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, August 31, 2015

H is for HELL

One of my students had to read Dante's "Inferno" a couple of years ago, so I thought I should read it, too.  The old style is a bit difficult at first, but I had a copy that explained practically every line.  If you haven't had the pleasure, Dante Alighieri describes Hell as having nine circles (levels), each of which describes various types of sins.  As Dante sinks deeper into the circles of Hell, the descriptions of the circles' conditions become worse and worse.  The 9 circles of Hell represent the sins of (in order of level of evil) Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Anger, Heresy, Violence, Fraud, and Treachery.   I can't insert an image from the poem because all are just too gruesome, but this illustrates the inscription that Dante sees as he approaches the entrance to Hell.
From Wikipedia:  In the very centre of Hell, condemned for committing the ultimate sin (personal treachery against God), is Satan. Satan is described as a giant, terrifying beast with three faces, one red, one black, and one a pale yellow:
he had three faces: one in front bloodred;
and then another two that, just above
the midpoint of each shoulder, joined the first;
and at the crown, all three were reattached;
the right looked somewhat yellow, somewhat white;
the left in its appearance was like those
who come from where the Nile, descending, flows.[61]
Satan is waist deep in ice, weeping tears from his six eyes, and beating his six wings as if trying to escape, although the icy wind that emanates only further ensures his imprisonment (as well as that of the others in the ring).  With Satan are Brutus and Cassius who assassinated Julius Caesar and Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus.

This poem is an allegory (writers use abstracts to represent meanings through actions, imagery, characters, events to create a moral, spiritual or political meaning) but when one reads Dante's "Inferno", one comes away with a sensation of horror to think that anyone could be plunged into a specific circle of Hell to an eternity of some sort of torture or brutality.  Do you believe in Hell?  Do you believe Hell is a possibility?  I was brought up with the belief in Heaven and Hell, but as an adult, I do wonder.

Which brings me to a very well-known phrase:  "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."  I have recently quoted this a couple of times when people have asked me how I am doing after the breakup of my marriage.  To be honest, I've had a hard time dealing with the anger towards my ex considering the lies, deceit, abuse and other things he threw at me.  According to the meaning behind the phrase, although Hell is considered to be the most horrid place to be in, it cannot compete with the terror of a woman when she is scorned, spurned, or shunned. 

Considering Dante's depiction of Hell, would I wish him any part of those nine circles? Absolutely not.  However, I do believe he will, in some way, pay for the Hell he created. 
In the meantime, I happen to be hobbling along much better these days.  The ankle is healed as well as it ever will be, my blood pressure is normal, and I'm harbouring a yen for school to start again.

Thanks to the most honourable Lady Denise Nesbitt (creator of ABC Wednesday) and to the most humble Sir Roger, our handsome administrator.  Don't forget to give silent thanks also to the harmonious and helpful group of bloggers who take the time to hop over to visit your contributions. Have a happy week, everyone!  This smiling face is what makes ME happy these days!

Sunday, August 23, 2015


One of my favourite places to visit in Greater Vancouver is Granville Island
It's a peninsula and shopping district located on the south side of False Creek across from Downtown Vancouver between the south end of the Granville and Burrard Street Bridges.  In my humble opinion, "Bridges" (the yellow building top center) is one of the best restaurants on the island and I've had the pleasure of dining there many times.  When Liz (from Swansea, Wales)(of http://liz-and-harvey.blogspot.ca/) came to visit, we had lunch on the patio right by the water. Not only did we get a photo of us, but also of the gargantuan blueberry shortcake dessert!
Another wonderful restaurant on Granville Island is The Docksider that offers casual fine dining in a stunning setting.  Set right on the water, floor to ceiling windows allow panoramic views of downtown Vancouver all the way to the mountains beyond. There's gracious and friendly service, a glorious menu, and desserts worthy of a gourmet
Check out what I had when I took my daughter there for her birthday lunch!
The Public Market is the jewel in the crown of Granville Island!  It showcases the finest of gastronomic delights like seafood, warm baked goods, fresh plump fruit, cheeses, flowers and more. 

