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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, January 31, 2016

D is for DUMPED

This past weekend, I was dumped!  On Facebook, that is.  Apparently, lots of people get "dumped" there, but this was rather devastating because it was personal.  However, I must say that I've decided that life is too short and I'm not going to get into a divisive war of words over it.  I intend to take the high road and act like a mature adult instead of taking the low road, which my supposed friend has done.

What happened, you wonder.  Well, she is a real estate agent and I thought we could work together to find a new house for me and my daughter & her family.  My friend was pissed that my daughter was able to sell her home privately - so she lost out on commission there.  Then after the family had been living with me for a few months, we all came to the conclusion that between the cost of housing and our realization that it would be better for us to live separately, my daughter and I worked something out so they can buy my house and I will buy a condo nearby.  So - no commission there. 

My friend was then supposed to help me find a condo.  She showed me one - and was duly pissed off again that I did not like it.  After that, the only communication with her was her telling me to do "drive-bys" to check places out and telling me that I would have to offer "over asking" in order to get something decent

I decided to go looking on my own.  I researched a nearby community and saw about 5 condos here in my own village without her.  One condo was way over my price point, but it sounded intriguing so I decided to call the real estate agent with the listing to take a look.  I was not expecting to like it as much as I did.  It was absolutely perfect!  So...what do I do

I threw a number out to the listing agent, expecting him to say "No, not enough."  However, he felt it was a very good offer and wanted to write it up immediately.  So, I did it.  Within 45 minutes, we had a deal.  I did not feel guilty because I felt my friend had not been working for me, but for herself.  I know she wouldn't have written an offer even at asking price; instead, she would've insisted on going over, and I refused to do that.  The deal I got was better than I know I would have got through my friend and I prepared myself to tell her.

I called her the very next morning and invited her to lunch - my treat.  We had not even started to eat when I told her I had news.  Her reaction was "What?  I'm sick! How could you do that?"  and promptly walked out!  She wouldn't listen to what happened nor did she hear me say that I was prepared to pay her for her services thus far.  She Facebook pm'd me later telling me what a "sad way to end a friendship" and that what I did was beyond comprehension.  She also said it wasn't about her commission, but later emailed me going on and on about exactly that. 

Then she dumped me on Facebook and put some nasty stuff on one of my son-in-law's posts, to which he responded when he should have simply ignored it.  Then she deleted her comment to make it look like my SIL had said something nasty about her.  Today her daughter saw it and she's now demanding explanations and using the worst curse words in her comments. 

I have deleted it all and am not commenting.  In my mind, I think how I could go to the agency where she works and report her unprofessional behaviour.  But I don't want to do that.  I am hoping that in a few weeks, she might decide that she overreacted and maybe there was good reason why I went ahead without her.  If she apologizes, I will accept her apology.  But sadly, the friendship we had is, I believe, destroyed for good.

In ending, I'd like to share a quote from the book "The Light Between Oceans" that I just finished the other day.  It's about the choices we make in life and how much easier it is to forgive.  Like the song says, "let it go..." and move on with life instead of dwelling in the misery of  hatred.
Sorry to be a downer this week, but I just had to get this off my chest.  With thanks to the darling Denise Nesbitt, creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the dashing Roger, our administrator.  Also, thanks to the dandy group of helpers who dauntlessly dash around to all the daily blogs and give decorous and deserving comments.  We can always use more helpers, so if you determine that you have a half hour or so a week, do contact Roger.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

C is for Cabbage Patch Dolls

 
My younger daughter was born in 1980 and by the time she was 4 years old, the Cabbage Patch dolls were the Biggest Thing Ever!  There were riots in stores as mothers tried to purchase them for their kids and I remember trying to find two of them at Christmas in 1984 - one for her and one for her 7 year old sister.  I was finally successful and they absolutely adored those dolls, who came with names and adoption papers.  My older daughter still has hers which is named Annette and I still have the minis they produced in later years.  Younger daughter's doll was named Becky.  Here's the background to these dolls, which I never knew about.
 
 
Cabbage Patch Kids were one of the most popular toys of the 80s. Over the course of the decade, the dolls reportedly generated about $2 billion in sales.
 
The dolls were originally invented by a Kentucky artist named Martha Nelson Thomas. Martha first started making them in the early 70s and would "adopt" them out to family and friends.
The dolls eventually caught the eye of Xavier Roberts, a Georgia man who ran a gift shop. After Martha denied him permission to sell her dolls, he stole the design and began making his own versions.

