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, February 29, 2016

H is for HOME

HELLO - it's me...anyone else love Adele as much as I do?  I have 2 of her 3 CDs and my grandchildren sing along with me to all her songs.  I was thinking of doing my entire post about Adele and her music, but then I thought about the word HOME - my new home to which I'll be moving this week (Wednesday, in fact).  This will be another new adventure for me and I'm so looking forward to living in this new place.
After all I've been through in the past several years, I've decided I love myself the way I am, and I hope and dream that the best is yet to come.  I'm ready to nest in what I just might refer to as my "tree house," snuggled in behind some evergreen trees with two bay windows where I can look out on the stars and moon on clear nights.  I'll be able to see the full moon when it appears and hope to get some decent shots of it right from my bedroom window.
Because Wednesday is moving day, I won't be able to visit everyone as quickly as I normally do.  My new internet provider isn't coming to set everything up until Friday, so until then, have a wonderful week and if I don't visit you this week, I'm hoping that next week I'll be able to do "I is for the Interior" with photos of the new place inside.

With HUGE thanks to Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to our honourable administrator Roger.  Also, thanks to the harmonious team of helpers who hunt you all down to give you their most heartening comments.

Friday, February 19, 2016

G is for GLAD

I'm feeling GLAD this week!  Only one more week until my big move...to a smaller (but not "too" small) condo.   Finally, after almost a year of planning, my daughter and her husband and the grandchildren will have their new home all to themselves, and I will have my new home all to myself!  We've been living together for 5 months now, and all parties are going to be relieved to have their own space!  (Daughter and hubby have bought my current house, by the way.)

I've gradually been packing up the things I don't use every day so, as the cupboards are becoming a bit bare, the living and dining rooms are getting a bit full and cluttered.  But that's okay because it's all for the good.  Daughter has had contractors over for estimates on renovating the downstairs powder room as well as getting painters' estimates for repainting the entire downstairs, stairway, and upper halls.
Here's a really messy corner! And below that, bags for the thrift store.
I'm the kind of person who doesn't do well in grubby and grimy surroundings so the next week or so are going to be a challenge for me.  I am trying to tell myself that all will turn out fine in the end, and remind myself to just breathe!  I also remind myself that I am grateful for being able to not only help my daughter out financially, but also that I can pay cash for my condo. 

I have not moved for almost 13 years, and it's been the longest I've ever lived anywhere in my life!  But I am sure that my new home will probably be my last - that is, until they have to either move me into the loony bin or cart me out toes first.  Let's hope that won't be for a long time yet, though.  I still have plenty of living to do!  And I can easily get used to that.

Watch out World!  Here I come, giddy with excitement!

Monday, February 15, 2016

F is for F Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald was born Sept. 24, 1896, in St. Paul Minnesota.  One of his claims to fame was his namesake (and second cousin three times removed on his father's side) Francis Scott Key who wrote the lyrics to the "Star-Spangled Banner."  After high school graduation, Fitzgerald attended Princeton University and decided to become a writer.  As a result, his academic studies suffered and he was put on probation.  He quit school and joined the army but never saw action in W.W. 1.  However, while he was in Camp Sheridan near Montgomery, Alabama, he met and fell in love with an 18-year-old girl named Zelda Sayre, whom he married in 1920.  They had one daughter, Frances Scott Fitzgerald, born in 1921.

Fitzgerald's first novel, This Side of Paradise, was largely autobiographical and dealt with love and greed.  Almost overnight, the 24-year-old Fitzgerald became one of the country's most promising writers.  He embraced his overnight celebrity and ended up becoming quite the playboy, although his second novel, The Beautiful and Damned, "helped to cement his status as one of the great chroniclers and satirists of the culture of wealth, extravagance and ambition that emerged during the affluent 1920s—what became known as the Jazz Age."

In 1924, Fitzgerald moved to France where he wrote what would become his greatest novel, The Great Gatsby."  In this book he critiques materialism, love, and the American Dream.  Even though the book was received well, it didn't really reach its true stature until the 1950's and 60's as "the definitive portrait of the "Roaring Twenties," as well as one of the greatest American novels ever written."

Fitzgerald's later years were a progressive decline into alcoholism and writer's block.  His wife suffered from mental illness and had to be hospitalized.  However, in 1934, Fitzgerald published his fourth novel, Tender is the Night, which was a commercial failure, yet has become one of the "great American novels."  He began work on a fifth novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, but succumbed to a heart attack when he was only half finished in December, 1940.

