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 30, 2010

Happy New Year to All

Sending out New Year's wishes to all my blogger friends around the world. I especially want to thank those who have given me such support in the ups and downs over this past year. And as Benjamin Franklin said, "Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbours, and let each new year find you a better man." And may all your tomorrows be better.

Monday, December 27, 2010

X is for Xenophobia

There was an intriguing article in our local Vancouver Sun on December 26th written by Ethan Baron. It is entitled "Xenophobes beware, more immigrants are coming!" Well, I had no idea what a "xenophobe" was so I just had to continue reading.

Xenophobia: an unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners or strangers or of that which is foreign or strange. (from Wikipedia)

Gee, if you're a xenophobe, I suggest you would be more comfortable NOT living in Canada right now. That is, unless you'd like to move to the BC Stikine region, which according to the 2008/09 Stats Canada report, had only one foreign invader. Or you could move to the Central Coast, which had only three. However, be prepared to live amongst the First Nations who make up the majority of the population in those two areas. Hmm...

Baron's article is really tongue-in-cheek and goes on to describe how many of which races and cultures have immigrated to Canada since 1997, and particularly in 2009. I especially enjoyed the last part of his opinion piece:

I know, I know, you racist and xenophobes have it tough, sitting powerless while these different-looking, funny-talking foreigners pour into B.C. by the tens of thousands every year.
But take comfort, you have a champion in Ottawa! Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government on Thursday announced they're cutting $53 million from a $393-million annual budget for helping immigrants integrate into Canadian society and the economy.
That'll teach 'em.

Right! Now Canada will become not only a bilingual country in which French is spoken in only 2 of the 10 provinces and 3 territories but also a country in which neighbours can't communicate with each other because of simple language barriers. I wonder how that will help our society and economy. Thanks Mr. Harper. But more importantly, thanks Mr. Pierre Trudeau, who turned Canada into a multi-cultural country and then before he died said, "Oops!"

Sunday, December 19, 2010

W is for Woman

John Lennon wrote the song "Woman," as an ode to his wife Yoko Ono long after the Beatles had disbanded. He called it the '80s update of "Girl," a track on Rubber Soul and was released as a single in January 1981, about a month after Lennon was murdered.
I can remember hearing it for the first time as we were driving up to Shuswap Lake for our summer vacation in 1981. Sleeping in the back seat were our two little girls, one a toddler and one a baby. I can remember the moment so clearly because of the words "I never meant to cause you sorrow or pain." It would be only 10 years later that my whole world came tumbling down around me and those two girls. Whenever I hear this song, it brings to mind that happy summer day when life was easy, I loved and was loved, and I felt safe as the wife of a wonderful man.
Two talented men, both dead in their 40's, one murdered by a lunatic and the other dead by his own choice - what a waste. John Lennon lives on in his music while my husband lives on in the memories of those who loved him and in this song. (Scroll down to watch the Youtube video as you listen to the lyrics.)


Woman I can hardly express,
My mixed emotion at my thoughtlessness,
After all I'm forever in your debt,
And woman I will try express,
My inner feelings and thankfulness,
For showing me the meaning of success,
oooh well, well,
oooh well, well,

Woman I know you understand
The little child inside the man,
Please remember my life is in your hands,
And woman hold me close to your heart,
However, distance don't keep us apart,
After all it is written in the stars,
oooh well, well,
oooh well, well,

Woman please let me explain,
I never mean(t) to cause you sorrow or pain,
So let me tell you again and again and again,
I love you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I love you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I love you (yeah, yeah) now and forever,
I love you (yeah, yeah)....

Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, December 13, 2010

V is for Village

As I headed out last Friday evening to attend my village's annual tree-lighting ceremony, the village clock caught my eye. I liked how it looked so eerie in the mist and I'm pleased with how the photo turned out.
The tree lighting ceremony was well attended and was complete with an enormous tractor-driven wagon laden with people leading the crowd in Christmas songs. After the tree was lit, the wagon led a small parade of children on decorated bicycles to the wharf. All the children's bikes were lit up and below you can see the unique way they did it - on the small wagon, which was cleverly disguised, was a generator that supplied power to light up all the bikes.
Everyone followed along to see the Carol Ships go by at the river's edge. They weren't really "ships," but local boats decorated in lights.
Afterwards, I headed to the grocery store and took a few shots of the decorations in the outdoor parking area. There are lots of lights on the rooftops showing snowmen, trees, snowflakes, etc.

