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, July 26, 2010

B is for Beautiful Beaches & Broken Beer Bottles

I think beaches is the perfect word for this week! Our weather has been perfect - not too hot and not too cold, not too windy and not too still - just the right temperature for beautiful summer days.
Here is my favourite photo of my local beach called Centennial Beach, taken several years ago when my brave little grandson, wearing his blue t-shirt went toddling off on his own to explore. (Mommy and Gramma were watching closely, mind you.) There is a wonderful new play area at this beach now, so we should go back, this time with his baby sister. Be sure to click on the photos to see the detail better!

The next beach we frequent fairly often is about a 20-minute drive northeast to the village of Steveston. We park at Garry Point and watch the boats - sailboats, whale-watching boats, and tankers - heading out of the fresh water tributary of the Fraser River into the Strait of Georgia.

There are several beaches in the city of Vancouver, notably Spanish Banks (below), Kitsilano, and English Bay where you'll always find singles, adults, and families enjoying themselves. If you go, be sure to get some of our famous fish 'n chips from one of the many stands. From Spanish Banks, you have a brilliant view of downtown Vancouver. It was at this beach when I was 5 years old, that I knelt down in the shallow water to play and ended up right on top of a broken beer bottle. The doctor said he could hear me scream all the way at his office 20 blocks away! Several stitches later, I bear the scar to this day!

I've travelled by ferry to our very famous "Sunshine Coast" and meandered along the many beautiful beaches over there. There are lots of coves there, too, where back in the day you'd find smugglers bringing in rum and other contraband. The water and weather is perfect for sailing in this area, too! Can you see those gorgeous sailboats? I wish I were on one of them right now!

I have had the privilege of dipping my toes in the Pacific Ocean in the west and in the Atlantic Ocean from both sides. The first time was on the beach at Prince Edward Island and the second time was in Biarritz, France. I don't think I could live anywhere in the world unless I was near the ocean.
Now to one of my favourite beautiful beaches of all time - in Lerici, Italy. This was the view from my hotel room the first night out of Rome after driving for about 4 hours north to the Italian Riviera. Lounging on my patio, it was beatific to sip red vino while admiring the view all the way to sunset over the Mediterranean! Hope you all get a chance to spend some time on a beautiful beach in your neighbourhood. You can find them on lakes, rivers, seas, oceans! Just watch out for any broken beer bottles!

Monday, July 19, 2010


I really didn't want to continue in a vein of worry over Lorne's chemotherapy, but this week's treatment has been postponed due to some complications with his health. Therefore, the word ANXIETY reared its ugly head and it's all I can feel or think about. Apparently, both his red and white blood cells are very low to the point where they need to get them up before any more chemo can be given or else it could make him very very sick or even put him in danger. In the meantime, he has to have a shot every day. When he said I'd have to give it to him, I panicked and said, "NO!" because I know myself and prefer if he goes over to the public health nurse. This is a very anxious time for both of us, but we will persevere.
So let's move on now and think of some other happy A words. As a teacher, I automatically think of A is for Apple. But, pondering my years as an academic, I recall one of my favourite units in ART where I taught the students about Impressionism using Claude Monet as an example. We had such fun over the weeks as we experimented with pointillism, reflections, and making our own works of art using impressionistic techniques.
Another favourite unit in Art for both my students and myself was Abstract Art. One lesson had the students use a regular pencil and without stopping and starting again, make swirls and squiggles all over the paper. The next step was to use pencil crayons and colour each section in different colours. This usually took the whole hour lesson (and for some, even more time was needed). The next time we had Art, the students would use a sharpie and outline all the sections. Next, they chose a partner and they would take turns looking at their pieces of Art from all angles and from varying distances until suddenly, they "saw" something - a bird, a house, an animal, a piece of fruit, a tree, whatever! This led into creating a title for their artwork. They chose a coloured piece of construction paper upon which they glued the picture. Now their art was "framed" in a lovely co-ordinating colour. I would type up the titles they'd chosen on labels that the students stuck on the "frame." All the Artwork was then displayed on the hallway bulletin board for all the other classes to admire.
Now I must admit that I am not an Art teacher! But because I had to teach it, I had to learn a bit about it. And I found that it was one of my favourite classes. Towards the end of the year, one student's mother (who is an artist) came in for about 5 or 6 times to lead the class in making tile art. Each student had that piece of art to put somewhere in their garden or cement it into their sidewalk.
I can't believe that this is Round 7 already for ABC Wednesday! Huge thanks to Denise Nesbitt for coming up with this idea and keeping it going, now with a whole team of volunteers to help her out.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Z is for ZERO

September 11, 2001 - a day never to be forgotten by the world! Even though I live on the opposite coast to New York City (now and forevermore known as Ground Zero) and in another country (Canada), I will never forget that day for as long as I live.
I awoke to my alarm clock reminding me it was no longer summer and that I had to get going to school where my new class would greet me. Sleepily, I reached for the TV remote and flicked on the news. At first, I thought I had the wrong channel and that a movie was on. But after changing channels, ending up at CNN, I immediately realized that what was happening was real!
Not bothering to shower, I quickly dressed with one eye on the TV, when suddenly the second plane hit the tower! All I could think was that World War 3 had begun!
Thankfully, my school was close to my home and I was there early just like all the other staff. The principal quickly set up one of the televisions in the library where we all gathered around, many of us in tears. We had to decide how to talk about what was happening to the children without scaring them to death.
My older daughter phoned me in panic, wondering whether she should go to work. At that time, she worked in one of the towers in downtown Vancouver and there were concerns that some unidentified aircraft were approaching the city. Later that morning, the building was temporarily evacuated, but it turned out to be nothing.
This horrific attack on the World Trade Center affected not only those innocent people involved - injured, killed, survivors and all types of aide workers - but also people around the free world. We here in Vancouver worried about being so close to Seattle where the Boeing airplanes are built and being directly south of Alaska. No one was safe during that time and hearts were pounding in horror everywhere.
I pray that all types of terror and war will one day end, and we will be able to live in peace with zero worries in this respect.
Is it possible?

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Y is for YEE-HAW

Yee Haw is a slang expression used mostly by cowboys that means, "Hooray, let's go!" Here's a typical country song by Jake Owens - click here!

Years ago, when I was fairly newly widowed (I say "fairly" because it took me a few years to recover, if you ever do), I decided I needed something to do besides read, watch TV, or take the dog for a walk. So a girlfriend and I did some research and learned that there were line dancing lessons not too far from home. So off we went in search of a little fun. And we found it! There were more women (in all shapes and sizes) than men, but we didn't care. Neither of us had been country music fans but we soon caught onto the beat and followed the leader stepping out high with hands on hips, doing turns and swirls and Yee-Haw-ing to each other! We took home lessons and music suggestions and it wasn't long before I was taking the dog for walks while listening to Billy-Ray Cyrus on my Walkman - it helped to keep up my pace.

So take a gander at the Jake Owens song "Yee-Haw" and you'll see what I mean about the beat.