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.

Monday, March 29, 2010


There has been a little kink in our plans for the future. My dearest has been diagnosed with colon cancer but we don't yet know how serious it is. He will require surgery - and soon - and we're hoping that things will go our way in the surgery, convalescence, and prognosis for recovery.

When we were told last Friday, my first thought was that I need to educate myself. I went online and researched this disease and found out quite a bit. I believe that the more you learn about something, no matter what it is, the better equipped you are to deal with it. In this way, knowledge is the key to power. One piece of information I found was that this is one of the easiest cancers to cure if found early. So...fingers crossed.
Now, when we see all the doctors that will be involved in his treatment and recovery, we will be knowledgeable about what to expect and how to deal with this intrusion into our lives. Although my dearest has the disease, it affects us both. We will be fighting this thing together with as much knowledge and determination as possible.

With the knowledge of what we're facing, we can put on the armour needed to face the battle ahead.

Friday, March 26, 2010

PUNCH ME - I'm already down!

I have often thought of myself as one of those blow-up clowns that you punch punch punch but it keeps on bouncing back up.
Those who know me and my background know that I've led a somewhat, shall we say, difficult life. Without getting into specifics here, suffice it to say that I've endured more than my share of upsets, both physical and emotional.
Recently, my daughter had to undergo gall bladder surgery after she'd already spent about 2 weeks in total in the hospital - on intravenous antibiotics to get rid of an infection that was making her very very sick. Naturally, I spent a lot of time at the hospital to keep her company and to keep her morale up. She just went back to work on Wednesday, feeling so much better after this long long haul of illness.
So I just got myself up and was able to relax after the lengthy "This, too, shall pass" episode when I accompanied my dearest L to the hospital this morning for a little procedure.
I was sitting at his bedside waiting for him to be allowed to leave when the doctor who had done the procedure arrived. Surgery is in the very near future to remove a cancerous tumour on his colon. The appointment to see his general practitioner has now been made for next Wednesday and he will arrange for the operation to remove the cancer and to find out how far it has advanced. Let's hope it has been caught early enough.
I feel like I'm down for the count this time. But then, life isn't fair, is it? Just when you think you've made it, someone/thing comes along and punches you down again.
I've been told I'm a very strong person but frankly, I'd like someone to look after me for a while. For now, I guess that someone will just have to be me. I'll be too busy looking after someone else - again.
I just hope that one of these days when I'm down, someone will hear me call, "I've fallen and I can't get up!"

Monday, March 22, 2010

J is for JONES and J names

I was born into the Jones family. My paternal grandfather was Joseph Henry Jones and because he suffered from battle in World War I, he died young at about 55 years of age. I don't have any photos of him, but I do remember that we were living with him and my Nana Jones the year he died suddenly of a heart attack. It's as though it were yesterday when, from my upstairs bedroom, I could hear something going on downstairs. It wasn't until the next day that we were told that Grandpa had passed away.

My father was named John Richard Jones, but nicknamed Jack. From previous posts about him, you might recall that he became a famous soccer player in his early 20s before going on to serve in the RCAF during World War II. Dad was the only male child of JHJ, and because he ended up having three daughters, the Jones name died out. However, we three girls still consider ourselves to be Joneses and make sure our children know of their heritage. And even though none of our children inherited the Jones name, per se, there are lots of J names in our immediate family.

My younger sister was named Jacqueline and nicknamed Jackie after our Dad. My first daughter has a J name - Jamie and she married Jason - and my second daughter was named after her Auntie Jackie, but is called Jaclyn. The latest member of our family to have a J name is my new little Great Nephew, born February 18 of this year. He was dubbed Jack.

My late husband's father had a J name - James - and it's ironic that Lorne's Dad was named John Herbert and nicknamed Jack.

So as you can see, the letter J stands out in our family and there are lots of us with a J name. When I was researching the Jones name, I found out that there was a Welsh John Richard Jones (1765 -1822) who was a Baptist preacher. I wonder if we are related to him. I should check into that.

Below left is my sister Jackie when she was a little girl and on the right is my daughter Jaclyn just heading out on her first day of Grade 2.

And here is my daughter Jamie with her husband Jason. And on the right, the last of this particular branch of the Jones family, my Dad Jack not long before he passed away with his first great-grandson Noah.

