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.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

N is for Neighborhood

How many of you remember the TV show "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood"?  It was a staple in our house from about 1980 to about 1990 for my two daughters.  When Daddy arrived home from work about 5 pm, they would greet him with hugs and kisses and then off they'd go to watch the show while Daddy and Mommy would catch up on their days as we all waited for dinner to be ready.

Fred Rogers was born in 1928 and passed away in 2003 from stomach cancer - far too young!  He was beloved by all children because of his gentle and soft-spoken personality.  Did you know that he was a Presbyterian minister as well as being responsible for creating, hosting, and composing the theme music for this educational children's series?  I know that whenever I sat down with the girls to watch, I was mesmerized by his voice and the way he spoke to the characters as though they were real life people.

Did you know that when Fred Rogers worked for NBC in the early 1950s, he didn't like the fact that commercial television relied so heavily on advertisements and merchandising?  What did he do? He quit and went to work at a Pittsburgh public television station as a puppeteer on a children's show. Rogers began wearing his famous sneakers when he found them to be quieter than his work shoes as he moved about behind the set.
From Wikipedia, I found that Fred Rogers had a connection to Canada where it reads:
"In 1963, Rogers moved to Toronto, where he was contracted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to develop his debut in front of the camera, the 15-minute children's program Misterogers,[25] which though popular with children ran for just three seasons. Many of his famous set pieces—Trolley, Eiffel Tower, the 'tree', and 'castle'—were created by CBC designers. While in Canada, Rogers brought his friend and understudy Ernie Coombs, who would go on to create Mr. Dressup, a very successful and long-running children's show in Canada, and similar in many ways to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Mr. Dressup also used some of the songs that would be featured on Rogers' later program. The two of them co-starred on Butternut Square on CBC TV between October 19, 1964, and February 10, 1967.

In 1966, Rogers acquired the rights to his program from the CBC and moved the show to WQED in Pittsburgh, where he had worked on The Children's Corner. He developed the new show for the Eastern Educational Network. Stations that carried the program were limited but did include educational stations in Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City."

 Here is the famous "Neighborhood Trolley".

Click HERE to view an episode of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood." You don't have to watch the entire thing, but be sure to listen to Fred Rogers sing the opening song about "won't you be my neighbor."

Have a wonderful week, everyone. I must say I'm so glad to have you all as my ABCW neighbours!

Monday, October 02, 2017

M is for MOORS


As I've been so busy lately, please excuse this repeat from October, 2016.  But I think the new contributors will enjoy it and the old ones might, too.

This week on ABC Wednesday, we're celebrating the letter M as in moss, mother, mist, mushroom, macadamia, melancholy, Manitoba, marching, mud, and magnanimous!  I am focusing on the moors of North Yorkshire where I spent a week visiting my dear friend Jill and her family and friends! It was the most marvelous week and I miss them all very much - the people and the moors and look forward to making another visit some day.

For those who are not aware, the North York moors contain one of the largest heather moorlands in Great Britain covering an area of 554 square miles or 1,430 square kilometers.  When the heather is in bloom, it a magnificent sight to behold!  But even when it's not blooming, if you go up to the highest point on the moors, Chimney Banks, there are vast expanses of gently sloping hills and valleys with farms scattered throughout and sheep grazing on the hillsides.  The coastline here along the eastern edge of Great Britain boasts of small towns and villages, some perched precariously on the edge of cliffs or hillsides.  Whitby, Scarborough, and Robin Hood's Bay are all places I visited during my trip and made me want to never leave!

If you're a fan of the TV show "Heartbeat," on Knowledge Network in British Columbia and maybe on public networks elsewhere in the world, you will see the locations where the show was filmed. So now when every Saturday night at 8 pm, I settle down to continue watching the show, I can make note of places I've seen with my own two eyes - Beggar's Bridge, the high road along the top of the moors, the cemetery at Egton where they filmed all the funeral scenes, the village of Goathland where the fictional "Aidensfield" is set and its train station where parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed, Scripps Garage and the "Aidensfield Pub" where Jill and I had a glass of wine one evening.
I truly believe I could happily move into a small cottage in a small village in this area and spend much time photographing the people and the scenery in all seasons.  And I can picture myself finding spots along the beaches, hills, or valleys where I would take a notebook to do some creative writing.  I know that I am fortunate to live in a country like Canada, on its west coast near the ocean with its spectacular scenery, but there is something about the moors of North Yorkshire that continue to call me during my waking hours and whisper to me as I gently slip into dreamland. 