Granville Island is, without a doubt, a must-see destination if you're visiting this gorgeous city!  Park your car and simply walk everywhere.  Aromas abound from the bakeries scattered throughout and  you will want to pop into the brewery, the book shops, the art shops, the kids' building, etc. But if you feel the need to sit for a bit, simply go over to the water's edge and hail an aquabus.  You'll really enjoy the ability to view the scenery from a different perspective.

If you embark or disembark near Bridges Restaurant, you will also see buskers performing for locals and tourists alike.  Also, you'll see other free and glorious entertainment throughout the area.  Watch out for sea gulls though - they are almost tame!  Here are some shots that may give you a giggle.
Thanks to the gracious Lady Denise, the creator of ABCW, and to the gallant Sir Roger, our administrator.  Also, don't forget about the team of contributors who gallop around to various posts to greet you and give you glowing comments about your post.  Have a great week, everyone, and see you for the letter H next time.

Monday, August 17, 2015

F is for FRISBEE

This week, ABC Wednesday is brought to you by the letter F - f as in fast, fizzle, focus, fetch, fly, face, and farm.  It is also brought to you by the fetching Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABCW, and by the frisky Roger, our fabled administrator.  Don't forget about the friendly team of bloggers who help out by flitting over to many contributors in order to formulate lovely comments for you all.

The word I've chosen for the week is FRISBEE because I seem to be playing with it every morning of the week!  This is the "toy" that keeps my cute little yellow English Lab's attention.  I've taught her to fetch it and bring  it back to me, drop it at my feet, and sit to wait until I throw it again.  As I mentioned in last week's post, we've been having a heat wave (isn't that a song?) all summer, so I have to make sure I get up and out before 9 in the morning for her to get some exercise.  If I don't, she pesters me by whining until we go somewhere! 

It doesn't take long before she's gasping for water, which I bring along and put into a small bowl.  But she won't give up until I can tell she's exhausted.  Even though she wants to keep going, she gives in and follows me back to the car.  When we get home, she flops on the hardwood floor in the same spot every time - she's found her sweet spot, I guess.  At least then I can get some work done while she naps.  She wants to go again in the afternoon and in the evening, but lately it has just been too hot.  But I take her for lovely air-conditioned car rides and we stop here and there for her to have a little sniff around.

Just thought I'd share a few photos to show you how well she does with the Frisbee by catching it in the air - if I throw it half decently.  Don't you just love that smile at the end?  Oh and if you noticed how disgustingly slimy her Frisbee is, I make sure I wear an old gardening glove to throw it. 

Monday, August 10, 2015


ABC Wednesday is brought to you this week by the Letter EE as in elephant, elevator, email, education, and elbow.  It is also brought to you by our creator, the endearing Denise Nesbitt and by our earnest yet efficient administrator Roger!  As well, don't forget about the enthusiastic team of bloggers who give of their extensive time to make sure every contributor receives some comments.

The word I have chosen to use this week is EXHAUSTEDI've been so busy for the past almost six months that I've started to feel the effects.  It seems that everything that has gone on is something that's on that list of "most stressful life events," too!  There's been a marital separation, injury (ankle again) that's kept me from enjoying any of spring or summer, and being diagnosed with osteopenia - the signs of osteoporosis.  These add up (apparently) to a moderate chance of illness.  No thank you!

Another life stress is that I'm planning to move.  So I had a carport sale to get rid of good stuff I didn't need anymore and the date chosen ended up being one of the hottest days of summer so far.  Even though I sat with my daughter in the shade the entire time, I ended up with heat exhaustion by the end.  My daughter put a cold, wet cloth on the back of my neck and placed the fan so I would get the easy breezy!  But you can see below that even the dog is exhausted!
Now that I can get around a bit better, I'm working on clearing my house of everything else I don't want to take with me to my new home.  It's a few months in the future, but I need to have everything "tickety boo" before the agents come in to take photos.  So...I've cleaned out my office, which was the biggest job.  I had two bookcases in there full of books and photo albums along with other odds and ends.  The shelf was crammed with Christmas stuff and the floor was full of bags and boxes that I had to sort through.  I sorted everything and packed it up in boxes that I'd dragged home from the local liquor store and placed them neatly on the shelving unit in the storage room - yes I have an actual room for storage! Then, I went through my clothes closet.  Now there are two big garbage bags full of really nice clothes that are going to the thrift shop.  I've rearranged and sorted out the linen closet, the other "guest" bedroom, and the two main bathrooms.  Still needed doing is the laundry room cupboards - there will be an extensive amount of junk found in there, I'm sure. 