I'm going to a "Welcome Jack" luncheon next Sunday to meet the newest Jack of our family and will make sure I get lots of photos of him. So stay tuned.
ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Denise Nesbitt and if you're interest in participating or just reading some of the posts for ABCW, just click here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sunny Spring

I've been enjoying the spring sunshine the past couple of days along with taking photos of the beautiful spring blossoms. Here are a few more I took yesterday and this morning. The coral tulip is in my garden and it opened up completely this morning. The green plant is my one and only tiger lily that is beginning to sprout. Soon it will have a lovely orange flower. The daffodils and the bright orange tulips in the pot were in the village mall and I just couldn't resist taking a few shots. Be sure to click on the photos to get the full effect.

Happy Vernal Equinox, everyone!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Slow Process

I've been watching my tulips as they slowly respond to the change of season. Seems strange, but the ones in the back (facing east) are opening but the ones in the front (facing west) are still tightly closed.
But it's exciting to watch the slow development of these flowers. Maybe they sense that it's too early to awaken, yet are drawn by the brilliance of the morning sun basking them in warmth.
Click to "biggen" and see more detail.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

First Tulips

I'm so excited to see my tulips starting to bud! It's only March 17th and they're all up with buds on them. This morning when I pulled the blinds in the dining room, I noticed two tulips with actual colour on them - one purple and one coral. I just had to take their photo! These are the first tulips I've ever grown, believe it or not. And the first bleeding heart of the season was there, too. Please click on the photos to enlarge them as you'll get a better look.

I'll make sure I get some photos when they're all in bloom!

Monday, March 15, 2010

I is for Inukshuk

When Canadians found out that the symbol for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, BC would be the inukshuk, everyone said, "What? What's an inukshuk?" Thus, there was quite a lot of controversy over the choice. Why, you might wonder.

Well, an inukshuk is a sort of stone landmark built by the Inuit and other Arctic peoples. They may have been used for navigation, as a point of reference, a marker for hunting grounds, or as a food cache and are distinctive in their design. The modern structure is meant to represent a human figure and is a symbol of hospitality and friendship.
There is an inukshuk at English Bay in downtown Vancouver, but not many people have known anything about it since it was erected in 1986 as a gift from artist Alvin Kanak of the Northwest Territories. Here it is sitting on a knoll overlooking Burrard Inlet.

Therefore, when the inukshuk became the symbol for this year's Olympics, people were aghast and wondered why something so symbolic of the North was chosen to represent all of Canada when 99% of Canadian knew nothing about it.
But, like everything, we became educated about our own native peoples and their culture and accepted the inukshuk. I think everyone in the world will now think of Canada whenever they see an inukshuk. This is the one that was erected in Whistler where all the skiing and sledding events took place.

And thus endeth my ABC Wednesday posts relating to the Olympics. The Paralympics will be over this coming weekend and life will go on. To see other posts for ABC Wednesday, just click here and then click on anyone's link to see what they've done this week.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lazy Dayz

Yesterday felt like Saturday because Lorne had a day off between the regular Olympics and the Paralympics. Plus, because it's spring break here for the schools, I didn't have any students to tutor.

It dawned sunny, so we decided to head down to the beach (Boundary Bay) for a long walk along the trails. Although we've been there before, I'd never taken him as far as the little bridge that spans a marshy area full of bulrushes or cattails.
It was a bit cold and windy by the water but as we went a bit further inland, it was a really very pleasant stroll. We paused a few times and each took some photos. I never tire of this area and when we get a dog (one day...don't rush me!) we'll take her there to sniff out the wild rabbits, mice, and birds. Here is a taste of my area on an early not-quite-spring day. Be sure to click on each photo to get the full impact.

The Duck Pond was full of ducks but no chicks yet.

The bridge through the marsh full of dried bulrushes.

Lorne heads onto the bridge amid a sea of dried bulrushes

The fence zig-zags through the area.

Berries trying to survive the winter.

A lonely willow tree blows in the wind.
A lonely lookout point waits for visitors.
At the end of our walk, we decided to head to Mario's Kitchen to use up the rest of some Christmas gift certificates. It ended up being an early supper and we brought home leftovers for later. So all in all, it was a lovely lazy day spent getting lots of fresh air and sunshine.

Monday, March 08, 2010


The game of ice hockey probably evolved from the game of field hockey that was played in Northern Europe for hundreds of years. The modern version of ice-hockey finds its origins in the rules laid down by a Canadian named J G Creighton. His rules were implemented in the first game of ice hockey played in Montreal, Canada in the year 1875.