I hope you enjoy my photos of these moors but I am sorry I don't have any from when the heather is in bloom. So here's one from Mr. Google so you can marvel along with me. I recognize this spot as it's quite near the village of Grosmont where I stayed with Jill. 

I dedicate this post to Jill for her friendship and hospitality and especially for the wine!

Turn up your sound and click for full screen to fully enjoy the video with its haunting music.  With thanks to the merry Melody, our new administrator of ABCW, and to the matchless team of assistants.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


Monday, September 25, 2017

L is for Lounge Chairs

Welcome to L week here at ABC Wednesday!  I thought I'd share with you a few photos I took at Whistler when I was there the last 3 days of August with my daughter.  My camera was in hand all the time, and I spent a lot of time focusing on the perfect shots.  Some of the ones I really like from the mini-vacation are of the chaises longues or lounge chairs that were scattered around the village. I tried sitting in one of them, but because they are made of metal, they weren't very comfortable for my back.  But the chairs were okay.  Most of these chaises longues were around the central lagoon that was surrounded by a beautiful and lush lagoon and greenery.  Following are some shots of the lagoon and loungers.

Hope you like these shots as much as I do.  I had a lovely time at Whistler and found that it had changed a lot since the last time I'd been there.

Monday, September 18, 2017

K is for KIWIS

Welcome to K week at ABC Wednesday! I really had some trouble thinking about anything to show you, but I finally remembered something.

Last year, I visited Westham Island Herb Farm and discovered a kiwi tree.  There were so many kiwis hanging off the branches, I wished that I could pick them.  But instead of "stealing" them, I took a few photos and here's one that turned out quite nicely. You can even see their fuzzy outsides. I had had no idea that kiwis would grow in our climate, but there you have it.  They do! I'm also quite pleased that this photo made it into the middle of the top ten on a challenge in Red Bubble.
Kudos to Melody and her team who have been successful in bringing a new ABC Wednesday to life! There has been a good turnout of contributors, including some new ones.  Keep plugging ABCW to your friends and family and it will become THE best meme on the internet.  Who knows? Someone might end up on Oprah one day.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

J is for JAY (bird)

Welcome to ABC Wednesday, Round 21, where this week we celebrate the letter J.  This letter could begin words like jam, jar, jump, jealousy, jonquil, or names like Janet, Jaclyn (or Jacqueline), John, Jason, or James

In August of this year, I took my Welsh visitors for a drive to Shannon Falls.  We had a great time strolling upwards towards the stairs leading to the falls. We wandered through forest growths of cedars and beside the creek where the waterfall ends up and people were jumping from rock to rock or just simply cooling their feet in the frigid water.
 JANE
 JUMPS
Then, on our journey back to the car, as we were winding our way through the old forest growth, I just happened to look up - I have no idea why - but there was a bird sitting on a branch immediately above my head!  I quickly and quietly readied my Canon EOS Rebel T4i camera and started shooting.  The bird didn't move.  So I went in for a closer shot - and then closer - the bird didn't move.  It was almost as though this bird was actually posing for me!  I thought it was a blue jay, but on further research after returning home, I discovered it's a Stellar Jay

Apparently, the blue jay resides through most of eastern and central USA, although western populations may be migratory. It is predominantly blue with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest. It has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest.
The stellar jay, however, is native to western North America, and has a black head and upper body. It is also known as the long-crested jay, mountain jay, and pine jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains.
Here he is in all his glory!

Isn't he gorgeous!

