About Me

My photo
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.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

C is for CHOICES

In Round 13, I wrote that C is for Courage and as I was pondering this round, it suddenly occurred to me that I've had to have a lot of courage lately to make some CHOICES in my life.  First of all, Lorne and I have set the date for our wedding, which will celebrate not only the love we have for each other, but also our commitment to each other no matter what lies ahead.

When I started planning the wedding, I thought that because we had both been married before, we should have a small ceremony with only family and close friends.  I should wear a nice dress but not a bridal gown.  We would just have a cocktail party and keep it really simple.  I was a bit concerned that people would look askance at us, especially if I wore a bridal gown.  But then when I told one of my best friends we'd set the date, she jumped at helping me out by being my bridal consultant (she has arranged many weddings in the past along with her own 3 daughters' weddings) and my professional photographer. 

So after booking the venue, off we went in search of a dress.  Note that I was thinking of "a" dress.  We ended up at David's Bridal and Wendy and the store's consultant went off to pull dresses for me while I waited in the dressing room.  The rack outside the room quickly filled up with none other than bridal gowns!  Long ones, short ones, tea length ones...and some coloured ones.  The second dress I tried on gave me chills until I looked at the price tag!  I said to Wendy that I loved it, but (gulp!) it was rather dear.

So I kept on trying all the dresses that they brought for me.  I kept insisting that I didn't want to look like a ridiculous "old" bride trying to look young.  Sigh!  Finally, I was getting tired but I couldn't get the thought of that second dress out of my mind.  Wendy said to me, "Listen, after all you and Lorne have been through in your lives, you deserve this!  Aren't you worth at least as much as what you paid for your daughter's dress?"  So I tried the dress on again, and this time considered it more seriously.  We agreed that it was suitable for my age (tea length and basically fully covered up) and for the venue, which is a heritage home not far from where we live.  And I thought to myself as I teared up, "I look good!  I look young! Lorne will weep when he sees me in this dress!"

And I said "Yes to the dress!"

Two choices down - the venue and the dress - and more choices coming up.  We are in the process of choosing the food that the caterer will provide and a dress for my attendant (Cathy was my best friend that I travelled to England with in 2012).  We chose to have a noon wedding with a high tea sort of reception where everyone can mingle at the heritage home near the beach that we've booked. And one more major choice is the wedding cake.  It doesn't need to be large, but it does need to be special.

The wedding will be May 1st - only about 3 months from now, so stay tuned! 

And NO you can't see the dress yet.  But here are some shots of the venue - Cammidge House, built in 1914.  The municipality is celebrating its 100th anniversary this spring, too.  Weather permitting, we'll say our vows outside on the porch (which will be decorated with ivy, kissing balls, and flowers) but if weather does not cooperate, we'll say the vows in front of the old fireplace in the living room.

Now before you exit, be sure to think of the comely Denise, the founder of ABCW, and our administrator Roger, who manages to stay calm when people don't follow the rules and regulations of the site.   So a little reminder to those who are new here (and a HUGE WELCOME, by the way) that it is important to read the little section on the homepage about linking to the ABCW site and keeping your post to something relating to the letter of the week.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

B is for BAKER and the BEACH

As I mentioned last week, I decided that for this round I will write about whatever comes to mind at the time of writing.  So this week, I bring you Mount Baker and the beach at Lighthouse Park.

On January 5th we woke up to a beautiful sunny day, so as we needed gas, we both drove our cars to Point Roberts (across the border in Washington state).  I took Tegan with us so she could go swimming at the beach after we'd filled up.  I know - swimming in the ocean in early January?  For those who don't know, Tegan is our one-year-old English Labrador who doesn't care what the temperature is or whether the water is clear, salty, brackish or even thick with mud like the river.  The sea surface temperature was roughly the same as the air temperature: 6 celsius or about 40 fahrenheit.

After filling up our gas tanks and getting a dog biscuit from the station attendant for Tegan, we headed for the beach at Lighthouse Park.  This is one of our regular haunts at any time of year.  After I took a few shots of Lorne throwing a stick into the ocean for Tegan to fetch, I decided to take a walk along the gravel path lining the beach to see what I could see.  As my ankle was still rather weak, I took it very slowly.  I think I caught some pretty good shots, as you'll see in the shortslide show I made for you.

