- 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.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Every little girl with Scottish ancestry has to have a plaid dress with
a black velvet and white lace-trimmed collar.
"Kiss me. I'm a princess."
Isn't this an adorable jeans outfit?
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Ah, that's better. Since I've become much more vigilant about my health (diet and exercise) I have breakfast every day. Sometimes, it's cereal with a bit of fruit and I mix it all up with 1/2 cup of fruit-flavoured yoghurt. I don't like milk on cereal so this is how I get my calcium. It's actually like eating dessert! Try it! Other days I might have a muffin with yoghurt and fruit or like today, scrambled eggs. Except they aren't real eggs but Eggbeaters because I can digest them better.
Monday, January 28, 2008
My next trip will be to England so I can visit friends I have there, some new blogging friends (I hope), and to see other parts of the country that I haven't as yet seen. Those areas include Cambridge, a bit north-east of London; Suffolk County; and the south coast from Brighton to Portsmouth. I'd like to see the Isle of Wight as well. Finally, I absolutely MUST see Bronte Country, which is a bit west of Leeds north-west of London. The friend who will travel with me has been to England many times, too. We actually spent a week there in 1997 before doing a 2-week tour of France. We're used to the train system, so plan to base ourselves in the Salisbury area and just take overnight bags as we hop on and off the trains to get ourselves from place to place. Oh, it's going to be a wonderful trip! (Can you see me over on the top right waving from one of the beautiful hiking paths in England?)
Saturday, January 26, 2008
After a marvelous meal tonight with a friend at Presto Cucina, a wonderful little Italian bistro in Vancouver, I started thinking about my fantastic trip to Italy in 2006. I got looking at my photos and thought I'd share with you a few showing how much I was smiling then.
Italy is one of the most beautiful countries I've ever visited. It surpasses England in climate (sorry my British friends) and even France. Of course, this is just my humble opinion and I certainly haven't seen that much of the world...yet. However, I did love the architecture (both ancient and modern), the food (oh my goodness, the FOOD!), and the people. Along with seeing major tourist attractions, I had the opportunity to visit many little towns and villages off the beaten track and met some "real" Italians. Having spent 4 weeks in Italy including a week in Sicily, I can hardly wait to return to this wonderful country - and I will one day. There is so much more I'd like to see and revisit. Who would like to join me?
On the boat approaching the Cinque Terre.
The group takes a photo op on the cliffs of the Cinque Terre.
In Tellaro, a little village near Lerici which is across from the Cinque Terre, our base for 5 nights.
looking down on Portofino, where all the rich & famous stayed in the 50's and 60's
Pretending to be rich and famous while lunching in Portofino
A photo op by a vineyard in Tuscany
Our last night in Rome after 4 weeks traveling
(I was tired by then and forcing a smile).
How many smiles can you count in this post?
Friday, January 25, 2008
Then, I looked towards the east and a cacophonous racket and saw thousands of Canada geese flying back towards the waterfowl refuge. I think they'd been having a trial run before taking off south for the winter.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Being in therapy is great. I spend an hour just talking about myself. It's kinda like being the guy on a date. Caroline Rhea - comedienne
Critic: a legless man who teaches running.
Satirist: a man who discovers unpleasant things about himself and then says them about other people. Peter McArthur – Canadian writer
Egotist: a person more interested in himself than in me.
Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914) – writer and satirist
Age does not protect you from love but love to some extent protects you from age.
Jeanne Moreau - actress
Compromise: An amiable arrangement between husband and wife whereby they agree to let her have her own way. Anonymous
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I've been keeping tabs on Liz's new pup George and and seeing Welshcakes' dog Simi in her photos. Lately, it's made me nostalgic for my beloved boxer Star. She was born in September, 1985, and I brought her home in November. I named her "Star" when I noticed a white spot amidst the black on the top of her head and my Dad added the "Sapphire" the first time he saw her. She was the best puppy right from the day I brought her home. Not once in her whole lifetime did she ever growl at, bark at, or nip anyone. Naturally, she'd bark if someone came to the house, but as soon as we told her it was okay, she'd be quiet and, wagging her stubby little tail, wait to see if it was someone she could play with. A lot of people at that time were not familiar with boxers and would often think she was a pitt bull, a very vicious dog. But we used that to our advantage and she was a great guard dog (pussy cat in reality, though).
When I brought her home that year, Jaclyn was in kindergarten and I would walk her to school every morning. I found an old baby carrier thing made out of brown corduroy and I'd strap Star into it and carried her like a baby - it was too far for her to walk that far since she was only 8 weeks old. The first time I arrived at the school, all the Moms came running to me saying things like, "Oh I didn't know you'd been expecting!" or "You have a new baby!" It was quite amusing when they took their first peek and saw a furry brown and white face! I took Star to school that spring when the children were studying a unit on babies and it was quite a success. I did have to keep running outside to make sure Star would do her widdle there, because she was so excited being around all those little kids. When Jamie was around 6 or 7 years old, her school had a special event for Sports Day. There would be the traditional bike parade but you could enter the parade as long as you were on wheels. So Jamie dressed up in shorts and a t-shirt, held a skipping rope, and put on her roller skates. She had a towel around Star's neck and had the dog pull her as she held onto the leash. She won a prize that year! (Get it? The boxer and its trainer?)
Daddy rough-housing with Star
Jaclyn hugging Star
Rest in peace, Star
1985 - 1997
Monday, January 14, 2008
Rain is an inevitability in the Greater Vancouver area. However, you can usually tell if a person is a tourist because you see them strolling in downtown Vancouver resplendent in rain gear. It isn't actually raining, but these people have on hooded water-repellent jackets, boots, gloves, and are carrying their umbrellas open. They don't seem to realise that the umbrella won't keep them dry because they're basically walking in a cloud of mist.