Finally, I wandered around a bit and found these two shop windows all trimmed for the season. Santa lounging in his swim suit is in the front window of the tanning salon, and the one with the dancing elf and Rudolph is in the window of the barber shop. I think it's great that the businesses are getting into the spirit of things. However, I am a bit disappointed that they are trying to be "politically correct" in that they don't even mention the word "Christmas."

Many people have adorned their homes with brilliant lights and some even have scenes on their front lawns of Santa, snowmen, angels, the Nativity, miniature railroads, and stars. One street away from my place, the entire neighbourhood is lit up and is in the local paper's list of places to see over the Christmas season. It's great to see so many getting into the spirit of Christmas but I do hope everyone remembers that Jesus is the true reason for the season.

Monday, December 06, 2010

U is for once UPON a time

"Once upon a time" is a stock phrase that has been used since around 1380, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, in the telling of stories and became widely accepted around 1600. Usually, these stories end with "and they lived happily ever after." The phrase is found mostly in fairy tales for younger children and is also often used in oral storytelling.
I admit that I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself lately, and after a particulary depressing weekend of dwelling on my relationship disasters, decided to write a little story. Unfortunately, the story has no title or ending so if anyone so wishes, please help me out here.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in a house made of sand. She learned very early in life that her house could crumble at any time, so she decided to be a very quiet, very still little girl. Even though she was as quiet as a mouse, there were many times when sand either rained like needles upon skin or buried her up to her neck making her feel like choking. Sometimes, the sand was so heavy that she felt she could barely breathe.
One day, the little girl thought she would try to fix her house of sand by adding water, just like she would do at the beach to make a sand castle. By packing the wet sand together, she would make the house stand strong, and then everyone would say she was a very smart little girl. What she did not realize, though, was that the tide always came in and washed the sand castles away. So, the little girl continued to live in her house of sand, trying very hard to help keep the house from falling down by being very quiet and very still.
When she went to bed at night, the little girl would dream of castles and palaces and great stone and brick houses that she'd read about in storybooks. She determined that when she grew up, she would have a house just like one of those and her house would never fall down.
Finally, the time came when the little girl met her prince, married, and set off to build her house. Since they couldn't afford a castle or a palace, they decided to build a house made out of rocks. However, the little girl still worried that even the rocks might fall down and bury her even deeper than the house of sand. So she stayed very quiet and very still, trying to keep the rocks from falling down around her. Sometimes, a few would drop and cause the little girl's heart to pound very hard. Sometimes, a lot of rocks would tumble and the little girl thought she would faint. Suddenly one day, the entire house started to shake and rumble and roar and with one mighty thunderous explosion, the whole house crashed down around her.
Buried deep beneath the rubble, the little girl dug and clawed her way to the surface, finding that her prince was gone and she was all alone. But because she felt she was a very smart little girl, she thought she could figure out a way to keep her new house from falling down. She worked very hard and built a house of wood that seemed to stand the test of time. Finally, she was content and felt safe for the first time in her life.
But, she was very lonely.
One day, the little girl was happily strolling along when suddenly, she ran into a very handsome little boy. He wooed her, making her feel like the most beautiful princess in the world. He gave her pretty baubles and lovely bouquets of flowers. He cooked her sumptuous meals and played music enchanting to her ears. He convinced her to build a new house with him.
The little girl was excited about building a new house with her new prince. However, it didn't take long for her to recognize that the new house was a bit shaky. It seemed to be made of bricks, but in reality, they were simply giant grains of sand. Almost immediately, the house started to crumble and one day, a big clump of bricks fell completely off the side. The little girl tried to pile them back up using mortar to glue them together and packing them firmly against the rest of the house. But more and more bricks fell to the ground every time there was even a gentle breeze. Then one day, the wind roared and lightning struck and the entire house fell down around her. The little girl felt her heart breaking under the crush of all those bricks.
After digging her way to the surface again, the little girl went back to her house of wood to try to start over again. But she cried and cried because she was so disappointed and lonely. She couldn't sleep at night and when she finally did drift off, she would dream weird dreams. Sadness drifted into her soul until she felt like she was being sucked into quicksand. She tried to put her life together by thinking good thoughts and appreciating what she had, but she still had aches and pains and sometimes the grief made it hard to breathe...

Okay, now it's your turn to become a writer. Please help me with an ending and/or a title. I did write an ending, but it just seemed trite and I didn't like it. Maybe the story needs to remain unfinished right now...who knows?