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, July 28, 2014

C is for CANADA PLACE

"Welcome to Canada Place, Canada’s inspiring national landmark welcoming you to Canada's Pacific Gateway on the West Coast. Canada Place opened in 1986 to welcome the world as Canada's Pavilion for Expo '86, and continues to welcome locals and people from around the world for Inspirationally Canadian experiences." from here 

I boarded my first cruise ship here and headed under the Lions Gate Bridge on my way to Alaska.
"The Cruise Ship Terminal at Canada Place welcomes upwards of 900,000 passengers each year. The 3-berth terminal can service up to 4 luxury cruise ships. The terminal is owned and operated by Port Metro Vancouver.  Each cruise ship that docks in Vancouver contributes approximately $2 million to the local economy. In 2009, the shore power initiative was completed enabling ships to connect to the shore-based electrical grid while docked. This significant environmental initiative is the first installation of this type in Canada, and only the third in the world." from here

The Five Sails is a Canadian symbol known the world over, just as the Sydney Opera House is Australia's iconic symbol.  This is my photo of the sails, taken in March 2011 when I took my daughter to a wedding fair at the Convention Center here.
On Canada Day (July 1st) each year, many festivities take place here.  For example, there is a lumberjack show; a sports zone; a Canadian Forces zone; Canada Place Way where you can stroll through the convention center to see exhibits, sample goods, or play a game of street hockey; relax at Subway's Picnic Plaza; watch the annual Citizenship Celebration where new citizens become Canadians; and later watch the parade and fireworks show over the water.
Speaking of the Convention Center, did you know that it has a green roof?  I mean, literally, it's made of grass.  My husband Lorne works here from time to time and has actually walked on it!  Amazing!
When Vancouver held the Winter Olympics here in 2010, the Olympic cauldron was placed in the west plaza of the Convention Center at Canada Place.  In this photo, you can see the mountains to the north.
Because Vancouver is well known for its rain, (which, by the way, is a gentle rain as opposed to what I've experienced in other areas of the world!) a sculpture of a rain drop was installed along the sea walk at the Convention Center.  As well, Vancouver is known for its Orca Whales and a sculpture by Douglas Coupland was installed nearby in 2009.  It is known as the "Lego Whale" or the "Pixel Whale."

I hope you enjoyed the photos, mostly from Mr. Google, this week.  If you're planning on visiting Vancouver any time, Canada Place is an absolute must.  From there, you can cross the water to see Stanley Park or stay on the same side and walk along Robson Street to see all the famous shops.

Be sure to think of and thank the charismatic Mrs. Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday and our conscientious Roger, our administrator.  Also, remember there is a team of contributors who regularly visit each and every post to leave courteous comments.  Please consider being a part of this team by contacting Roger.  Thanks!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

B is for BURRARD INLET, BRIDGES, BEACHES

Welcome to the 2nd installment of ABC Wednesday's Round 15.  This week, we will look at Burrard Inlet, two bridges that cross it and some beaches in Vancouver.  First, Burrard Inlet is a shallow coastal fjord located in southwestern British Columbia that was formed during the last Ice Age.  It separates the city of Vancouver from the slopes of the North Shore Mountains where you will find the communities of West and North Vancouver.  Two major bridges span the inlet - the Lions Gate Bridge and the Second Narrows (or Ironworkers Bridge).  Please note that all the photos this week are courtesy of Google.  None are my photos.
 
Under the Burrard Bridge is Granville Island, a wonderful place to poke around at the public market, view arts and culture, and perhaps purchase a unique gift. You also might like to stop in at a wonderful restaurant called "Bridges," where you can sit outside on the patio under bright yellow umbrellas to shield you from the hot sun.  While you enjoy your repast, watch the boats - lots of yachts to see here.
Since Vancouver is on the west coast of British Columbia, beaches abound.  On the north side of Burrard Inlet is Ambleside and Dundarave Beaches.  From this vantage point, you can watch cruise ships pass under the Lions Gate Bridge on their way to Alaska and, on windy days, watch surfers.
Coming to the southern side of Burrard Inlet, you'll find downtown Vancouver and English Bay beach.  Palm trees line the beautiful lawns and flower beds along the street and lead to sandy expanses with views across the bay.  Notice the tree growing out of the roof of the condominium to the right.  After swimming or sunbathing, simply cross the street for a sumptuous meal at the Boathouse Restaurant.

