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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye Bye Oh Nine, Hello Twenty Ten

2009 was quite the year for me. It started January 6 with my back surgery that turned out to be more serious than had been expected. Pretty much the whole of January was spent in the hospital recovering from the triple fusion that left me pinned together with 7 screws. However, the pain and suffering involved plus 3 months in a brace were worth it in the long run. I can now walk and stand without pain, although I'm left with residual muscle knots that have to be dealt with through weekly massage therapy appointments.
I started back tutoring mid-February as I was able to sit up on a straight-backed chair for a while, although it did leave me pretty exhausted. But by the time I was allowed to take the brace off at the beginning of April, my stamina had improved.
It was wonderful to see the sun come back in the springtime so we could spend time outside getting the garden in shape. You might recall the mighty crop of tomatoes we had and how I made green tomato pickle relish from the ones that wouldn't ripen. We're still enjoying that relish now. Our fuschias flourished and they're still hanging there so that the birds can perch on the frozen branches as they hop onto the feeder we got. I've never had a bird feeder before but I must say it's fascinating to watch some of them peck away while other birds are on the ground below scavenging the seeds that have fallen or been dropped.
June was a memorable month in that we went on the "Big Chill Weekend" and it was then (June 6 to be exact) that Lorne presented me with my engagement ring. It was such fun to be able to celebrate our official engagement with close friends. The rest of the summer flew by. Lorne and I sat outside most evenings after he got home from work and I sipped on wine while he watered the lawns, tomatoes, fuschias, and plant pots whilst sucking on his beer. Very relaxing.
The fall started off with a bit of a downturn as Lorne was replaced in his job (no fault of his own) but it was upsetting to say the least. However, we stayed firm in our belief that something better would come along, and it did. He's now with an international security company that has the contract for the 2010 Winter Olympics here in Vancouver and has been given the ultimate venue! He'll be in charge of the security for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies at BC Place Stadium plus the hockey games at nearby Canada Place. Lorne started "boot camp" at the beginning of December and will continue until after the Paralympics are over. There are several opportunities for him to continue with this company and we're both hoping that we might be involved in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England and/or the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. His expertise is in event management/security and mine is in the training field.
Christmas was a bit different this year in that it was the first time I wasn't with my two daughters on Christmas Day. However, it turned out to be okay since I had my older daughter and the two grandchildren over Christmas Eve for dinner and opening gifts. Then Christmas morning my younger daughter came to open stockings and gifts and had brunch with us. Then Lorne and I went to his extended family for dinner and we had a very nice time. We were home early enough to relax while watching a couple of episodes of "Band of Brothers," which he gave me for Christmas. That wasn't all, though. He gave me a beautiful necklace and matching earrings made of hammered gold and amethysts. I just love it! He loves his new camera that I gave him - a slim one that he can have in his pocket and take lots of Olympic photos.
As he's working tonight, I'm going to my friend's place to celebrate. She always has a nice group of people over and we fill up on appetizers and wine before another friend pops open the champagne she always brings. We toast the new year as we watch the ball drop in New York's Time Square (always delayed, of course, as they're 3 hours ahead of us).
2010 is going to be a very special year for us. Our wedding is planned for September 25th and we're so excited that our friends (old and new) are thrilled for us and want to share in that special day. I'm hoping to go to a bridal fair with a girlfriend whose daughter is getting married in July. My daughter and my friend who's going to stand up for me will come, too. It might be a bit weird at my age, but heck there are lots of prizes to be won, so why not me? I'll be busy tutoring again but I'll also be planning the big day by interviewing photographers, DJs, bakers, etc. and getting "The Dress" made.
My wish for everyone is that 2010 might be the best year yet in health and happiness. And I am going to resolve to try to meet some of my great blogging friends this year.

Happy New Year Friends!

