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 25, 2011

B is for BREEZY

Round 9, Fifth Year, Letter B this week! I love ABC Wednesdays as it keeps my creative juices flowing. Thanks to Denise Nesbitt and the ABCW team for keeping things going this long!

As I explained last week, my theme for this round is a form of poetry that combines a feeling or emotion with similes and metaphors. It's something I taught my 4th grade students years ago, something they picked up on very easily and with great creativity. Hope you enjoy this week's B word.


Breezy is bright yellow.

It looks like waves on the seas.

It sounds like lambs on the leas.

It smells like honey from bees.

It tastes like sweet herbal teas.

It feels like wind in the leaves.

Breezy is a huge hug and hello!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Boys and their toys

It was a lovely Friday today (for a change) so I met a friend for a mini picnic down at Garry Point in Steveston. It was a nice couple of hours watching all the boats going in and out and watching little boys play with sticks in the water. Here's a little slideshow of what I saw. Enjoy.

Monday, July 18, 2011


And away we go again - Round 9 of ABC Wednesday, courtesy and brainchild of Denise Nesbitt! Last round, I focused on "destinations," ones that I had actually visited (except for the letters X and Z).

I took my time thinking about what to do for this round, and last night I had a brainwave. I hope you enjoy what I'm going to do. Let me explain.

When I taught Grade 4, I had to teach Grammar. Now, most people will groan when they have to study parts of speech, sentence structure, and writing paragraphs and essays. I, however, LOVE grammar and wanted to make it fun fun fun for the kids. So after we learned about nouns being a person, place, or thing, I explained that nouns can also be words that express a feeling or an emotion. I also introduced them to the literary devices of similes and metaphors and then incorporated the entire thing into a fun exercise of writing a poem about a feeling or emotion.

We used the 5 senses of sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch to make up similes. The beginning of the poem needed to have a colour and the end had to be a metaphor. We practised in class before I gave the go-ahead to the class, and I was absolutely AMAZED at the creativity from each student. To incorporate other aspects of their learning experience (using the computer, learning to type plus Art), each child was allowed to choose a font and typed up their poem before gluing it to an appropriate piece of coloured construction paper. I then had them laminated before displaying them in the hallway outside the classroom.

One parent was so impressed with this exercise, she wrote her own poem of thanks to me as her child's teacher using this same format. I have that note to this day. I hope you enjoy my attempt at doing what I taught all my fourth graders:


Amazement is white light.
It looks like fireworks lighting up the sky.
It sounds like a baby’s first cry.
It smells like fresh-baked apple pies.
It tastes like the fair’s French fries.
It feels like a hug from my favorite guy.
Amazement is the aurora borealis at night.

To view other contributions or to join in, just click here and you'll be taken to the homepageof ABC Wednesday.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Z is for ZULU

Here we are at the end of another round of ABC Wednesday (courtesy of Denise Nesbitt) and I think I did pretty well this time. I chose "Destinations" as my theme and I managed every week (except X) to post the name of a place where I have actually been. However, now at the letter Z, I have to detour a bit. I've never been to any place beginning with the last letter of the alphabet so I had to have a real hard think about what to do this week. I decided to do a post about the movie "Zulu," which happens to be one of my favourite old (from 1964) movies. Michael Caine landed one of the starring roles in this movie after having played only bit parts up to this point in his career.

The film depicts the Battle of Rorke's Drift between the British Army and the Zulus in January, 1879, during the Anglo-Zulu War. I'll never forget one night when I was in bed almost asleep when suddenly I heard a haunting and frightening chant: ZULU! ZULU! ZULU! It turned out my parents were watching the movie on TV and I heard the chanting of the Zulu warriors before they attacked the British.

It's almost unbelieveable that the few British soldiers were able to hold off the Zulu warriors for as long as they did, but it was because of their use of the redoubt system when the British formed into three ranks, shooting volley after volley into the stunned Zulus, who eventually withdrew after massive casualties.

Apparently, there were many historical inaccuracies in the film regarding characters, the regiment, weaponry, the Zulus, and the ending. However, in 2004, the magazine Total Film named "Zulu" the 37th greatest British films of all time and it was voted eighth in the British TV programme The One Hundred Greatest War Films. Take a look at this short section of the film and tell me you wouldn't have been scared sh**less had you been one of those soldiers!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

A New Bucket List

Three and a half years ago and as one of my life's goals, I wrote "One thing I thought would be awfully nice would be to meet and marry a wonderful man who would give me the freedom to live as I dream..." Well, I did meet someone whom I thought was wonderful but who turned out to be someone with whom I could not live the same sort of life of which I dream. I'm a planner, and I like to think about what I want in life and then set about to make it happen. So I got to thinking about exactly what I do want in life and remembered that movie "The Bucket List" starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. In the movie, these two characters realize just how short life is and decided to make a list of goals they wanted to reach before the end that would inevitably come.