In fact, the “rink” or the playing area for ice hockey was actually used in the game called “curling” in Scotland during the 18th century. Initially there were as many as thirty players for each side and the goals were two stones frozen on one end of the ice. The rules for the game of ice hockey were drafted at McGill University in Montreal, Canada in the year 1879. Ice hockey found its way to the US in the year 1893. By the early 1900s, the sport
had become prevalent in parts of Europe including the UK.
The hockey stick was introduced in the early 1800s. The first stick was created of wood with a flat blade. In the 1920s, hockey players began to tape their sticks to increase the hold and strengthen the blade. The banana curve or the bend in the blade which we see today was developed during the phase between the years 1957-1980. A certain player named Bobby Hull broke a stick at a practice match and began to play around with the “bent” stick and found to his amazement that there was far more accuracy in his shots. In the early 1980s, the sticks were formed of metals. By the turn of the 21st century, there have been three types of hockey sticks-wood, composite (reinforced wood sticks) and aluminum. The aluminum hockey sticks are most often used today because of its light weight, durable nature and replaceable blades.
Legend has it that a Canadian by the name of Pierre Lapin introduced the game of ice-hockey. He would implement a crooked stick to help him walk comfortably over the surface of the ice. This particular stick, also known as the first stick is now kept in the Hockey Hall of Fame, Toronto. He swung the stick at a piece of a frozen beaver bladder and came up with the idea of ice hockey. The bladder fell short of a small bay which was an imitation of the goal post. Soon the whole idea developed into a game of ice hockey and many people began to play the game of hockey on the snow and icy area. The then Prime Minister Stanley Park decided to form a league of talented player and offer a prize to the winning team. A tea pot was offered as the prize. The prize soon began to set a trend for future games. In 1926, the National Hockey League (NHL) emerged unquestionably as the top league in North America and took official control of the cup. The tea-pot shaped prize now known as the Stanley Cup is the most coveted trophy in the world of ice-hockey. (from here)

And as you all know, Canada won the Olympic gold medal in the men's AND women's hockey just last month. Here you see Canadian fans (click to enlarge) lined up patiently waiting to see that game at Canada Hockey Place in Vancouver, BC. As Canadians, even facing such a historic game as they did this day, everyone behaved well even up to hours after the medal was won. There was a lot of yelling, cheering, and singing of "O Canada" but no fighting or rioting. Hockey truly is Canada's sport of choice! And now that the Olympics are over, the National Hockey League is back in full action, and all Canadians anxiously await the playoffs for the Stanley Cup in May. Will it be a Canadian team or an American team? It really doesn't matter since both countries have players not only from both countries, but also from countries around the world.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Moving On to Springtime

I can hardly believe that after 7 years and 17 days, the 2010 Olympics is over! We've been caught up in it for so long, especially since Lorne was deeply involved since the beginning of December. The weather was amazing, perfect at Whistler, almost perfect on Cypress Mountain, and warm and sunny in the city so that locals and tourists alike could wander around in t-shirts most days. I think the international television coverage is going to do great things in the coming years for tourism in my fair city.

The weather has been so mild lately that our daffodils were in full bloom by the middle of February, the tulips are almost fully up and near to budding, there's fresh growth on my rose bushes, the neighbour's clematis is blooming along our joint fence, and the cherry blossoms are almost thick on the trees. Lorne has already bought dirt and seed to fix up the back lawn and I heard someone else mowing theirs this afternoon. I took this photo on Feb. 28! Click to enlarge! So here's to Spring! Bring it on! We can all use a bit of sunshine on our wintry-white bodies right now. And here's one of my favourite old songs from 1966 called "Sunny." Do you remember it? What were you doing that year? It just makes me want to dance.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

G is for GOLD

As you might have guessed, G is for gold today! The Olympics are over now, but Canada made history by winning fourteen gold medals. That is the largest number of gold medals ever won by any country - ever - AND the most gold medals any country has ever won on home soil. It was so exciting on Sunday when the men's hockey team beat the United States in overtime, winning that 14th gold medal. I was among the crowds downtown with a friend listening as the game was broadcast into the streets. When Crosby scored, the whole city went wild with excitement! Everyone was very well behaved but screaming and waving the Canadian flag. Some were playing drums, some were jumping up and down, and there was just the slightest aroma of a certain "je ne sais quoi" herb. lol Just thought you might like to see a few photos taken from that very special GOLDEN day!

I had an opportunity to hold an official torch (it was rather heavy!) and we walked walked walked from one end of the downtown core to another. We picnicked outside on hamburgers and fries and then ended up in a quiet coffee/gelatto cafe to watch the closing ceremonies on a big screen TV. We ended our evening by watching the fireworks displays over the water! What a wonderful ending to a wonderful day...and celebration of athletes from all over the world.