Locals walk briskly and keep under the stores' awnings and do a quick jog across the streets, even women in stiletto heels. They aren't even carrying an umbrella! And as a suburbanite, I seldom need to use an umbrella. I go to my car (where my umbrella is usually stored) and drive to wherever I'm going. I jog into the store or the doctor's office, do what needs doing, and walk quickly back to the car. I don't particularly like going for my exercise walks in the rain so I wait until I see the sky lightening up (I get a great view of the weather from my upstairs office window) and when the rain lets up, out I go. I can usually do 30 - 45 minutes of brisk walking before the rain starts up again.
However, if and when it does actually rain hard enough to open your umbrella, there are a few rules of etiquette that one should follow.
1. Stay away from the awnings. You already have something to keep you dry.
2. When passing other carriers, the taller person lifts, the shorter one scrunches down.
3. Before boarding the bus, shake your umbrella off. Never put your wet umbrella on a seat.
4. Always carry your closed umbrella in a vertical position. No one likes an umbrella tip in the butt or any other part of the body.
5. Make sure the metal tips of your open umbrella don't poke anyone, especially in the eyes.
6. If you're in Vancouver, be prepared to get wet.
Do any of you have a pet peeve relating to the use of umbrellas? Feel free to share.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
My Birthdate: October 6
You tend to be a the rock in relationships - people depend on you.
Thoughtful and caring, you often put others needs first.
You aren't content to help those you know... you want to give to the world.
An idealist, you strive for positive change and dream about how much better things could be.
Your strength: Your intuition
Your weakness: You put yourself last
Your power color: Rose
Your power symbol: Cloud
Your power month: June
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Arse Antlers: a tattoo in that fashionable area above the buttocks
Butt Bra: raises the profile of the buttocks to go with your arse antlers
Tanorexia: an obsession with having a suntan
Salad dodger: an obese person
Manscaping: removal of body hair for men
The owner of a small German computer company fired three non-smoking workers because they were threatening to disturb the peace after they requested a smoke-free environment.
The manager of the 10-person IT company in Buesum, named Thomas J., told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper he had fired the trio because their non-smoking was causing disruptions.
Germany introduced non-smoking rules in pubs and restaurants on Jan. 1, but Germans working in small offices are still allowed to smoke.
"I can't be bothered with troublemakers," Thomas was quoted as saying. "We're on the phone all the time and it's just easier to work while smoking. Everyone picks on smokers these days. It's time for revenge. I'm only going to hire smokers from now on."
I actually laughed out loud!
Friday, January 11, 2008
The big day has come when Jaclyn feels well enough to go home to her own place. Yesterday, she had the staples removed and then we went grocery shopping. But by then, she realized that she was exhausted and really should stay one more night. I think she was surprised at how tired she was from her first day out.
I have mixed feelings today. I remember bringing her home after she was born. I remember so many of her "firsts." The first time she stood up by herself in her crib when she was about 7 months old, the first time she was brave enough to take her first steps at 11 months. I remember the first time I took her ice skating, the first time she took swimming lessons, her first ice show, her first Halloween, her first Christmas...so many firsts. I remember the first time she rode a horse (well, a pony) at age 2. However, riding ended at age 9 when she was bucked off a charging horse. She ended up in Children's Hospital for 2 months with a broken shoulder, just centimetres away from either being killed or a quadraplegic. She never rode again.
She had a rough 2007. But I'm so proud of her for fighting and coming back stronger than ever. She now has her own apartment full of her own things. She has lots of friends who care for her and a family that will do anything and everything to help her succeed in life. She's smart as a whip, funny, creative, and the friendliest and most generous person I've ever known. (yes, I admit she does have a few negatives, but she'll work those out) And she has a good job close enough that she can walk to work.
My feelings don't matter today. I enjoyed being "Mommy" again for a while, but I'm also so grateful that she's mending well and ready to be on her own again. I'll help her settle back in and then I will leave with her knowing I'm only a phone call away. And I will get on with my life, too.
So get back on that horse, Jaclyn, and be the boss. Ride with all your heart and make yourself a good life. God bless you for being so brave as you rode out those storms last year. This is the start of a new life, a life that I pray will bring you health and happiness.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
[A] There are two main theories about this one. One suggests that the word doesn’t refer to our modern bucket at all, but to a sixteenth century word that comes from the French buque, meaning a yoke or similar piece of wood. It is said that the word was applied in particular to the beam from which a pig was hung in order to be slaughtered. Inevitably, the pig would struggle during the process, and would kick the buque.
The expression is attested to in particular by a citation in the Oxford English Dictionary: “The beam on which a pig is suspended after he has been slaughtered is called in Norfolk, even in the present day, a ‘bucket’. Since he is suspended by his heels, the phrase to ‘kick the bucket’ came to signify to die” (I can’t give you a date, as the editors just say it comes from a “modern newspaper”, a rather sniffy annotation they used a century ago for sources not considered quite kosher. But it was probably in the 1890s).
The other explanation, much less credible, is that the bucket is the one on which a suicide stands when hanging himself — kick away the bucket and the job is done. I’ve even seen the story attached specifically to the sad end of an ostler working at an inn on the Great North Road out of London. Don’t believe a word of it. I got this from
Tour the coast of Wales in the summertime.
Finish the renovations in my house.
See my book published successfully.
Go on a safari in Africa.
Go by ship to Australia and New Zealand.
Reach 10 lbs below my goal weight and stay there.
Go sailing and canoeing.
Ride in a helicopter.
Drive Route 66 in the USA.
Live long enough to have and know my great grandchildren.