Monday, December 28, 2009

X is for eXterior, eXcited, and tuXedo

In a couple of days, it will be the year 2010. And the end of our lives as singles again. Now we need to direct our thoughts to the day of our wedding and the start of our life together as a married couple. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but for my first wedding I had no input. My parents simply said they'd have an afternoon "tea" for the reception. This time, I'm going to have the wedding of my dreams, appropriate to our situation and age, of course, but a big, happy and huge party with food, drink, and dancing. With this in mind, I finally talked Lorne into coming for a drive to at least see the venue from the eXterior. (He had told me to just go ahead and make the arrangements - whatever and wherever I wanted.)

It dawned beautifully clear and sunny on Sunday morning, the day after Boxing Day so we decided it was a great day for a bit of a drive and lunch at the adjoining restaurant at The Delta Town & Country Inn, overlooking the mountains. I was so eXcited to show him the place, but typical of most men, he just said that Yes, it's nice and it'll be just fine. Hmmph! Just fine??? Oh well, he "did" tell me to just let him know the date, the time, what to wear, and what to say. So now I'll get going and interview DJs, photographers, look at invitations, go to a bridal fair, find a dressmaker for The Dress, and arrange for tuXedo rentals. I understand it's a lot of work, but heck, there will not be another wedding for me - ever! Here's the eXterior of the venue. We're getting married at the gazebo, which is just around the corner from the Terrace Room (can you see the French doors that open onto the patio and pool?) Everything at the same place, which makes it simple for everyone, including out-of-town guests (who will get a special rate from the Inn).
The first 4 photos are mine and the last is one from the T&C's website showing how the gazebo will look for the wedding. The actual wedding area is around the corner from the first photo on the left and it's a large grassy area, very pretty with the garden around the edges. If it's raining or even threatening rain, they will put up a large white tent and Lorne and I will step up into the gazebo for our vows instead of standing in front on the white carpet. So, what do you think? Looks pretty? I think so.

This is how it will look when all set up for the wedding.

ABC Wednesday has been the brainchild of Denise Nesbitt who is planning on stepping down as hostess after this round. I'm sure hoping someone will carry on the torch so we can continue to get together in this manner every week. To see others' contributions just click here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Traditions

Only two more sleeps until Christmas morning when we can rush downstairs to see if Santa came while we were dreaming of sugar plums and fairies. So I thought I'd share with you some of our Christmas traditions. (click on photos to enlarge them)
Today I made my annual pilgrimage to "Mary's British Home" about a 20-minute drive from my place. There I purchased 3 varieties of shortbread cookies and the all-important black pudding for Christmas day brunch. For those of you who have no British DNA, black pudding is like a curved sausage that we cut into pieces and fry up with eggs and bacon. I passed on the Ayrshire bacon this year, opting instead for our traditional Canadian bacon.
I politely asked the owner if it would be okay with her if I took a couple of pictures of the interior of the shop so I could show my British friends. I just had to photograph the wall just inside the door and the flag hanging proudly from the Christmas-decorated ceiling.

Do you still hang stockings somewhere in your home, even if you don't have a chimney that Santa can maneuver? I haven't done it for a while, but thought I'd start this tradition up again. I shopped quite a while until I found just the right ones for Lorne and me. I loved these ones as soon as I saw them because they're grown-up and elegant as well as complementary to each other. Also, I picked up two pewter stocking hangers, a snowman for Lorne and an angel for me. Then when my daugher decided she'd come over Christmas morning to open prezzies and have brunch with us, I went out and bought her a new one...just like mine only the green with a burgandy bow. Lorne has never filled a Christmas stocking before and has absolutely NO idea where to even start, so he gave D#2 some $$$ and she's going to shop for him. I assured him that next year he'll be able to do it himself. Notice the two little "toys" on the hearth. They're really old Avon toys that I bought when my girls were little and now my grandchildren play with them when they're over. The merry-go-round plays about 10 different Christmas tunes and the Santa lights up and he moves his head.
I always have a bowl of Christmas balls and pine cones on the coffee table, but this year I don't have a coffee table so put the bowl on our new dining room table.
Lorne bought us two poinsetta plants that we'll proudly display in his antique brass firewood holder. And of course, we have a tree, albeit "fake" but nice all the same, with my ancient angel gracing the top.
This year is going to be a bit different as I'll be spending Christmas afternoon and evening with Lorne's extended family instead of with my own.
However, my grandchildren will be here on Christmas Eve to open their gifts with us and stay for Gramma's famous mac' & cheese with scissor buns, salad, and a special dessert. I'll have them help me set out the cookies and milk (or beer) for Santa before they go home to prepare for their own big day.