I took a look at the goals I had 3 1/2 years ago, and saw that I can cross some out, revise others, continue to work on the ones I haven't yet achieved, and add new ones. Here's my new list:

*Tour the coast of Wales, visit friends who live there, and visit Llandudno where my paternal grandmother was born
* Finish the renovations in my house
* Ride in a helicopter
* Take a Mediterranean and/or Caribbean cruise
* Go back to England and meet all the wonderful ladies I've met blogging and on Facebook
* Spend a week in Paris absorbing the culture
* Take a photography course in Tuscany
* Go on an African safari
* Get a dog, preferably a boxer

Now how on earth am I going to be able to do all that? There are two problems: money and health. First, since I'm gaining a good reputation as a private tutor, I'll keep on with that until my brain no longer works. Second, I'll try to keep mobile as long as my back holds out and if I end up in a wheelchair, I'll get to go to the front of all the lines at the airports, train stations, and cruise ships. Hah! So there!

Things NOT on my bucket list because I have no ability, desire, or guts for:

* get a tattoo
* go sky diving
* go scuba diving
* run a marathon
* learn to pole dance
* take cooking classes
* go camping ever again

I noticed that one person put on their bucket list that they wanted to be in two places at one time! Now how could you do that? Well, I've done it! When I went up the Pyrenees from the French side, I had one foot in France and one foot in Spain! And I have the photograph to prove it.

I love to dream, yet I understand that some prefer to fly by the seat of their pants. However, I think the dreaming and the planning is like preparing for Christmas! I've decided that I deserve to be happy and to enjoy my life to its fullest and if anyone wants to join me (on their own dime, naturally) I'd love to share the moments.

What dreams/goals do you have? Or are you the spontaneous type?

Monday, July 04, 2011

Y is for YALE

Sorry I missed last week's letter X, but my computer was in the shop. Of course, I really didn't have a destination beginning with that letter (that I'd actually visited). Anyway, I'm back this week with YALE, no not the university town, but a historic place right here in British Columbia.

The town is located at the southern entrance to the spectacular Fraser Canyon and is one of BC's oldest communities, having been the steamship navigation capital during the Gold Rush. Before the Coquihalla Highway was completed in 1986, we always travelled this route to get to our cabin at Shuswap Lake. The famous explorer Simon Fraser camped here in 1808 after his horrendous trip down the river that now bears his name. Why was it a horrendous trip? The Fraser River is famous for its rapids. Hell's Gate is a narrowing of the river where the water roils in a tremedous maelstrom. It's a sight to see and a "hellish" experience for the more than 2 million spawning salmon who need to get through this part of the river every year. You can safely experience this area by hopping on the Hell's Gate Airtram in nearby Boston Bar OR you can experience it "hellishly" by riding the rapids yourself. Other things to see and do in YALE:

* step into the past when you visit the Church of St. John the Divine, the oldest church in BC, built in 1863 to serve those seeking their fortune during the Gold Rush.
* the Pioneer Cemetery has headstones dating back to 1862. * hike the Spirit Caves Trail with fabulous views of the Fraser River Canyon and the Cascade Mountains. The caves emit an eerie whistling sound when strong winds blow. The views are fabulous once you reach the summit of the Mount Lincoln Trail.

* go on a guided walking tour of YALE, where you'll see the original Fort Yale, founded in 1847, on Front Street. Down on the waterfront, look for the old rings embedded in the rocks to moor the old sternwheelers at the riverboat landing that was here between 1858 and 1885.

For tourists, it's absolutely de rigeur to travel the Trans Canada Highway along the Fraser Canyon! The views are spectacular and you'll be travelling the same route as those men of old who went seeking their fortunes by panning for gold.

ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Denise Nesbitt, from Yorkshire England! Some of her mighty assistants are Yankees, others might be Yodelers, some are Young while others may just be Youthful in spirit like Moi. Regardless, we all Yearn for a connection with others via this very popular meme. I enjoy it because it challenges me to come up with something original each week - I'm already thinking about what theme I'll use for the next Round. To join in the fun, click here. The more the merrier.