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.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

C is for COURAGE

Below is part of a post I published here on ABC Wednesday exactly two years ago on the topic of courage.  As I then quoted Eleanor Roosevelt, "I lived through this horror.  I can take the next thing that comes along." This is my way of announcing that the marriage failed - from day one. 
You read in the news about famous people's marriages lasting only a few days or months and you think "WHAT?"  Well, now I know how and why it happens - it happened to me.  One day (or for several years) you're with someone you love and who appears to love you and the next day you see the true person behind the fa├žade.  I was finally forced to put those "big girl panties" on and kick him out.  Please pardon Maxine's language, but...
I know how excited everyone had been for me, but I need to put this out in case it might help someone else who suddenly finds him/herself in a legally binding relationship that is not what it first appeared to be.  Since I've been through this, I know of another woman my age who is currently go through something similar plus my 35-year-old daughter's best friend finally said No to drugs and kicked her scumbag out.  In my case, it was alcoholism, financial irresponsibility and lying about money, verbal and emotional abuse, and his belief that he would be next in line to my property (ahead of my daughters) should I die before him.  There was no love, affection, or intimacy and  I started thinking I should apply for that TV show called "Who the Bleep Did I Marry?"
I felt absolutely humiliated by his con, stupid that I fell for it, and to this day some people who were at the wedding still think we're happily married.   But it takes a lot of courage to admit your mistake and take steps to fix things. I changed my will and my lawyer added that we are estranged and no provision is made for him as per the pre-nup.  He actually thought that our co-hab/pre-nup was only valid until we legally got married so he took it to a lawyer to see if he could sue me!  Idiot!
He finally moved out 4 months ago, leaving me to deal with grief, anger, and hatred towards him.  However, I now have plans in the works to travel to England next year to visit good friends Marion, Anne, Diane, Jill, Jane, Liz (and maybe pop by for tea with our dearest Denise).   I will continue to tutor and there might be a move in the works, too.  More on that later.  In the meantime, my mantra will be "It is better to be alone than to wish I were." 
Anyway, here's part of the two-year-old post:
Life requires courage

I'm not talking about facing such disasters as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, epidemics, and floods.  I'm not talking about the courage to board an airplane or a train or the courage to drive a car.  I'm not talking about the courage to fight off a stranger who is trying to abduct your child or rob you of your precious possessions.

I'm talking about the courage to face everyday life.  And in everyday life, one might need to face an abusive childhood or marriage, the death of a loved one, loss of job, or a serious illness.  I'm talking about the courage to tactically back away from a confrontation rather than to mindlessly attack. 

Courage is not the absence of fear; rather, it is the ability to move forward despite the fear.  Courage is the empowering experience of a decision to stand up and withstand the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune." (from Shakespeare's Hamlet)

I've been told by a few people that I'm a courageous person.  Huh?  Upon contemplation, I realize that I have, indeed, confronted a great deal of hardship in my life, yet I persevere.  I have also been asked from where I get the courage to continue in my life with such an optimistic attitude.  Well, I guess I was just born that way.
So, I'm not afraid of storms, flying, or criminals.  I've seen and experienced the worst and have survived!  No matter what life throws at me, I will stand up and move forward despite my fear.

Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.  (John Wayne)

Courage is grace under pressure.  (Ernest Hemingway)

I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  (Nelson Mandela)
 Thanks to the captivating Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to Roger who currently and very capably administers the weekly workings of the site. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

B is for BOOKS

Welcome back to ABC Wednesday's Round 17.  This week is brought to you by the letter B.

This week, I'd like to tell you about some great books I've read recently.  Since the school year is full of reading classics by the likes of Steinbeck, Hemingway, Dickens, Nabokov, and Shakespeare, I need to have my own type of "escape" literature.  For the past few years, I've been into the crime/mystery genre and have several series to recommend.

The first books in this genre that I read were written by Jo Nesbo, a Norwegian author and musician.  I've read all his books about Inspector Harry Hole, a tough detective working for Crime Squad and later with the National Criminal Investigation Service who struggles with alcoholism and works on solving crimes in authentic locations in Oslo and elsewhere, from Australia to the Congo Republic. Hole takes on seemingly unconnected cases, sometimes found to involve serial killers, bank robbers, gangsters or the establishment, but also spends a significant amount of time battling nightmares and his own demons.  I must emphasize that these books are enjoyed by women as well as men and aren't sleazy or anything like that.
I have also read several series in the crime/mystery genre written by British authors.  One is the series by Mark Billingham about Detective Inspector Tom Thorne, which was also a series that began in the UK in October, 2010, starring David Morrissey.  From what I've read about the TV series, I'm glad I read the books instead.  Billingham states, "As I write each new Thorne novel, I am determined that whatever is happening plot-wise, a new layer of the onion will be peeled away and reveal something about Tom Thorne that is surprising."  I can attest to that and highly recommend these books that are "un-put-down-able."
Finally, there is Peter James, an international crime thriller novelist who was born in Brighton, UK, and bases his DI Roy Grace murder mystery and thriller crime novels in this corner of the world.  They're riveting and include a little bit of romance for the detective inspector, whose wife disappeared years ago...will she ever reappear?  Read the books to find out.
There are more, but that's enough for now.  I'll save Henning Mankell's (Norway) and Amaldur Indridason's (Iceland) books for another week.  In the meantime, since being side-tracked again with a bum ankle, you can usually find me in my Adirondack-style chair on the front porch reading something!  It's nice to sit there and chat with neighbours as they come and go and let Tegan be out there with me to enjoy the lovely weather.  Until next time, thanks to Roger, our bestest administrator, to the beautiful Denise, the creator of ABCW, and the brilliant team who visit all the contributors. 

Monday, July 13, 2015


I'm baaack...and raring to go again with ABC Wednesday.  I'm looking forward to visiting everyone's contributions and hope you'll all enjoy what I post.  It's been over 8 months since I've posted, and many people have wondered what's happening at this end, but that will be for another post.  For this week, I'm going to do A is for ANKLE - AGAIN!

Some of you may recall that I broke my ankle in two places back in 2013 and it was H..E..double hockey sticks getting back to normal.  Then in May 2014, it happened again!  And this past May, I took one step down and over it went again!  At first the doctors at Emergency thought it was broken, but after further x-rays they determined that it was the old break they were looking at and I'd seriously damaged the ligaments and tendon this time!

So on went the cast - again - to stabilize the ankle until such time as I could start physiotherapy - again!  My doctor put me on Vitamin D and Calcium and sent me for a bone density scan.  That has come back indicating I have osteopenia - the precursor of osteoporosis.  I was shocked, to say the least, but when I see my doctor this week, she will tell me how we'll get a handle on it.

In the meantime, everyone has been so gracious about helping me out around the house and taking Tegan for walks and playing Frisbee.  I'm much better now, but can only walk for about 5 minutes - slowly - and not with Tegan pulling me.  I am now able to go and watch when one of my daughters, or my son-in-law or my grandchildren take her to the park to play.  And last time I took a few photos of her playing Frisbee.  And the best thing of all is that I can drive again now - I couldn't for so long because it was my right ankle!

Just for fun, here are a few recent shots of my adorable baby (who is already 2 1/2 years old!)  She keeps me going and I can never resist her happy, smiling face - even when under the weather.