But before you click to watch the slideshow, remember to thank the beautiful Denise and the brilliant Roger for the bounteous amount of time they've spent both creating and running ABC Wednesday.  If you're new to the site, a BIG welcome to you but please take a moment to read the Rules and Guidelines on the main page.  Thanks so much and now on with the show!  Oh, I almost forgot - turn up your sound and click to watch it in full screen.  It looks and sounds much better that way.  GO!
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A is for AAA Movies

Welcome to Round 14 of ABC Wednesday!  How do you like our new logo?  I think it's awesome!  Welcome to newcomers and may I suggest you read the Rules and Guidelines on ABCW's home page.  Remember to link to ABC Wednesday's site so others can see the posts and be sure to include in your writing a reference to the letter of the week. 

After trying to think of a theme for this round and unable to come up with anything unique, I have decided to simply do anything I feel like as the weeks pass.  So today I will tell you about two movies I've recently seen that begin with the letter A.  If I were to give them scores like reviewers give stars, I would give both of them 5 As.

First, we saw "American Hustle," a movie I'd been dying to see since I'd first read its review in our local paper.  It's a combination of crime, comedy and drama all mixed together and loosely based on the FBI ABSCAM operation in the late 70's/early 80's.  For us it was a trip back in time to see corded rotary phones, fabulous cars from the era, clothes, hairstyles, and a new invention - the microwave oven.  The plot moves along well and the actors are absolutely fabulous!  You can check it out online to see if it's something you'd like to watch, but I highly recommend it.  The one thing I'm a bit disappointed about is that Christian Bale didn't receive the Golden Globe...in my mind, he was amazing and the central character around whom everyone else revolved
Moving on to the other movie, I must tell you about "August: Osage County," starring Meryl Streep and Julia Rogers.  It was based on the Pulitzer Prize winning play by Tracy Letts, and the cast also includes such notable actors as Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Dermot Mulroney, Sam Shepherd, Margo Martindale, and Abigail Breslin.  There are a few other lesser known actors, and they are all no less awesome in their roles.  It is a powerful movie in that all the female characters are extremely strong-willed in their own way and the story goes on to suggest how and why they are the way they are.  The family dinner that is the dramatic centerpiece of the film is vicious!  Family truths come to light and I dare you not to relate to at least one character or at the very least know someone similar!
Many thanks to the amazing Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday and to the amenable Roger Green, our administrator.  If you'd like to be part of the ABCW team, which means formally visiting about 10 posts per week, please get in touch with Roger.  The more the merrier and the easier the job is for all involved.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Z is for ZUMBA

I've heard friends rave about Zumba. What does it involve, and is it a good aerobic workout?

Answer from Edward R. Laskowski, M.D.
Zumba is a fitness program that combines Latin music and easy-to-follow dance moves. Zumba routines incorporate interval training, alternating fast and slow rhythms and resistance training. Zumba's fans say it's so popular because Zumba is a fun way to work out.
Some research indicates that dance-type aerobic workouts like Zumba can improve cardiopulmonary endurance when done at moderate intensity and duration. The bottom line is if you enjoy Zumba, you're more likely to stick with it — and more likely to enjoy the benefits of aerobic exercise.
As with any exercise, if a certain movement or position causes you pain, try to modify the workout to avoid the aggravating activities. And anytime you're training with resistance, remember that proper technique is key — don't get so caught up in the dance rhythm that you forget proper form. 

I sure wish I could do Zumba, but what with all my osteoarthritic problems like having had two back surgeries (one was a triple fusion leaving me with 7 pins holding me together) and a weakened ankle due to two breaks and a serious sprain plus bad knees, it probably would not be a good fit for me.   But I have heard from others that it's lots of fun!  Since I'm a fan of "Dancing With the Stars," I've become a wannabe Zumba cum Latin ballroom dancer after a secret lifelong passion to have been a Radio City Rockette.  We always dream of being or doing something we can't, don't we?  Oh well, I'll continue to use the recumbent bike, walk, and swim and enjoy being a voyeur while listening to all that cool Latin music.

We're now at the end of the 13th round of ABC Wednesday with the letter Z, so don't be shy - sign up to be part of the team!  Tell your friends and family that we're a great group of zesty zealots who love the zither, zombies and zucchini.   Thanks to the zippy Denise and the zany Roger for being the creator and administrator respectively.  By the way, did you know that a zampogna is an Italian bagpipe?  And a zel is a form of Oriental cymbal.  Also, a zho is a cross between a yak and a cow.  See y'all in Round 14 starting next week!