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.