Hope you all have a jolly week and we'll be back next week for the letter L as in Leslie!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

I is for IRISH


May the sound of happy music, and the lilt of Irish laughter fill your heart with gladness!
On the last day of my holiday at Whistler, BC, my daughter and I decided to check out the Irish pub located in the Pan Pacific Hotel (Mountainside).  Long story short, I think it would be even better on a snowy winter's late afternoon after a day of skiing.  There is an outside gas fireplace so people can gather around to warm their hands, feet, and cockles.  I bet it would be lots of fun!  We sat at the table on the right side under the green umbrella.  There were no snow skis there - just lots of mountain bikes!
I tried out an Irish cider with a pear flavour, which was excellent!  However, after drinking about 1/2 of it, I could feel the bubbles in my toes, so had to stop before staggering my way back to where we were staying.
This was just a taste of what I have planned for next summer's travel - roughly two weeks in Ireland with my Welsh friend Jane!  I'm so looking forward to it as it is a country that I've not yet visited.  I have a friend who was born and bred there and she has given me lots of ideas of where and what to visit and has promised to pop over once I get a map of Ireland so she can help me plan out the tour. Jane hasn't been there, either, even though she's just a ferry ride away!

Here's a website I found online - check out the very brief video to hear a lilting Irish accent!

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, August 28, 2017

H is for HOLIDAY

HI everyone!  I'm finally going away on a HOLIDAY this week!  So if I don't get back to you please forgive me.  This summer, I already had a "staycation" with good friend from Wales and we did lots of things around here and then I relaxed while they went off to Vancouver Island.  But now it's my turn - instead of going thousands of miles away, I'm only going about a 2 1/2 drive to Whistler Village, a very popular resort (especially in winter for skiing).  I'll be staying in the center of the village so if I get bored from reading and relaxing, will go out to do some people watching and photography.
As it's extremely expensive to stay in Whistler, this is a real treat.  After tutoring one student for 9 years, her parents gave me 3 nights at their condo as a thank you gift!  Pretty nice, eh?  I'm taking my daughter for a Mom/Daughter bonding time and expect we will really enjoy it.  I'll post photos for another post later in the round.  The one major thing we're going to do is the Peak-to-Peak adventure.  It's the world's highest and longest (4.4 kilometers) lift and I really hope to get some outstanding photos, not only from the gondola, but also from the spot where we land.  Check out this site here to see what else there is to do at Whistler.

See you next week!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Grouse Mountain

Sorry to be late posting, but have just said good-bye to friends who have been visiting from Wales.  The grand finale of their trip was a visit up Grouse Mountain to see the spectacular view of the city of Vancouver in both daylight and at sunset when the lights came on. 

Grouse Mountain is one of the North Shore Mountains of the Pacific Ranges in the District Municipality of North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Exceeding 1,200 m in altitude at its peak, it is the site of an alpine ski area, Grouse Mountain Resort, which overlooks Greater Vancouver with four chairlifts servicing 26 runs. In the summer, Grouse Mountain Resort features lumberjack shows, a birds of prey wildlife demonstration, a scenic chairlift ride, and a 2.9 km hiking trail known as the Grouse Grind, as well as helicopter sightseeing. Year-round operations include a 100-seat mountaintop theatre and a wildlife refuge. Public access to the mountain top is by a Swiss Garaventa aerial tramway, or by the Grouse Grind hiking trail.

We took in the lumberjack show, always a comical way of demonstrating what lumberjacks did in the olden days, a scenic chairlift ride to the peak of the mountain where we watched people paraglide (tandem-style with a professional) off the top of the mountain to soar over the treetops, watching the grizzly bears wander around their huge enclosure, and a lovely dinner overlooking the city of Vancouver and the Burrard Inlet flowing into the Georgia Strait.




Hope you take advantage of the views from the top of Grouse Mountain if you ever come for a visit.  It is well worth it to spend at least half a day up the mountain.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

F is for FARMS

This week we celebrate the letter F as in fun, faith, feeble, fast, fabulous, fashionfisherman, football, and furniture.  I'm going to show you some photos of the area where I live - only about 30 minutes from the third largest city in Canada - Vancouver.  I bet you wouldn't think there is so much farmland around here, but there is!  It began as a fishing and agricultural area and people have had to fight hard to maintain this aspect of our neighbourhood.

The village of Ladner is growing all the time with families from other areas moving into the new homes being built here. However, once outside the village limits, there are farms everywhere with dairy cattle, horse, goats, chickens, sheep, and other animals.  There is also a bird sanctuary where you can go and walk amongst the ducks, geese, Sandhill cranes, owls, and swans.  In November, the snow geese arrive and people from far and wide come to see them. Here are some of my photos of the farmland in my neighbourhood...hope you enjoy them.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

E is for EXPLOSION

Hello and welcome to E week!  Sorry to be late posting but I've had guests from Wales for the past week and we've been on the go every day!  I took them this morning to pick up a rental car and they are off to see Vancouver Island for a week.  Then they'll be back for a night and off for 3 nights at Whistler.