Although Fitzgerald died believing himself to be a failure, his works, in particular The Great Gatsby, went on to become one of the greatest American novels and is now required reading for most high school students in the United States and Canada. 

And this is where I insert my personal note of having taught and still teach the novel The Great Gatsby. The first time I read it, I was overwhelmed at the way Fitzgerald has with words.  He describes so many things with such colourful (and I really do mean colourful) language.  There is the green light at the end of the dock of Daisy's place, the grey of the Valley of Ashes, the white clothes Daisy wears, along with gold, silver, blue, pink, red, and yellow.  In the latest movie version of the story, starring Leonardo dicaprio, the colours are brilliant and obvious. dicaprio states that he remembers "reading the book in high school and always thinking of Gatsby as this strong, stoic, suave, mysterious man who had everything under control.  But when I read it as an adult I realised he is a hollow man, a shell of a person trying to find meaning, who is not completely in touch with reality.  He’s a great tragedy and the story’s a great tragedy, too."
Personally, I'd like to go back to view the original movie that starred Robert Redford and Mia Farrow so that I can compare and contrast the two movies.  I saw it so long ago and remember not really liking it. However, now that I've dissected the book in order to help my students, I'd like to take a second look.

If you haven't read the book, I highly recommend it.  If you haven't seen the movie, I highly recommend the latest version. 

With thanks to the fascinating Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the faithful Roger, our administrator.   Also, fervent thanks to the formidable team of ABCWers who facilitate the commentaries by flying over to leave flashy thanks to everyone for participating.

Monday, February 08, 2016


This week, ABC Wednesday is brought to you by the letter E as in , eggplant, email, east, ecology, and an excited elephant.

It's been an exciting few days lately.  Yesterday, I bought my first smart phone, an electronic device that I'm slowly learning.  And I mean slowly as in "tortoise and the hare" slowly!  I see everyone else typing with their thumbs but when I tried it, I almost dropped the phone!  So I'm just going to learn how to add my contacts, change the ring tone, read Facebook, and take a few photos for a while. 

My daughter helped me choose the phone and apparently, I got an excellent one - Samsung Galaxy S6, which is better than what she has!  So between daughter & son-in-law, as well as grandson, I should be able to learn things fairly quickly. Grandson is so excited to show me things.
The real reason I wanted to get one of these phones is that I'm going to be spending a bit over a month in the United Kingdom this June/July.  I want to be able to use it to communicate with friends as well as use the camera so I don't have to lug my big, heavy Canon EOS Rebel T4i with me.  I'm getting rather excited about my trip, but I have to put that excitement on the back burner for now. 

I am excited, though, about my upcoming move - to my new home not too far from where I live now.  My mind is busy planning furniture placements, picture hanging, how to get the dog acclimated.  I'm a very organized person, so I have everything all arranged re the movers and changing over utilities, etc.  I am already packing boxes and piling them in the living room in preparation.  I haven't moved for almost 13 years, so it's a good thing I got rid of a lot of things when I got rid of the "ex".  My new place is in this building - if you look behind the trees on the bottom level, you can just see the top of my windows. My suite goes from the middle bay window to the far right bay window and the balcony is the full length, totally private!  So no one below me to hear me playing with Tegan and only one suite beside me on the left there.  I can also go through the gate in my balcony to take the dog out and around to the back past a beautiful courtyard to beyond where there is a doggie play area.  As you can see, the building is set back from the street so it gives a feeling a space.  I park underground by going through the gate on the left and my spot is right near the elevator.  There's also an exercise room and a guest room downstairs.  It's perfect for me!
By the way, I'd like to thank everyone who commented on my post last week!  Everyone who posted had a lot to say and it was gratifying to have others reinforce that I had done nothing wrong.  So thanks for that, everyone!  It helped me to move on and forget the whole exasperating experience.
With thanks to the elegant Denise Nesbitt, the creator of ABC Wednesday, and to the energetic Roger, our administrator.  Also, don't forget that there is an enthusiastic group of ABCWers who elbow their way over to visit all the contributors so that they can leave encouraging and entertaining comments.  If you feel equipped to help ease the load for everyone, please contact Roger.