Do you have any special traditions you'd like to share? I'd love to hear about them as they might be something I'd like to start for ourselves.

Merry Christmas to everyone and have a wonderful celebratory season with loved ones.
By the way, I'll be making another pilgramge to "Mary's British Home" in January for the annual haggis to celebrate Robbie Burns Day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

W is for Win a Wedding

Well, I entered us in a "Win A Dream Wedding" contest last week. We could win a wedding at the 5-Star all inclusive Barceló Maya Palace Prestige Class in the Riviera Maya. Plus we could bring 8 guests with us.

One problem though...how do we choose which 8 get to come for free? I know - a draw! Plus we've already booked our venue here. I know! We'll have a renew the vows and have a honeymoon there.

To enter, I had to give them a "brief, moving story" in less than 500 words. Now anyone who knows me knows that I can get very very verbose! (ooh...that would have been a great word for last week!) Anyhow, I had to keep revising it to get it all in, but this is what I came up with:

Lorne & I started dating in 1969, going our own ways early '73. Neither of us had successful marriages - my husband had OCD & died in '92, & I raised our 2 girls alone; Lorne divorced not long after marrying someone else & had no kids. We found each other again in Nov 08, got engaged in June '09 and are planning to do it right in Sept '10 with old and new friends cheering us on. We've waited a long time & want to tell our story that you're never too old to fall in love again!

The only thing I've ever won in my whole life was a tank of gas valued at $5.00 way back in 1974, so I figure I'm due. Wish us luck!
Be sure to check out all the contributions of ABC Wednesday participants here.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

V is for Viruses and Vaccinations

Several weeks ago, Lorne and I received our annual flu shots. This time, we were both eligible to receive the H1N1 VACCINATIONS ahead of some others because Lorne has diabetes and I have students coming into our home. As I'm sure you know, schools are cesspools of germs! And we didn't want to pick up anything from the kids. Some of these VIRUSES can be deadly. The H1N1 flu has already taken many lives all around the world and those most VULNERABLE are the ones with jeopardized immune systems, the young, and the elderly. Even though we had the immunizations, Lorne seemed to have picked up some little bug that's made him lethargic and, at times, very dizzy. Tests are in progress to get to the bottom of it all.

Then D#2 was babysitting her niece and nephew last week and Nephew brought home a gastrointestinal virus! First hit was Niece, whom D#2 had to clean up. That night Nephew was sick all night and had a fever of 102F and by the morning D#2 was so sick that I had to finally take her to the clinic for a gravol shot. Whatever kind of virus this is, it's pretty awful and I'm sure hoping everyone is going to be okay by Christmas. I'm also thankful that this wasn't the H1N1 virus!

On a brighter note, we currently have snow in my little VILLAGE, and it's making the season bright and cheery and Christmas seem that much closer. We've put up a bird feeder and it's extremely popular so far with finches, chickadees, and some other fat little brown things that I must try to identify. And one afternoon when I looked out, I spied a hawk sitting on the fence eyeing the feeder. I wonder if it was trying to figure out if the feeder would hold its weight or if it was preying on the little birds. Regardless, it's given me another idea of something to get Lorne for Christmas, a bird ID book. *sshhh...don't tell him!* I'll go check out the village bookshop as soon as I can.
ABC Wednesday is brought to you courtesy of Mrs. Nesbitt and you can see other participants' contributions here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


As some of you already know, my fiancé has been hired by the security company that's dealing with the 2010 Winter Olympics here in Vancouver. Yesterday was his first day at "Boot Camp" and he received his deployment. They're using military terms since this is just like a military operation, security-wise.