As soon as I arrived home after taking them for their rental car, I sat down to do my post - E is for Explosion.  This comes from our day at Fort Langley where they put on a weapons demonstration.  These weapons are from the early 1800s when the fur trappers were in the area.  The fellow (below)who gave the talk told us all about the history of the gun, the powder used, how to load it and more!  I'll be bringing more about the fort and other places we visited in future weeks.

Preparing to FIRE!

Hope everyone's having a good summer so far.  We actually have too much heat right now and smoke due to those fires, but it'd due to cool off a bit by the end of the week.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

D is for DEJA VU VINTAGE MARKET

Welcome to ABC Wednesday and the letter D...as in dentist, daiquiri, diamonds, dungeon, drink, Dracula, and dachshund.  Last week, when I wrote C is for Country, I mentioned that Wellbrook Winery hosted the "Deja Vu Vintage Market" this year.  So I thought I'd bring you some images of the event. 

I had to park way in the back field near the greenhouses and walk past the blueberry bushes in order to get to the grounds where the market was being held.  I passed some antique John Deere tractors, an old, rusty tiller, and an antique thresher as I headed towards the tents.  People were milling around outside the barn and I joined right in, camera in hand.  There were many signs indicating that this was the "Deja Vu Vintage Market" and I came to understand that the people involved in the event (the vendors) seemed to know one another from other events they've held in the past.

There were so many fascinating things to see from antique suitcases, kitchen appliances, bicycles, old stools, pots, tools, and tables and ladders painted and shown in a different light (d├ęcor-wise), and in the barn were sterling silver decorations made from cream and sugar bowls, spoons, and small teapots.  One of my favourite displays was the antique doll sitting in an antique carriage. I couldn't believe how life-like she appeared!  Also, up in the hayloft was an antique buggy! 

Outside again, I came upon some antique signs and naturally, my favourite was the one that said, "The influence of a good teacher can never be erased."  And just today, a young lady (now at age 22) who was in one of my Grade 4 classes and now works with my daughter phoned to tell me she's engaged! How precious it is to  have a former student go out of her way to tell me about something special that's happening in her life!

But I digress.  Also outside were wonderful floral displays, an old bus painted aqua blue in which the owner transports her hand-styled and hand-painted T-shirts.  In my mind, I called it the "Aquabus."  I hope you enjoy the photos and the sort of kitschy music that accompanies them. I tried to find something that sounded "vintage."

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow


Monday, July 24, 2017

C is for COUNTRY




Welcome to ABC Wednesday, Round 21 with Melody at the helm.  This week I'd like to tell you a bit about the area where I live, just south of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  Although I am only about a 30-minute drive from the city (I think Canadians are about the only people who define distance by time) I am in the countryside.  I have one friend (shout out to Josie) who spends a lot of time with another friend in Iowa (shout out to Russell) who can't believe I am so close to cows, chickens, and corn fields yet also close to specialty coffee shops and cafes, and someplace to purchase an ice-cream cake!

The village of Ladner is a cute little place where people come from all over the area, even from as far away as the north shore of Vancouver (it would take up to an hour and a half to get here) and I've even heard ladies exclaim, "I'm SO glad I heard of Ladner. It's so quaint! I love the chic little shops!"
We have a market every other Sunday from June through to September - it's always crowded! In July, there's the Tour de Delta when riders even from other countries come to compete.  As well, in July, Wellbrook Farm & Winery has their annual Summer Fest and this year also hosted the Deja Vu  Vintage Market.  In August, there is the antique car and quilt show that is also always crowded! We have many heritage buildings, too, including the Ladner United Church (dating back to 1925), the caretaker's cottage in Ladner Harbour Park (dating back to 1939) and Kirkland House out on Arthur Drive, which is a 100-year-old Edwardian farmhouse.
At the edge of the village, we have Ladner Harbour Park where fishermen and boaters moor their boats in the winter, and in summer, they fish or cruise around the waters here.  A little further out in the countryside you'll find farms where you can pick your own strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.  You can stop at farms or roadside stands to purchase freshly picked vegetables like corn, squash, carrots, and potatoes.  There is even another winery out on Westham Island.  Animals you can find easily are cows, horses, and goats plus on the outskirts of Westham Island is the Reifel Waterfowl Refuge where you can walk amongst ducks, geese, cranes and other types of birds. In November, you can see the snow geese as they pause here on their journey further south. If you click on the link for the bird sanctuary, do check out the photos on the site!  They are amazing! Here's a shot I took of a crane years ago.
Yes, living on the edge of both city and country has its benefits.   If I want or need to go into the city, it's only about 30 minutes away.  But I think, at heart, I'm a country girl who loves and appreciates the peace and tranquility that comes from living away from the hustle and bustle of the city

