- 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, August 30, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
We stayed to hear Randy Bachman, formerly of The Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Born in Canada, Randy is a favourite of anyone Canadian. After a rousing, dance-inspiring hour-plus of some of his biggest hits (Shakin' All Over, American Woman, These Eyes,) Randy ended with an encore of "Takin' Care of Business." The crowd went wild!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
How can I argue with that form of thinking?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Then in July we started watching for the first yellow flowers to appear and shortly after that we were rewarded with small green tomatoes. But the plants were growing so fast and so well, they needed some support. So out came the green twine and nails so they could be held up to the wall of the house. The photo on the left is in late July and I realized that these tomato plants were taller than myself. It wasn't much longer when they outgrew "him!" And HIM is 6'2 1/2" tall. When they hit 7 feet tall, we started crimping them at the top or else we'd never be able to harvest the crop!
We've been thoroughly enjoying our crop of tomatoes by eating them like an apple, sliced with a bit of sea salt on them, in sandwiches, with cottage cheese, etc. The bowl is always full, but there were so many green ones still on the vine that I started thinking about my mother's old "Green Tomato Pickle Relish" that the entire family loved. It's good on beef, pork, ham, chicken, sausages, or anything else you can think of.
Last week, we bought some jars and today I pulled out the recipe from the little box that I'd inherited and went to the store to get all the necessary ingredients. And I began:
And TA-DA! A dozen jars of green tomato pickle relish that I think we will test tonight at dinner to make sure they're okay before sharing it with anyone else. Lucky me my children don't like pickles, so all the more for us!
And we STILL have LOTS of tomatoes on the vine to pick and eat, whether we like 'em yellow, white, black, green OR the traditional red.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Today, E is for Expectations.
This is going to be more of a rambling essay today, I think, because the topic has been on my mind for a while. When I was married 36 years ago, expectations of husbands and wives were quite different from today. First of all, we were 36 years younger, just starting our careers, were healthy for the most part, and expected to have children. But if you are of the vintage that recalls life in those days, we weren't that far away from the idea that husband goes out to bring home the bacon and wife stays home with the kids and cooks said bacon. Oh sure, the expectation then was that girls have some type of vocation on which they could fall back if something were to - heaven forbid - "happen" to their men. An enriching career like nursing, teaching, or secretarial work were the suitable choices.
I think our expectations of married life get absorbed throughout our childhood experiences of watching our parents, other adults, TV, movies, books, and church affiliation. Thirty-odd years ago, we tumbled into marriage expecting a fantasy happily-ever-after-love. Thirty-odd years older and thirty-odd years wiser, I know that that happily-ever-after-love is a very fragile thing.
But when the relationship deepens and needs aren't met (and that can be from either side), arguments can develop to threaten the very foundation of that love. When you're young, new expectations can develop at various turning points in marriage, such as when buying your first home, planting your first garden together, become parents, dealing with major illness, or entering the empty-nest stage. So it's important to build skills to help uncover what's really on your mind at any stage in your relationship.
However, at this stage of our lives with, hopefully, a third of it left to live, it can be challenging to figure out exactly what the expectations are of each other. With no young children or in-laws to deal with, our working lives all but over, and carrying some minor health issues, what is life to be like together? Melding the lives of two people who have been entirely independent for a total of over 40 years is exacting to say the least. It's not just two sets of furniture and personal belongings, but rather the cumulation of years of doing what we want, when we want, with whom we want, and how we want. It's also figuring out how we each think about things now and how we approach challenges and difficulties along with the joy and happiness of everyday life.
Letting go of some of what we used to do for ourselves is one of the most difficult things to experience. As a former teacher, I was trained to explain everything, and I have done so with my children and hundreds of other children and adults since I was very young. Also, as a young single mother I had to be the head of the household and deal with all things legal, financial, medical, educational, etc. etc. We've both been learning very hard lessons lately. We're trying very hard to find the right balance between being there for each other, yet allowing the other some space. We're also trying very hard to allow each other into our personal space while retaining a semblance of independence and freedom.
Something that has actually surprised me and gives me comfort is the fact that we communicate very well most of the time. We talk. We listen to each other. A lot. But even so, there are times when we miscommunicate. He says it's because men live most of their lives in the garage and have to wiggle their way through a long, tight tunnel to get to the living room where they have to take time to readjust to their environment. But women are able to straddle that tunnel and be in both places at the same time. Kind of an interesting analogy. So I wait, sometimes impatiently, while he winds his way into that space where we can communicate our expectations of each other.
Expectations need to be realistic yet recognized as deep needs, and each partner should attempt to meet at least some of them. When some of our expectations aren't met it's easy to get angry or sulk. However, acceptance of your mate despite imperfections is necessary for a happy, healthy relationship. If suddenly you're disappointed in the other, stop and think about what you'd expected. This can help guide your attitudes and actions the next time a similar thing occurs.
Some of my personal expectations (deep needs and wants) are:
- I want to say and hear each day those three magic words - I love you.
- Forgive me when I make a mistake in either words or action.
- Take some time every day to talk about more than the day.
- Put a high priority on quality time together.
- Listen to me with both your ears and your heart.
- Say "please" and "thank you."
- Be affectionate.
- Take care of yourself physically and emotionally.
- Share in the day-to-day responsibilities of running a house and home.
- Be yourself.
ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Mrs. Nesbitt and she has done a marvelous job at keeping this going for over three years now. Drop in to read what other participants have to say each week. Just click here.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
That is less than 6 months from today.
We're also only about a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver where you can see men's and women's ice hockey, curling, figure skating, and the opening and closing ceremonies. There is also public transportation right through the gate from our place.
Because we're talking "February" here, we'd prefer someplace that's a bit "exotic," either in the warmer areas of the USA (or the major cities like New York, Chicago, Boston) or in western Europe or the United Kingdom. We'd prefer at the minimum one or two bedrooms, a sitting room (lounge) with TV, kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities, along with a car with AC (if you're in a warmer climate).
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
This is the sign welcoming visitors to Nooksack Falls. Apparently, many people have lost their lives here by slipping and falling either over the falls or onto the boulders below and being swept away by the whitewater. You MUST enlarge this photo and read what it says about taking photographs!
Sunday, August 09, 2009
I've been away in the Washington rainforest with three girlfriends and just finished uploading my photos. I thought this one looked good in black & white so am sharing it for MM. We were staying in a cabin at the base of Mount Baker and one outing was to see Nooksack Falls. Surrounding the falls are thousands of very tall cedar and other evergreen trees and we had to wind our way through some quite narrow trails in order to get to the Falls. The dark forest was a tiny bit spooky and I would not want to go through here on a rainy day or in the twilight hours.
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