Xavier's dolls, which each had his signature printed on the ass, became wildly successful over the next few years. Their popularity reached its peak in 1983, when shortages of the dolls over the Christmas period led to mini-riots in toy stores across the country. Martha Nelson didn't make a single penny from her creation.
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In my opinion, Martha's dolls were pretty ugly, and I don't think they'd have been successful with little girls or boys.  However, Roberts had a great design and merchandising team as their dolls were so cute and simply adorable.  These are the ones from 1983:
The second on the left is the most like older daughter's and the blonde in purple beside her is most like the one I gave younger daughter. 

Currently, Jakks Pacific, the California-based toy maker that owns the Cabbage Patch Kids brand, announced a licensing agreement with footwear company Skechers, which will see the dolls wearing miniature versions of Skechers’ Twinkle Toes light up shoes, as well as backpacks and other apparel.
Here is a photo I found on Google:
They're just as cute as the ones I gave my daughters and I'd love to get one of the new ones for my granddaughter Eden.  Her 8th birthday is coming up March 3rd and they only cost $35.00 at Target.  However, older daughter just told me she doesn't like dolls!  Drat!

Tell me about your experiences with Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Consummate thanks to the captivating Denise Nesbitt, creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the charming Roger, our administrator.  Also, thanks go to the capable team of caring assistants who come a'visiting all the contributors to ABCW.  If you'd like to join the team, just give Roger a call (email.)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

B is for Bonanza of Beauty

No, not the old TV show from 1959 to 1973!  I mean a large amount of something desirable! And by that, most of my readers will know that I mean PHOTOS!  Okay, that doesn't start with the letter "B" but in the last 2 months, I've had the opportunity to go out shooting and then playing with my son-in-law's photo editing software.  I just thought I'd share some of the ones I really like so here you go.  Click on the photos to see them individually.

Boundary Bay
 Beautiful Wintery Scene
 Boats Tucked Up for Winter
 Birds


Bounteous thanks to Denise Nesbitt, the beatific angel who created ABC Wednesday, and to the brave-hearted Roger, our administrator.  Because of all the work involved, we also have a boisterous team of bewitching bloggers who help out by bouncing from blog to blog to make sure everyone who bestows on us a B word or phrase gets bubbly blasts of comments!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

A is for ACORNS

Welcome to the first week of Round 18 of ABC Wednesday and how do you like our new banner?  I decided to let my grandson Noah choose my word this week by asking him "A is for what?"  The first 2 answers were unprintable (he just turned 12) but the third one struck gold.  So my word this week is ACORNSAcorns come from oak trees, which are abundant in southern Canada.  These are unripe acorns below.
I'm sure everyone knows acorns are nuts, but they don't seem to cause allergies in people.  They are hard, dry pods sort of like chestnuts and hazelnuts.  And did you know that one Canadian province, Prince Edward Island, has three oak trees on its flag?
Did you know that part of the male anatomy was named after the acorn?  It's the "glans" which is Latin for acorn.  In the 17th century, apparently the English thought it resembled the part "down there" and no, I won't be including a picture!

Not only squirrels, but also deer eat acorns in the fall.  Mice, woodpeckers, blue jays and ducks like to snack on them too. Even bears!  Oak trees depend on these animals to carry the nuts to other locations and bury them so that a new tree will grow in that spot.
  Acorns are packed with nutrients so it's not surprising that people from different cultures have been eating them for thousands of years.  Some acorns are 18% fat, 6% protein and 68% carbohydrate, equivalent to modern corn and wheat. They are also great sources of vitamin A and C.   You have to be careful about the tannins, though.  Tannin is a bitter chemical that we humans use to tan leather.  Acorns are not really that good for you raw because our sensitive intestines can't get the nutrients out of them.
 
Great thanks to the adorable Denise Nesbitt, creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the admirable Roger, our administrator.  There is also a team of affable regulars who take turns visiting all the contributors to ABCW, so ardent thanks go to them as well.  If you'd like to be part of the visiting team, please contact Roger who will put you on the agenda.  We are still accumulating new people to ABC Wednesday, which is incredibly awesome!  See you all next week for the letter B.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Z is for ZIGZAG

Welcome to the final week of ABC Wednesday, Round 17.  My word this week is ZIGZAG so bear with me as I zig and zag all over the place. 

For the last - oh, let's say 9 or 10 years - I've been zigging and zagging a lot.  In 2006, I zoomed over to Europe to spend a month in Italy and then zipped for another 2 1/2 weeks over to England and Wales. (lovely zig)  In 2007, my daughter ended up in the hospital and then a halfway house due to a breakdown with her Bipolar 2.  (big zag) At the same time, my father was suffering from a form of dementia caused by two severe strokes, so I had to keep that news from him. (another big zag) He passed away that September (sad zag), the same month my daughter was able to begin living on her own again.  Happily, a big zig

For one wonderful year, I had a long zig of personal calm in my life.  Towards the end of 2008, I reconnected with my first love and, well, most of my regular readers will recall that, in the end (last year), it all came to naught.  A huge zag after having waited until 2014 to getting married and supporting him through cancer and other illnesses.  He certainly felt a huge zag when I showed him the door!