It's almost unbelievable that he got the ULTIMATE venue!!! Could there be a more beautiful setting? (click on photo to enlarge) He will be in charge of BC Place Stadium where the Opening and Closing Ceremonies will be held PLUS where the hockey games will be played. I am so proud of him and so excited that he'll be right in the thick of all that excitement. Naturally, he's a bit overwhelmed and anxious about doing a good job, but I have great faith in his ability to perform under pressure. With luck, our weather will be cold and crisp with lots of sunshine both for the tourists and for all the workers. My sweetie won't have to worry about carrying an umbrella around with him to protect his new ultra uniform (I'll take a photo of him in it when he gets it).
And the upside of all this is that if he does a good job here, there's every likelihood that they'll utilize him in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics! And I am utterly uplifted by this possibility. If he does get on for 2012, I'll also apply with this international company - as a trainer. We'd both get paid room and board for the duration of our employment plus we'd extend our stay to see more of the country and visit our friends there.
ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Mrs. Nesbitt and to see other contributions to this fun meme, simply click here.
Oh, and a side note - while looking in the dictionary to find words beginning with the letter "U" I came upon a new word that I really like: uxorious - means foolishly or excessively fond of one's wife.

Monday, November 30, 2009

T is for TIPS

I know I'm a bit early for this, but I was thinking about it and just got on a roll. Enjoy.
We have passed the one year mark of our reunion and boy, have we ever learned a lot! It's amazing how different love is when you're a mature adult, having been around the block once or twice (so-to-speak). It's not all that immediate lust and passion and googly eyes and heart palpitations - well, that does happen at first just like in the good ole days. But because we're older, wiser, and more realistic about the highs and lows, we've had to work hard to figure out if this relationship is right - or not. So far, so good. But it does take work! In that vein, I was researching relationships and came upon some good tips. And in order to keep things light, I've taken the liberty of adding a few cartoons to illustrate some of the points. Be sure to click on them if you can't seem them clearly.

Communication - Talk, Talk, Talk! We spend a long time over dinner every evening and we are able to tell each other things that are good and things that aren't so good in our life or in our relationship. I must admit that I tend to run away if I'm hurt or annoyed, but Lorne is better at making me sit down and face the truth. And the best time to talk about problems is when things are going well and we're relaxed.

Compromise - At some point, one or the other partner is going to have to give way and concede on what they would prefer. And sometimes, both partners will have to give way. If one or the other insists on having their own way all the time, there will be problems which may well result in a breakdown of the relationship. We've had to work on compromise a lot! And I must say that I tend to compromise more than "he" does, and I've had to be very careful not to hurt his feelings about some of his things. But we try to remember that we're two individuals with a different set of experiences, beliefs and world views. How we were brought up largely defines a great deal of our attitude towards things.

Commitment - We all know what it is like to not want to do something, but having made a commitment we hold to our word. Couple relationships are no exception. There will undoubtedly be times when we don’t feel like making an effort – but will do so. And generally, the more we give the more we receive! We also need to commit to keeping our problems to ourselves, to not sharing these things with friends or relatives. If other people get involved in our relationship, it will seldom help and could actually destroyed our relationship.

Celebration - One vital way of keeping a relationship alive is to celebrate it; share an activity together – seek to enjoy life and play together. This element becomes increasingly difficult when the daily struggles of day-to-day life intrude and finances are tight. We like to go for walks or on photo safaris, as we call them, and share the rare sunshine on an autumn day.

Choices - I learned through my church that love is a choice. I can choose to love or choose not to love. And we make a choice to make sure our relationship takes priority over anything else, be it work, hobbies, or friends. And in loving him, I end up receiving his love and that is the best dividend ever!

Well, besides doing a bit of research on relationships and giving you some tips that I found, I've had a really good laugh at these cartoons and hope you have, too!

