is described as a giant, terrifying beast with three faces, one red, one black, and one a pale yellow:
he had three faces: one in front bloodred;
and then another two that, just above
the midpoint of each shoulder, joined the first;
and at the crown, all three were reattached;
the right looked somewhat yellow, somewhat white;
the left in its appearance was like those
who come from where the Nile, descending, flows.[61]
Satan is waist deep in ice, weeping tears from his six eyes, and beating his six wings as if trying to escape, although the icy wind that emanates only further ensures his imprisonment (as well as that of the others in the ring).  With Satan are Brutus and Cassius who assassinated Julius Caesar and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.

This poem is an allegory (writers use abstracts to represent meanings through actions, imagery, characters, events to create a moral, spiritual or political meaning) but when one reads Dante's "Inferno", one comes away with a sensation of horror to think that anyone could be plunged into a specific circle of Hell to an eternity of some sort of torture or brutality.  Do you believe in Hell?  Do you believe Hell is a possibility?  I was brought up with the belief in Heaven and Hell, but as an adult, I do wonder.

Which brings me to a very well-known phrase:  "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."  I have recently quoted this a couple of times when people have asked me how I am doing after the breakup of my marriage.  To be honest, I've had a hard time dealing with the anger towards my ex considering the lies, deceit, abuse and other things he threw at me.  According to the meaning behind the phrase, although Hell is considered to be the most horrid place to be in, it cannot compete with the terror of a woman when she is scorned, spurned, or shunned. 

Considering Dante's depiction of Hell, would I wish him any part of those nine circles? Absolutely not.  However, I do believe he will, in some way, pay for the Hell he created. 
In the meantime, I happen to be hobbling along much better these days.  The ankle is healed as well as it ever will be, my blood pressure is normal, and I'm harbouring a yen for school to start again.

Thanks to the most honourable Lady Denise Nesbitt (creator of ABC Wednesday) and to the most humble Sir Roger, our handsome administrator.  Don't forget to give silent thanks also to the harmonious and helpful group of bloggers who take the time to hop over to visit your contributions. Have a happy week, everyone!  This smiling face is what makes ME happy these days!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


One of my favourite places to visit in Greater Vancouver is Granville Island
It's a peninsula and shopping district located on the south side of False Creek across from Downtown Vancouver between the south end of the Granville and Burrard Street Bridges.  In my humble opinion, "Bridges" (the yellow building top center) is one of the best restaurants on the island and I've had the pleasure of dining there many times.  When Liz (from Swansea, Wales)(of http://liz-and-harvey.blogspot.ca/) came to visit, we had lunch on the patio right by the water. Not only did we get a photo of us, but also of the gargantuan blueberry shortcake dessert!
Another wonderful restaurant on Granville Island is The Docksider that offers casual fine dining in a stunning setting.  Set right on the water, floor to ceiling windows allow panoramic views of downtown Vancouver all the way to the mountains beyond. There's gracious and friendly service, a glorious menu, and desserts worthy of a gourmet
Check out what I had when I took my daughter there for her birthday lunch!
The Public Market is the jewel in the crown of Granville Island!  It showcases the finest of gastronomic delights like seafood, warm baked goods, fresh plump fruit, cheeses, flowers and more. 

Granville Island is, without a doubt, a must-see destination if you're visiting this gorgeous city!  Park your car and simply walk everywhere.  Aromas abound from the bakeries scattered throughout and  you will want to pop into the brewery, the book shops, the art shops, the kids' building, etc. But if you feel the need to sit for a bit, simply go over to the water's edge and hail an aquabus.  You'll really enjoy the ability to view the scenery from a different perspective.

If you embark or disembark near Bridges Restaurant, you will also see buskers performing for locals and tourists alike.  Also, you'll see other free and glorious entertainment throughout the area.  Watch out for sea gulls though - they are almost tame!  Here are some shots that may give you a giggle.
Thanks to the gracious Lady Denise, the creator of ABCW, and to the gallant Sir Roger, our administrator.  Also, don't forget about the team of contributors who gallop around to various posts to greet you and give you glowing comments about your post.  Have a great week, everyone, and see you for the letter H next time.

Monday, August 17, 2015

F is for FRISBEE

This week, ABC Wednesday is brought to you by the letter F - f as in fast, fizzle, focus, fetch, fly, face, and farm.  It is also brought to you by the fetching Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABCW, and by the frisky Roger, our fabled administrator.  Don't forget about the friendly team of bloggers who help out by flitting over to many contributors in order to formulate lovely comments for you all.

The word I've chosen for the week is FRISBEE because I seem to be playing with it every morning of the week!  This is the "toy" that keeps my cute little yellow English Lab's attention.  I've taught her to fetch it and bring  it back to me, drop it at my feet, and sit to wait until I throw it again.  As I mentioned in last week's post, we've been having a heat wave (isn't that a song?) all summer, so I have to make sure I get up and out before 9 in the morning for her to get some exercise.  If I don't, she pesters me by whining until we go somewhere! 

It doesn't take long before she's gasping for water, which I bring along and put into a small bowl.  But she won't give up until I can tell she's exhausted.  Even though she wants to keep going, she gives in and follows me back to the car.  When we get home, she flops on the hardwood floor in the same spot every time - she's found her sweet spot, I guess.  At least then I can get some work done while she naps.  She wants to go again in the afternoon and in the evening, but lately it has just been too hot.  But I take her for lovely air-conditioned car rides and we stop here and there for her to have a little sniff around.

Just thought I'd share a few photos to show you how well she does with the Frisbee by catching it in the air - if I throw it half decently.  Don't you just love that smile at the end?  Oh and if you noticed how disgustingly slimy her Frisbee is, I make sure I wear an old gardening glove to throw it.