My daughter Jaclyn and her husband Ryan have been helping me out with things I don't know how to do.  For example, Ryan replaced a doorknob on an outside storage cupboard (not the shed) and is going to re-trim the door.  He also dug up an exceedingly dead plant from the garden.  Jaclyn has moved two bookcases downstairs and into the shed and even loaned me a small end table that I had given her because it looks better than what I had in preparation for staging.

The goal here is to have the house staged and in perfect order so that I can get the most money possible when the time comes.  The market here is wicked!  Every house seems to go over the asking price and there are multiple offers on places that take them out of our reach!  So fingers crossed, we find the right place.
My other mantra has always been "this, too, shall pass" and although I'm being economical with my energywhich means it's taking me longer to do all this, all will be worth it in the long run.  In the meantime, I guess I'm getting some sort of exercise, be it lugging and toting or mentally enjoying the fruits of my labour.  More to come in the weeks ahead.  Have an easygoing and entertaining week, everyone!  Just one more shot of my "hot dog!"

Monday, August 03, 2015

D is for DROUGHT

Here in greater Vancouver, brown is the new green!  "How could that be?" people ask.  Vancouver is a beautiful city known for its lush green forests, beautiful beaches, snow-capped mountains, and perfect year-round weather.
Think California drought...not as bad here, but getting there.  It's been so hot and dry here that we have reached Stage 4 (out of 4 conditions) for drought.  No one is allowed to water their lawns at any time, wash their cars or do any hosing of driveways, windows, patios, etc.  Flowers pots and flowers in the garden can only be watered by hand.  For example, I take a bucket out and douse my pots but in no time at all, they dry up.  Fortunately, the flowers are surviving so far.  Oh!  and people with pools or hot tubs are not allowed to top them up, either.  My friends have a hot tub, but they've turned the heater off so they can use it as a "cool pool." 
Farmers are losing their crops, which will affect our economy.  
And fires are out of control in the forests, with about 200 fires burning across the province.  To view a brief video about the forest fires from Global TV, click here
Actually, for a couple of days in July there was ash floating in the air all around the city and its suburbs - even out to my village!  An air quality advisory came into effect for several days that was compared to Beijing! Here is a shot of a section of Vancouver during the day when ash was floating everywhere. 
I take Tegan out early to play Frisbee at a local park where I found some morning shade in one corner.  She lasts no longer than 10 minutes, needs water, and pants her way back to the car.  Right now she's crashed on the hardwood floor and probably won't get up for at least an hour. 
It's so hot, I often sleep downstairs on the sofa because it's "only" 80 F downstairs!  People in this area don't normally have air conditioning in their homes - it's just not needed.  But boy oh boy do I wish I had it now!  It seems all I do lately is find ways to stay cool.  Now don't get me wrong.  Some people absolutely LOVE this weather.  They're the kind of people who go to Mexico in the winter and love to bake on the beach.  But I'm not that type - I just feel sick! 
This is actually quite a scary predicament with fires coming too close for comfort and thousands of people being relocated  from their homes.  So much of our beautiful province is being destroyed, even on Vancouver Island and towards the north.  The last time we were at Stage 3 was in 2003, but I don't remember ever having a summer like this one in my lifetime. Maybe I'm feeling the effects because I'm getting a "bit" older.   Anyway, just for fun, here's a photo of my sweet Tegan feeling the effects. 
 Many thanks to the divine Miss Denise, creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the dapper Mr. Roger, our administrator.  Also, thanks to the delightful team of volunteers who drop by to say hello to all the contributors and to leave dazzling comments.