ABC Wednesday is brought to you by Denise Nesbitt and if you're interested in participating or reading some other contributions, just click here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

One Way Telephones

I'm wondering how many of you know people like this.

You've been thinking about them, realizing you haven't heard from them for quite a while, so you finally give them a call.

You're greeted with something like the following:
"Oh my gosh! How ARE you? I haven't heard from you for so long I thought maybe you'd disappeared off the face of the earth!"

Or this:

"Oh HI! I thought you'd died!"

I had the lovely misfortune to have this happen to me twice in the last few days.

Honestly, do these people own phones that only receive calls? Can they not call out?

I replied to both these people, "Gee, does your phone not call out? You could call me once in a while, too, you know."But this type of person never gets it...they simply continue on yakking about themselves and just briefly ask how I am. *sigh*

Makes me want to reach through the phone and strangle them with the cord...except there's no cord on phones these days. ARGH!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

'Tis the Season

It is now less than one month until Christmas Day! So in honour of the season, I've changed my background colour to red and my Meez to show a Christmsay scene. We're heading out to Canadian Tire tomorrow to buy a ladder and lights for the house - it'll be the first time to have Christmas lights on the exterior since there's never been a man around to it for me before. Yeah, yeah, no reason why I couldn't do it, but I was raised NOT to climb ladders - seriously, my Dad thought I'd fall off and hurt myself.

You will be disgusted with me, but I have pretty much finished my shopping, too. Just have to pick up a couple more things and I'll be ready to start wrapping. And today, I actually wrote out a few cards to send to friends in the United Kingdom - always have to get those ones off early.

I suggested today that we get ourselves stockings to hang in case Santa decides to drop in for a visit. LOL I was rewarded with a smile and a chuckle, but methinks we'll do it. I'll go looking for one for each of us while "he" gets the ladder.

We already have a couple of social functions on the calendar, but we're still not sure exactly what we'll be doing on Christmas Day. Regardless, I'm sure it'll turn out to be great - especially if Santa Claus sneaks down the chimney! I do love Santa, but I also know that Jesus is the reason for the season!

I think I'll drag out the tree and the boxes of decorations this weekend and put a serious start to the enjoyment of this time of year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

S is for SHAG

Shag carpets were developed as a deep pile style of carpet during the mid-20th C and were considered to be essential components of contemporary decorating schemes in the 60’s and 70’s. While many people think of the shag carpet as a relic of the past, the fact is that long yarn carpet designs are alive and well in the 21st C.

I remember the first house we bought in 1978 that had shag carpeting everywhere. The master bedroom had orange shag and the living room had brown shag carpeting. (Of course, the fridge and stove were that golden colour that was so in style in those days!) And does anyone remember those British movies with the ShagMobile? and in Britain the word "shag" has a totally different connotation from American or Canadian slang.

So when my girlfriend slash real estate agent slash stager recommended I get a shag area rug for my living room, I was a bit concerned for her sanity. However, upon further research, I saw that shag really is 'IN' again as long as it isn't wall-to-wall like it was in the "olden days."
I went to a very prominent business that deals in high-end home furnishings (their wholesale outlet) and as soon as I walked in, I noticed a pile of area rugs. On top of the pile was THE rug! After minimum discussion (what's the size? what's the price? what's the quality? what's the policy if it doesn't look good when I take it home? blah blah blah) I said, "I'll take it."

