About Me

My photo
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 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 (décor-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.

Monday, July 03, 2017

Z is for ZOO (Chester Zoo, England)

Recently, I watched a BBC TV mini-series called "Our Zoo," the story of George Mottershead and his family who founded the Chester Zoo in the 1930s.  At the turn of the century, when George's father took him to a zoo, he told his father that one day he would have a zoo with no bars! So, in 1930, with his family in tow, he bought Oakley House and 7 acres of land for 3,500 British Pounds and brought with him a group of animals from a zoo near Crewe.  Thus began his struggle to get the zoo going amidst opposition of the townspeople and even the local clergy.

However, George persevered and finally opened his zoo in 1931 and in 1934 The North of England Zoological Society was born. After the second world war, the zoo grew very quickly and now it takes up 125 acres of land.  One of the zoo’s slogans back then was, ‘Always building.’ George’s amazing energy, enthusiasm and skill earned him an OBE, and honorary Master of Science degree, and a term as President of the International Union of Zoo Directors.
Today, Chester Zoo is one of the top 15 zoos in the world, and highly respected for global conservation and research, as well as passionate campaigners for wildlife.

All this, because one little boy over 100 years ago cared so much about animals.

Some interesting websites to see more about the Chester Zoo:

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29014122

http://www.chesterzoo.org/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2593529/Images-life-growing-daughter-owner-Britains-biggest-zoo.html  (This one has photos of George's little girl June playing with some of the zoo animals.)

And so we end Round 20 of the original ABC Wednesday, created by Mrs. Denise Nesbitt, administered by Mr. Roger Green, assisted by "moi" and a team of zany helpers who zoomed around each week making sure everyone had comments.  We now turn the ship over to Melody and her new team of assistants and wish her the very best in continuing the tradition.

Be sure to check out the new ABC Wednesday here!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Y is for YORK

Yesterday, I had dental surgery and I was trying to figure out a way to incorporate it with the letter Y.  All I could come up with was "yucky."  Luckily for you, that was all I could think of.  So I resorted to my other plan to tell you about York, England and to show you just a few shots I took there last summer.  I stayed with my dear friend Jill Ellis Marshall, to whom I dedicate this post.

York is a historic walled city founded by the Romans in 71AD.  It lies between the Ouse and Foss Rivers and one of the biggest attractions is York Minster.  I won't bore you with details of its history, etc., because if you're interested, just go and check it out on Wikipedia.  The Shambles is an ancient area in York with overhanging timber-framed buildings that date back to the 14th Century. This area was renowned for its open-air slaughterhouse and meat market. My shot below.
As we entered the Shambles at one end, we were greeted with a wonderful flower market and entertained by the local Town Crier.

After purchasing a few tea towels as an easy-to-pack souvenir at a tea towel stand, we began wandering down the main street of the Shambles to search for somewhere to have lunch. We decided on the Café Rouge where we were greeted with great welcomes and seated right at the center front window where we had a wonderful view of tourists passing by.
A street entertainer happened to come by to entertain the tourists even before our lunch arrived. The above shot is from Mr. Google but the one below is mine, taken from our table through the window.
I photographed the above busker right through the window from my seat at the table.  I also shot the frontage of L'Occitane shop directly opposite of us.
 When we left the café, I took a photo of the area above the restaurant, which was lined with absolutely gorgeous flower boxes.
We wandered over to see York Minster, but the lines were horrendous. As I'd been inside before, we just walked to the garden next door where there was a Remembrance Ceremony going on to celebrate the Battle of Kohima in 1944.  It is an annual event and just happened to be that day, so we felt quite honoured to be a small part of it.
However, I did get a good shot at the front façade of the Minster and one of it peeking through the trees when we were in the park next door.  It really is quite impressive!
Then we headed over to the Medieval Guild Hall and poked around there to see the ancient wood beamed ceiling, the dining hall, and the stained glass windows.


Finally, here are a few shots of some gardens thatI couldn't resist photographing.  After all, I'm sure you've heard of the splendid English country gardens....well, these were right in a big city. The first two are the rose gardens in front of the Manor House located in front of the Guildhall.

You often see flowers growing up a rock or brick wall in England and York was no exception.
So there you have it.  We did have some other adventures that I may write about in future posts, but I think you're probably tired of me raving on about England and Wales and my wonderfully memorable trip last year.

Don't forget that next week, the letter Z, is our last ABC Wednesday at this location.  So do come back next week for a final farewell and more details on where to find it starting July 12!!!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

X is for eXtending one's vocabulary

Only three more weeks until ABC Wednesday becomes a new and improved way of reaching the realms of the world.  Melody takes over as Administrator with two assistants and a team made up of former ABCW team members plus some new ones.  Our eXcitement builds with anticipation to see how things work out.  But in the meantime, do continue to post as we'd love to see a push of contributions rather than a dismal dying out. 

The letter X is always a difficult week to find a word to fit and having looked through most of my posts, I noticed that 1 out of 2 posts seems to be Xmas.  This time I decided to try to improve my own vocabulary and thus improve yours as well.  So here are my new X words.

XANTHROCHROID refers to the phenotype of persons who are fair-complexioned and light-haired.  A phenotype is the set of observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment.  Both of my daughters fit into the category, being blonde-haired, blue-eyed, with fair complexions.  However, they've coloured their hair so much throughout their lives that heaven only knows what their "natural" colour is now!  The first shot is when we lived in Ottawa and visited Upper Canada Village on the St. Lawrence River (1987) and the second is when we went to Cape Cod and saw President John F. Kennedy's memorial there (1988).
XHOSA are a Bantu people native to the Cape of Good Hope Province in South Africa. Xhosa peoples were well established by the time of the Dutch arrival in the mid-7th century, and occupied much of eastern South Africa from the Fish River to land inhabited by Zulu-speakers south of the modern city of Durban.


XEBEC, also spelled zebec, was a Mediterranean sailing ship that was used mostly for trading. It would have a long overhanging bowsprit and aft-set mizzen mast. It can also refer to a small, fast vessel of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, used almost exclusively in the Mediterranean Sea.

XESTURGY is the process of polishing stones.

XOANON  is a statue made of wood, primitive in nature, that is covered in gold and ivory.
So there you have it - I hope you've improved your vocabulary somewhat.  I know I have as I'd never heard any of those words before.  Thanks to our eXtra special administrator, the eXuberant Roger and the eXtremely wonderful group of assistants.  Also thanks to the eXceptional imagination of Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday 10 years ago!