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.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ABC Wednesday - F is for French

I can't believe a whole week has gone by and I haven't had time to write anything! But I simply cannot let ABC Wednesday go by without participating.

I thought about telling you all how I had come down with the flu, including a fever. But frankly, I'm so sick of being sick, I just had to come up with something else.

So I've decided to tell you how I became a French teacher. First of all, I wanted to be a teacher ever since I began school at age 6. I fell in love with my teacher and promptly came home and announced to the family that I would be a teacher when I grew up. My future plans never changed, except for the fact that when I started to learn French in Grade 7, I thought perhaps I could be a French teacher.

I'll never forget my first lesson - the teacher, a first-year teacher whom I thought was SO old and was probably about 21, flounced into the classroom (wearing - I will never forget - a belted shirt dress with short sleeves, a collar, and full skirt - anyone else remember that style?) She stood in front of the students and said:

J'entre dans la salle de classe.
Je regarde autour de moi.
Je dis bonjour au professeur.
Je prends ma place.

Well, of course, everyone just looked at each other as if the teacher was fou (crazy). No one understood a word she said. So she just went outside the classroom again, closed the door, and after a moment or two, she repeated her performance. I think it was after the third or fourth performance that a few kids started to get the idea. And we moved on.
In my last year of high school, I had a fantastic French teacher. However, she did intimidate me a bit. She was very strict and formal, insisting on absolutely perfect behaviour, attitude, and performance. However, I still loved the sound of the language and worked hard to get good grades. Towards the end of the year, each student had to give a speech in French to the whole class and after the speech, the teacher would ask questions - yes, in French - and we had to be able to answer in French. I prepared very carefully and I'll never forget that just after Madame asked me her question and I was trying to come up with the answer, the bell rang to end the class. Never have I ever been so relieved - saved by the bell - literally!
Off I went at age 17 to the University of BC and studied for five years to be a French teacher. Along the way, I also studied four years of Spanish and a year of Italian. I can't say I'm fluent, but I must say I love the sounds of these languages and when I was in France, Italy, and Mexico (still have to make it to Spain) I was in my glory and was picking things up very quickly.

Now after teaching for many many moons and being retired, I still enjoy tutoring kids - usually boys - in French as a second language. (I think it's something about the right brain versus left brain thing with boys and second languages.) As it is, I must run since today's student will be here in about five minutes.

Thanks to Denise Nesbitt for hosting ABC Wednesdays. Click here to view participants' posts or to find out how to join in.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

ABC Wednesday - E is for Eden Elizabeth

Some of you might remember the momentous occasion almost one year ago (March 3, 2008 to be exact) when I announced the birth of my first granddaughter. My daughter and son-in-law already had a 4-year-old son named Noah Brian and the entire family was thrilled that the new baby was a girl. It's hard for any of us to believe that she's almost a year old!
Eden has been a wonderful baby, but has suffered terribly from teething. Thankfully, her two bottom teeth and her top four front teeth have now emerged and she's in much better spirits.
I know that her Mommy doesn't really like me to put pictures of her kids on here, but I think hope that she won't mind this one more time since it's to honour Eden.
My daughter brought Noah and Eden over to visit on Monday and Eden discovered the "granny walker" that I was using for a while when I came home from the hospital. Here she is after she pulled herself up with it looking pleased as punch at her accomplishment, and giving her Gramma a huge grin.
Thanks to Denise Nesbitt for hosting ABC Wednesday and if you'd like to participate or just see other participants' posts, just click here.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

ABC Wednesdays - D is for Doctors

Continuing with my latest theme of being disabled, I decided to honour my doctors today. From the time I saw my general practitioner (or "family doctor") last February to the radiologists who gave me a CT scan and an MRI, to the anaesthesiologist and surgeon who worked on me last month I must say I have had excellent care.

My GP is Dr. M, a friend's uncle and a wonderfully kind and sensitive man. When I arrived in his office last February to tell him that both my legs had gone out on me, he stated emphatically that it was time for another CT scan - the last one was 4 years ago. Dr. M has been there for me through thick and thin during times when I didn't think I could make it through the latest health battle for myself or my children.

When I went for my CT scan and my MRI, I was treated with dignity and respect by everyone, including the receptionists, technicians, and radiologists. About 3/4 of the way through the procedure in the MRI machine, my heart started pounding wildly and I thought for a moment that I'd have to get out of there. But the voice of the radiologist was calming as he spoke through the intercom, reassuring me that we were almost finished.

Finally, what can I say about my Dr. McYummy, as I've dubbed him. He is/was my surgeon and he's been the absolute best. Most surgeons don't have very good bedside manner, but Dr. McY made me feel at ease when he gave me the odds of success for my surgery, which was desperately needed for my quality of life. He saw me every morning while I was in the hospital and when I needed to go back into the hospital to go on a regimen of pain control, he was so understanding.

We never really want to need doctors, but we do, and it's wonderful when you can have great doctors with not only education and skill, but also patience and sensitivity to what we must endure. Those with whom I've been in contact this past year have been the best. So here's to them.

Also, here's to Mrs. Nesbitt, our ABC Wednesday hostess. Click here to read more about ABCW.

Monday, February 09, 2009

My World Tuesday - Captain's Cove Marina

Usually I post my "MWT" on my other blog (Photologue), but I thought I'd put it here on my regular blog this week. Some of you might be wondering where I disappeared to (or not), but if you scroll down and read a bit of previous posts, you'll find that I had major (and I mean MAJOR) back surgery on Jan. 6th. Complications caused me to have to return to the hospital for another week and now I'm finally home and trying to get back to real life. Well, actually, that's not gonna happen anytime soon since in the last couple of days I've graduated to walking without the "granny walker." But...yesterday, my sweetie took me for a little drive to one of the local marinas and I hobbled out to take a few photos of a dreary February morning along the river. Hope you enjoy...

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

ABC Wednesday - C is for Coming Along

Hi everyone! Sorry I missed B is for "better" but I have to say that things were NOT better. In fact, I ended up back in the hospital for another week because the pain was intolerable. As I healed (from the outside inward), the healing must have hit some swelling, bruising, or a bit of internal bleeding and no prescription medication - Demerol or Percocet - would ease the pain. If you missed my previous post about "there's no place like home," just give it a quick read as it explains it all there.

Anyway, I've been home now for 5 days and things are coming along okay now. Of course, I still have to take my pain medications, but sometimes I can go 8 hours between doses and some nights I've been able to go from 11:00 pm until around 8:00 am.

I am now able to sit in the bath chair and give myself a shower, although it takes all my energy and I have to rest afterwards. I can now walk slowly around the house without the "granny walker" and today my sweetie took me for a very short and very slow stroll outside to enjoy the sunshine.

There won't be any carousing or calisthentics for me for quite some time still but it's so wonderful when my sweetie brings coffee and a fresh-baked muffin to me in bed when he gets home from his graveyard shift. He doesn't mind combing my hair for me and doesn't even mind when I'm almost comatose from all the pain meds. He also gives me such comfort when I succumb to crying from frustration and weakness.

As long as things continue to improve, I don't need to see the surgeon until March 2, when he'll take an X-ray then. Hopefully, the bones are melding well and I won't have to wear this brace the entire 3 months. I can hardly wait to get exercising properly again. In the meantime, I guess I need to learn the meaning of patience.

Hope everyone's had a good week and I'll try to get around to visit, but please understand that I can't sit for long spells yet. See y'all next week.