Knowing I had only 48 hours in which to return the rug, I quickly laid it down. With a bit of adjustment as to its proper positioning, I stood back and said to myself, "Perfect!" And here it is! I really like the texture and the mix of colours in the rug. Click on the photos to enlarge them.
ABC Wednesday is brought to you by Denise Nesbitt and you can view other participants' entries by clicking here.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Monochrome Weekly

The November rains are taking a toll on all of us right now. We've been inundated with pounding rain, tiny hailstones, and thunder and lightening. Apparently, it's not about to let up any time soon. It seems as though it's dark all day and by 4 pm, we're deep into the twilight time with pitch black coming by 5 pm. *sigh*
So in choosing a photo for today, I went back to my photos from Italy where I had the trip of a lifetime - at least so far. I thought this one would work in black & white as it's an ancient fortress on Sicily. Just revisiting this area warmed my soul and gave me a new lease on the day. Click on the photo to enlarge it. Hope you like it.
Pop over to the Monochrome Maniacs site here to check out participants' posts. MM is hosted by Aileni here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

From Romance to Reality to Relationship

ABC Wednesday is up to the letter R in this fifth go-round, hosted by Denise Nesbitt. Check out other participants' ideas on each letter of the week by clicking here.

Romance is a general term that refers to the attempt to express love with words or deeds. Within the context of "romantic love" relationships, it usually implies an expression of one's love, or one's deep emotional desires to connect with another person. So how does one express love towards another? Verbal expressions like "I love you," "I adore you," "I want to make you happy," "You make me so happy," are typical. Showing love towards another person in deeds could be expressed through bringing unexpected gifts like flowers, or through making a special meal, taking the loved one out for the evening, or simply by holding hands.

However, eventually, reality sets in. Reality, in everyday usage, means the state of things as they actually exist. No matter how deeply a couple is in love, they still have to face the fact that the garbage needs to be taken out, bills need to be paid, one or the other will get sick, one might lose a job, or one might snore.

Romance that survives reality can become an enduring relationship that involves a level of interdependence. People in a relationship influence each other by sharing their thoughts and feelings and by engaging in activities together. Because of this interdependence, most things that change or impact one member of the relationship will have some level of impact on the other member.

Yes, reality has intruded upon our romance, but that was to be expected. Now, we're working on developing that enduring relationship that will hopefully surpass all the doubts and fears that constantly creep into our lives. The bottom line is that we love each other.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Monochrome Weekly

On a recent sunny afternoon, we went for a stroll in Deas Park near our home. I loved how the light played on the leaves of the trees, creating shadows along this path. Hope you like it, too.

Monochrome Weekly is the brainchild of Aileni and if you'd like to participate, or see others' contributions, simply click here.

Also, you can click on the photo to see it in a larger format.

Have a great week, all.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Early Sunday morning, my sleepy little village was rudely awakened by fire engines screaming down the main drag towards the small business core. Fire gutted three places - Marco's Bistro, Heritage House Interiors, and the Dragonfly Gallery. I frequent all of these stores, especially the furniture one - it's where we recently bought our new dining room furniture and where I had my family room furniture made.

Firemen swarmed the area, squirting their hoses to contain the blaze. And when I drove by on Monday, firemen and insurance and restoration people were there surveying the damage. Apparently, the fire isn't suspicious, but it certainly took its toll. Click on photo to enlarge.
This is the report from the Editor of the South Delta Leader (local newspaper).
Delta Fire and Emergency Services personnel were still sifting through the charred debris of three Ladner Village businesses Monday (Nov. 9) after a fire on 48th Ave.

Deputy Fire Chief Rick Lehbauer says that while no official cause has been found to the early morning blaze on Nov. 8 that gutted Marco's Bistro, Heritage House Interiors and The Dragonfly Gallery, initial findings do not point to anything suspicious.

Lehbauer adds the fire possibly started at Marco's Italian Bistro and because the building was quite old it did not have any firewalls to slow the spread of the flames.

"The fire was knocked down pretty quick at the restaurant by our guys, but the flames had gotten into the spaces in the floor joists and moved pretty rapidly east-west and into the other buildings," Lehbauer says.

The residents in an apartment above the businesses managed to leave the structure without injury.

While insurance adjusters have to formally assess the scene, Lehbauer estimates the businesses suffered heavy damage.

One of those trying to pick up the pieces is Mark Rattee who opened Marco's Bistro last December.

He says the popular location was enjoying some of its best nights in past few weeks with plenty of repeat customers coming through the doors.