Continuing south over the Granville Street Bridge, we come to Kitsilano Beach where you'll find an actual salt water pool (the longest pool in Canada) alongside a beautiful sandy beach.  This is one of the most popular beaches in Vancouver with its spectacular views.
We continue west along the seaside of Burrard Inlet to find another beach - Jericho Beach - with its views to the east of downtown Vancouver and to the north to West Vancouver.  Beach volleyball is popular here.
Next in line is Locarno Beach, which is designated a "quiet beach" with no amplified sound allowed.  It is named after a Peace Conference held in Locarno, Switzerland in 1925 and there are concessions, volleyball courts, picnic tables and a swimming raft complete with couch.  It also has a view of downtown Vancouver and West Vancouver across the water. 
Finally, we come to Spanish Banks, so named "in commemoration of the meeting of the English under George Vancouver and the Spanish under Galiano and Valdés in June 1792." (Wikipedia)  There are three sections to this great expanse of beach:  the east section, the west section, and the expanded section.  Barbecues are permitted everywhere, there are volleyball courts in the east and west sections and a kite-boarding launch zone in the expanded section, which also allows dogs to be off leash.  Also, the west section is designated as a "quiet zone."  At low tide, the water is a kilometer off shore. It is at Spanish Banks where, when I was 5-years-old, let loose a blood-curdling scream when I knelt on a broken beer bottle at the edge of the water.  Stitches were needed and to this day, I sport a scar that runs 2 1/2 inches down from my right knee!
 
We come to the end of the city beaches, but let me tell you that there are lots more beaches in the area.  I live just south of the city and we have our own Centennial Beach that borders on Boundary Bay, so called because it borders the USA.  There are also fresh-water beaches at lakes, like Burnaby Lake right within the city limits.  To read more about this lake just click here.

I hope you'll pardon me if I boast a bit that we had 72 posters for the letter A in Round 15.  Here's hoping that even more people will join in and enjoy the camaraderie we have here.  Please remember the bright and beautiful Mrs. Nesbitt, our creator, and the brilliant and boundlessly blessed Roger, our administrator.  Don't forget that anyone can be on the team, if you don't mind visiting and commenting on about 10 posts per week.  So let Roger know you're a believer in ABCW and ready to begin!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A is for AIRPORT

Vancouver was recognized as the top city in Canada in Travel + Leisure magazine's 2014 World's Best Awards.  The city was also named the Top Destination in Canada in Trip Advisor's 2014 Travellers' Choice awards, and was chosen as the world's "Most Liveable City" in 2010 by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a title it has been awarded eight times since 2002.
Vancouver offers travellers both outstanding opportunities for outdoor adventure and the sophisticated amenities of a world-class city. Take advantage of the city's ocean-side location, with plenty of green space and many recreation opportunities in the mountains 20 minutes north of downtown. After a busy day, linger over a glass of BC wine and a locally inspired meal, or unwind at one of Vancouver's unique spas.  While this sea-level port city is known for its temperate climate, the surrounding snow-covered slopes are perfect for winter sports and breathtaking views of the city twinkling below. Vancouver is one of the few places in the world where it's possible to ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon.  From here

As I was considering what to write for Round 15 of ABC Wednesday, I came upon an article in the Sunday Province newspaper (by Paul Luke) about some of the film sites that Hollywood crews use.  It gave me an idea for Round 15, so I'm going to do my best to create a sort of travel blog highlighting areas of the city of Vancouver with suggestions of what to see if you do indeed decide to visit this world-class city. 