Now 2016 has arrived and I am beginning to zig again! I've moved on with my life, reconnected with old friends and treasure those who stayed by my side throughout all the zags!  A few of the highlights in the first few days of a new year and new life for me:

1.  New Year's Eve was spent with friends and while awaiting the big moment, we played a bunch of silly games and laughed ourselves hoarse!
2. New Year's Day was my grandson Noah's 12th birthday and we all went out for dinner, coming home for homemade chocolate cake and icing!
3. On Sunday the 3rd, Noah and I went out eagle spotting! We drove all around our area taking photos, ending up at the local Ladner Harbour Park where he enjoyed himself zigging and zagging on the ice on the wharf.  Of course, I was terrified that he'd end up in the icy drink! 
4. Today (the 4th) the kids are back at school and the house is quiet again. 
I'm still recovering from a massive head cold that came on a week before Christmas, but now it's just the nagging cough that keeps me hacking.  I will have a quiet week to get totally back to form and then I will, once again, begin making plans for the year.  I am hoping to return to England and Wales to visit friends there after finding a new home.  I am zigging forward now and I absolutely refuse to do anymore zagging

Must show you a few shots from yesterday! 
 
It's no wonder I love where I live!
 
Finally, I must zend zome zpecial thankz to our zany creator, Denise Nesbitt, and to our zealous administrator, Roger.  Alzo, let'z not forget the ziggy team of helperz who zigzag around to everyone every week to leave commentz.   Try to advertsize ABC Wednesday on your blog sitez, Facebook, Twitter, and Inztagram!  We ztill have a great following with more and more newbiez ztarting up.  Az long as there is a dezire, we'll probably continue.  

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Y is for YOUTH

I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and thought, "Where did the years go?"  It was a rather depressing thought that I can remember more than what is yet to come.  I guess in these days, though, youth can be a matter of perspective.  Lots of people age physically faster than others while others can fool people by retaining youthful looks. 

I reminisce about all the yesterdays - all the good times along with the bad times (although I do try to put these moments out of my mind or else I'd lose my mind!)  Just what IS youth?  It seems to me that when I was a youth, we were innocent, naïve to a point, and looked forward to the future and all it had in store for us.  The youth of today are so much more sophisticated than we were, generally less mannerly, and more socially connected due to the technological revolution.  It's just - different.

I noticed that a movie called "Youth" is coming to town soon - its release date was December 15, 2015.  I watched the trailer and am adding it here so you can have a peek.  It stars Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Jane Fonda.  Take a look and see if it might be your cup of tea.

I just hope that, God willing, I will still have many more joyful tomorrows than I've had lousy yesterdays, especially recently.

So with 2016 upon on, may I wish you all a very Happy New Year and "take a cup of kindness yet, for auld lang syne!"

Many, many thanks to the youthful Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to that old Yankee Roger, our administrator.  Also, thanks to the team who have made yearlong treks over to every contributor to make sure everyone gets comments and who also share in doing the introductions. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

X is for XMAS

Christmas is also sometimes known as Xmas. Since Christmas comes from Christ-Mass, the Church service that celebrated the birth of Jesus, some people don't think it's correct to call Christmas 'Xmas' because that takes the 'Christ' (Jesus) out of Christmas.  But that's not quite right! In the Greek language and alphabet, the letter that looks like an X is the Greek letter chi / Χ (pronounced 'kye' - it rhymes with 'eye') which is the first letter of the Greek word for Christ, Christos.  Therefore, Xmas can also mean Christmas; but it should also be pronounced 'Christmas' rather than 'ex-mas'!

With X being our letter of the week and landing just days before Christmas Day, I thought I'd take this opportunity to wish everyone who celebrates it a very Merry Christmas.  And in doing so, I'd like to take you on a brief walk along a neighbouring road whose residents go all out at this time of year in decorating their homes.  It's not called this, but we always refer to it as Xmas Lane.  A new feature to the house in the first shot is an Eiffel Tour glittering in silver lights!
 


There's my grandson Noah (12 on January 1st) with Tegan patiently waiting while I take my shots.
Many thanks to the excellence of Roger, our administrator, in keeping things at ABCW rolling along and to our exalted Denise Nesbitt, creator of this meme.  Also, let's not forget the exceedingly ebullient team that makes sure everyone gets comments. 

Have a wonderful Xmas, everyone, and we'll catch up again next week for the letter Y is for the
New YEAR 2016!