"I'm just kind of numb right now. I put my heart and soul and just about every penny into this business and I'm not sure what happens now," he says. "Things were just starting to turn around. We were getting plenty of business and had sold a lot of tickets to our wine pairing event next Saturday."

Rattee says he left the restaurant with is son about 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, "And we did all the things we normally do. We made sure everything was turned off."

Just over four hours later, Rattee says he got a call from his alarm company advising him the restaurant's motion detectors were being set off.

"So, I jumped in the car, drove down there and saw the front windows were all blackened," he says, adding he then went around the rear of the property and opened the rear door of the restaurant.

"When I did that, rather foolishly, the smoke just came billowing out," he says, adding he then called 911.

To see footage of the carnage, click HERE. If it weren't for quick action by the Delta Firefighters, more of my village would have gone up in flames and people could have been killed or badly injured!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Monochrome Weekly - Sails

This is a cropped photo of a piece of art that now graces one of the walls in our living room. It's my favourite piece of all the artwork that he brought with him and I love how it looks in black and white.

Monochrome Weekly is brought to you by Aileni and if you'd like to see other participants' pieces, just click here. You'll be amazed at some of the shots.

Click on photo to enlarge.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


I'm feeling a bit under the weather today with a wicked headache and a bit of a sore throat. So as I was lying down waiting for the extra-strength Tylenol to kick in, I realized that today would have been my late husband's birthday.

I quickly calculated that he'd have been 63 years old today. I wonder what he would have been like now. My memories of him are of a tall, handsome man with brilliant blue eyes and a sense of humour that totally cracked me up. He was highly intelligent; loved hockey, golf, and tennis (in his younger years); and was a real family man.

When we were expecting our first child, my older sister loaned me the crib she'd used for her two sons. Since we didn't have a garage, Brian lugged it over to his parents' house to paint it. I recall sitting on a lawn chair the summer before Jamie arrived, facing the open garage, and watching him paint the crib white with yellow trim. He worked so hard on that crib, making sure that everything was perfect. And when she arrived late in October, he was so thrilled that she had "chubby cheeks" just like me. (Well, I could have done without that comparison!) Three and a half years later, Jaclyn arrived and she used the same crib, freshly washed and made up just for her.

Brian would do anything for his girls. He took them horseback riding both here and in the interior where we'd spend our summers at the cabin. He taught them to swim and water-ski and took them fishing. He built bonfires every evening and serenaded us all with songs as he played his guitar. Jaclyn now has that guitar and treasures it and the memories it invokes. I think two of the songs she remembers the most are "Puff the Magic Dragon" and The Animals' "House of the Rising Sun." He gave them opportunities to do figure skating, ballet, soccer, skiing, and other sports. He gave us all the opportunity to live in Ottawa, our capital city, for almost three years leaving us with a wealth of memories about that part of our country.

Brian made sure we all had the best Christmases we could afford, and even sometimes more so, to my chagrin. Every Christmas Eve, after they'd had their bath, he'd read "The Night Before Christmas" to the girls. He also made sure the girls had fantastic birthdays, sometimes with their friends and sometimes just with family. And he made sure they knew all about caring for their pets - the cat Velvet, the two dogs Cassie and Star, and even goldfish.

Yes, we had many adventures together, both before and after our daughters were born. Unfortunately, illness took its toll on him and the good life vanished before our eyes. It took me a long, long time to get over his loss and my daughters still, to this day, mourn him. But we must move forward with our lives.

Left: Jamie age 6 1/2 and Jaclyn age 3 at the Vancouver Animal Park in Aldergrove, BC
Right: last photo I have of the girls with their Dad at Christmas 1991. Jaclyn was 11 1/2 and Jamie was 15.

I'll never forget his telling me that he wanted me to find someone else - someone to love and be loved by. It's taken almost two decades for that to happen, but even though I'm happily moving forward in the direction he wanted for me, Brian will always be a part of my life.