First up, the Vancouver International AIRPORT, located about 7 1/2 miles south of the city of Vancouver in Richmond (where I grew up).  In 1927, Charles Lindburgh refused to include Vancouver in his North American tour because of the lack of a proper airport. Two years later, the city purchased land on Sea Island (in Richmond), which replaced the original grass airstrip at Minoru Park.  During WW2, the airport and its original terminal, now the South Terminal, were leased to the Federal government and operated by the Department of National Defence and the Department of Transport. The airport was a base for RCAF training and the crews and their families were housed in a new town site on the island, named Burkeville after Boeing president Stanley Burke.  The present main terminal was completed in 1968, and has since been expanded to include separate domestic and international terminals. A north runway was completed in 1996.  Since 2011, there has been an increase in flights between Vancouver and Asia

The airport has a uniquely British Columbian theme with artwork of Pacific Northwest Coast native art featuring blues and greens to reflect the colours of the land, sea, and sky.  There is a lot of glass, which reflects the natural light, and arriving passengers walk across a platform featuring a large waterfall.  The aboriginal art collections include totem poles, wooden sculptures, and Bill Reid's famous bronze sculpture called "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, The Jade Canoe."

So, welcome to Vancouver International Airport where, for the next 26 weeks, you will be treated to an assortment of Vancouver highlights.  These are the welcoming totem poles and other aboriginal works of art, concluding with the famous Jade Canoe.
Be sure to tell your friends and families about ABC Wednesday and how much fun it is to participate.  Also, be sure to let Roger know if you're interested in helping out a bit on the team.  With thanks to the adorable and amiable Denise Nesbitt, creator of ABCW, and to the astonishingly amazing Roger, who is our admirable administrator.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Z is for ZORRO

I know I'm aging myself, but this week I'd like to write about the Walt Disney TV show "Zorro" that ran from October 1957 to July 1959.  I was the perfect age for this series about Don Diego de la Vega and his sidekick/servant Bernardo who was a confidant/co-conspirator and the only person at first to know Diego's secret. Bernardo used sign language to communicate because he pretended to be deaf as well as mute, the better to overhear the plans of Zorro's enemies. He also played the fool, adopting clownish behavior so as to seem harmless.  I used to love it when Zorro would slash his sword to create the letter Z or "Zorro" across something.
In 1990, there was another TV series about Zorro, but even my own children were too old to be bothered with the show then.  However, in 1998, Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones starred in "The Mask of Zorro," which I saw in our local movie theater.  I absolutely loved it - and I thought Catherine Zeta-Jones was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen and well, what can I say about Antonio Banderas - that hunk of a gorgeous male specimen.  LOL  Banderas and Zeta-Jones followed up this film with "The Legend of Zorro," which follows their lives after they marry and have a son.  You can get these movies on DVD now. But the part that really stuck with me was when the two of them were parrying with swords in the first Zorro movie.  Very sexy, and funny, too!  You just have to watch this! 

I must say, also, that the music in these films were fantastic and my favourite song of (almost) all-time is "I Want To Spend My Lifetime Loving You."  Give it a listen while you watch the stills.  It will give you goose bumps!

With that, I'll see y'all next Round/next week with the letter A.  Don't forget to give a nod to the zany Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday and to the zealous Roger, our administrator.  Do speak up and volunteer to be part of the team if you can for Round 15.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Y is for YOU CAN'T HURRY LOVE

Click on the video to listen as you peruse the rest of my post about the upcoming Round 15 of ABC Wednesday.  The letter Y is always a hard one to think of something original so I decided to just put up the song "You Can't Hurry Love" which is sort of my personal anthem.  After all, it took several decades for Lorne and me to get married.  We met in 1969 and finally tied the knot on May 1, 2014!  In our case, we sure didn't hurry!  Yowzers
Only this week and next before we start another round of ABC Wednesday.  I hope you are still enjoying the experience, especially those of you who are new to it.  I've been participating since the letter B in Round 2, which makes 6 1/2 years!  It might seem like a long time for some, but I find it exhilarating to come up with something creative each week that can combine my writing and photography.  Plus, I've met many new friends through this medium and have even met Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABCW, having been her guest at her home in North Yorkshire where she served tea and scones and gave us some eggs fresh from her hens!  I feel as though I know Roger well, too, having emailed with him over the past few years since he's been administrating the site.  For the next round (15), we have a new logo, designed specifically for ABCW by Troy.  Read Roger's intro to find out more about this logo:
So be sure to spread the news of this fabulous and popular hangout!  And if you are in the least bit curious about becoming a "team member," just contact Roger at the above link, and he'll get you set up.  It would probably take 15 - 30 minutes a week to visit about 10 contributors and leave a brief comment.  And as I mentioned, you'll get to know lots more people (if you want) and during your world travels (LOL) it'll be fun to visit with them. 
 