I hope you enjoy a few of my own personal country living photos. Don't forget to turn up the sound, too.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

B is for BARBARA


"The name Barbara [bar-bara] as a girls' name is pronounced BAR-bra. It is of Latin origin, and the meaning of Barbara is "foreign woman." As an adjective, it was originally applied to anyone who did not speak Greek; it has the same root as "barbarian". In Roman Catholic custom, Saint Barbara is invoked as a protector against fire and lightning; she is patron saint of architects, stonemasons, and fortifications. Barbra is a spelling variant made familiar by singer/actress/film director Barbra Streisand. Many people may associate the name with the popular doll Barbie, which is a pet form. Other famous Barbaras are actress Barbara Stanwyck; writer Barbara Tuchman; First Lady Barbara Bush." 
(from http://www.thinkbabynames.com/meaning/0/Barbara)

I often wondered how I came to have the name Barbara as my second name.  So I checked it out online.  How popular is Barbara?  Apparently, it's still somewhat popular nowadays, but between 1940 and 1949 it was THE most popular name.  And I was born towards the end of that decade, so I guess my mother really liked the name, too.  I have a cousin who is just a couple of years younger than me and her first name is Barbara!

Since I absolutely adore flowers, I thought I'd check to see if there are any named "Barbara."  I discovered the Clemetis Barbara, which is gorgeous, so I thought I'd share it here.




Clemetis Barbara

Pot size when deliveredSent out in Large 2 litre pots, (8 inches deep x 5 inches wide)
Size when deliveredIn most cases plants are around 1 metre high (depending on growth rate & time of year)
Age when deliveredAll our plants are at least 2 years old when sent out

Colour

Deep pink

Pruning group

Prune Hard - Group 3

Aspect

Sun or Part Shade

Height

6 - 8ft (2 - 2.5m)

Flowering Time

June to September
I'm glad I looked up the name Barbara because it makes me like it a bit more now, especially since there is a beautiful flower with the same name.  I must see if I can find one for my patio - I'd put it in a big pot with a trellis on the wall so it could climb up.

Have you ever wondered what your name means? 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A is for AIRPORT

Welcome to Round 21 of ABC Wednesday, originally created 10 years ago by Denise Nesbitt and administered by Roger and team.  This is Number 1 of the hopefully new and improved format of ABCW to be administered by Melody and her team.  We welcome all newcomers and hope you enjoy participating because you get to "meet" people from all over the world!  I've been doing ABCW for 9 out of the 10 years and have made many friends through it.

So today, I'm going to tell you about the airport where I live.  Everyone loves an airport, whether it's because you're leaving to go somewhere, whether it's because you're arriving home, or because you are greeting visitors from afar. Lots of people enjoy watching the planes take off and land, too. I will be meeting dear friends from Wales in about 3 weeks and am already so excited to see them!
The Vancouver International AIRPORT is located about 7 1/2 miles south of the city of Vancouver in Richmond (where I grew up) and has a spectacular setting in the mountains.  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."  When I departed from Vancouver last year, I saw they had installed a new aquarium - full sized on a wall in the departure lounge and I could not help but take some photos of it.
This exhibit is an entire wall of a waterfall. It's amazing to see when you arrive.
Finally, for a bit of humour, enjoy this photo of the "Running Man" trying not to miss his flight.

Many thanks to the awesome Melody for taking on such an adventure as ABC Wednesday. Also, thanks to her affable team who with assist and aid her by visiting all the contributions each week.