Maybe "you can't hurry love," but be sure to hurry over to Roger to sign up as a team member, hurry to yak with your friends about ABCW, and hurry to think of some ideas to share with us all during Round 15. 


Sunday, June 22, 2014

X is for XEROX

How many of you are willing to admit you remember the days of the old mimeograph machines that spat out copies in purple ink?  Well, I must admit I not only remember them, but also used them for my first years of teaching.  And I actually still have a copy of a French exercise that I made up way back in those dark ages!  Recently, I learned that "the mimeograph can be traced to inventor Thomas Edison, who patented a stencil duplicator called “autographic printing.” Albert Blake Dick invented the mimeograph in 1884, and Wilhelm Ritzerfeld gave us the ditto machine in 1923."  (Remembering the Ditto and Mimeograph - by Harmon Jolley)
The mimeo was made by typing a document on a wax-covered stencil with the typewriter ribbon disengaged.  The impressions left on the paper were then filled with ink when squeezed through the mimeograph's rollers.  And the smell that came from the ditto machine’s duplicating fluid, a mix of methanol and isopropanol, was really strong when the paper was hot off the press!  And I don't know why, but the colour was always purple... anyone know why? 
Nowadays, printers are usually referred to as "Xerox" machines after the company that was founded in 1906 to manufacture photographic paper and equipment developed a new product for printing images using an electrically charged drum and dry powder "toner."  The word "Xerox" comes from the Greek meaning "dry writing." 

We've come a long way since those early days of duplicating what we write!  But looking at the following photo, it is now apparent to me why we were always calling the copier repairman!
And now modern machines do double-sided, enlarge or minimize, collate, staple and more!  I think I'd need another degree in "Machine Management" to be able to work one of them!

After this week, there are only two more weeks for Round 14 so we're eXcited to see how many of our new (or old - and I don't mean that in age!) contributors might like to join in the fun of being on the eXcellent team that visits 10 posts per week.  I'm sure you already do that anyway, but it's always eXtra fun to meet others on ABC Wednesday.  We do count on your help in keeping this eXciting weekly blog spot a place to eXhibit your writing and photography!  Please contact the eXtraordinary Roger, our administrator, to let him know and he'll eXplain the duties further.  Also, thanks to the eXceptional Mrs. Nesbitt, who created ABC Wednesday over 7 years ago!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

W is for WAKING THE DEAD

As I typed the title of this post, I felt like it was myself that needed waking!  I've been so weary lately that I could just sleep for days!  I guess it's partly let-down from all the wedding excitement and part stress from worrying about Lorne's osteomyelitis and the hernia surgery he needs urgently as soon as the osteo clears up.  But as I always say, "this too shall pass." 

"Waking the Dead" is a reference to a BBC television series that we have recently discovered on our local "Knowledge" network.  When I first saw the title, I thought it was "The Walking Dead" but that's another show about vampires, in which I am not the least bit interested. However, "Waking the Dead" is a crime show about a group of British CID police detectives, a psychological profiler, and a forensic scientist who solve cold cases.  It's intelligent, gritty, and realistic and we would never miss it now that we know what it's about. 

Click here to watch a bit of the pilot show.  It's 1 hour and 39 minutes long, but just watch a bit to see what it's about.  If it appeals to you, check it out on stations in your area.  This is a photo of the cast in the episodes we're watching. After researching the show to tell you all about it, I found out it began in September 2000 and ended in April 2011. Season 3 has just started here, so there are a lot of episodes left for us to watch as actors develop and come and go. 


We are almost at the end of Round 14 of ABC Wednesday and so it's time to shout out another welcome to any new contributors and to inquire if anyone has the time to participate on the ABCW team.  All that is required is to visit a pre-arranged (by Roger, our administrator) number of posts during the week.  As they say, "many hands make light work."  And if you'd like to go one step further, you could help out by doing one or two introductions during the round.  Whatever you decide, whether it is to be part of the team or to simply post your own weekly blog, be sure to let your friends know about ABCW so they can get in on the fun!

Have a wonderful week, everyone!