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.

Monday, December 18, 2017

X is for XMAS


I thought I'd put a link to the top 100 Xmas songs for 2017 so you could click on it and play anything your heart desires over the holidays.

Here it is:

This year, younger daughter and her husband plus one of my sisters will join me for Christmas dinner on the 25th.  Everyone is contributing to the meal, so it should be interesting.  

All I have to do is buy and cook the turkey!  

I'm just hoping the younger ones will do the clean-up.  

Have a wonderful and blessed time, everyone!

Monday, December 11, 2017


The famous Christmas song Winter Wonderland was first published in 1934. The composer was Felix Bernard (1897-1944) and the lyricist was Richard B. Smith (1901-1935). Probably the most popular versions of this classic Christmas song, Winter Wonderland, were recorded to high acclaim by the Andrews Sisters and Perry Como.
The lyrics of Winter Wonderland have undoubtedly contributed to the magical vision of snow at Christmas together with the tradition of building snowmen and therefore turning fantasy into reality by creating a real Winter Wonderland.

I recall one year in elementary school, we had a "talent" show - not that anyone really had any talent in those years.  But some kids took piano lessons or dance lessons so were in their glory.  A friend and I wanted to participate and all we could do was sing - we were pretty good for 10-year-olds.  So because the show was around Christmas, we decided to sing "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" with some actions along with it.  Looking back, I don't think we were that good, but I'm glad we had the courage to get up and do it.  I've always loved that song and it reminds me of that day we sang for our classmates and parents.  

Where I live, winter is usually rainy rather than snowy, but I think the last time we had snow at Christmas was in 2008 - and it was quite nice.  However, we usually pray for sunshine and we are often blessed.  Anyway, here's Amy Grant serenading you all with Walking In A Winter Wonderland.

Monday, December 04, 2017


Vitality refers to exuberant physical strength or mental power. Lately, my physical energy has felt drained, which in turn has felt like my mental energy is flushing away as well. It may have something to do with the time of year, as November is always such a dreary month and looking forward to Christmas is not as full of excitement as it used to be. It's been raining heavily a lot and the trails are muddy and slippery with rotting leaves.  But sunlight today and the forecast is for more sun, so I'm sure my mood will pick up. You can see in the photo below it looks like Chernobyl...
Tutoring helps me to be in top mental form, and this year I have all boys!  I have two new Grade 9s and I still have two Grade 11 boys and one Grade 12 boy.  I work 10 hours a week as some of them come more than once a week.  The province is in the process of changing the curriculums so I have a lot more to learn so that I can help my students.  I need to read and study up on topics that have never been taught before. However, I do think that not only my education and experience helps, but also simply my maturity and having lived through many historical events, as well as keeping up with the news on the environment and politics. But, just like the kids, I am looking forward to vegging for a couple of weeks. 

I'm stunned at the level of comprehension expected of students in this day and age. I'm also stunned by the topics studied, but then I guess kids at this age are more "aware" than we were in my prehistoric days. I do wonder, though, why kids in their early teens need to read books with themes about rape, sex, and murder. Ah well, it keeps my brain ticking along trying to keep up with them all while at the same time, I feel like one worn-out woman.

Continued thanks to Melody for continuing this ABC Wednesday meme. Her group of vivacious, vigilant, and valued helpers will visit each person's contribution and give valuable insight to you. If you haven't joined in yet, please do or consider starting with our next Round in about a month.

Monday, November 27, 2017

U is for UNDER and UP

I had no idea what to post for this week's celebration of the letter U.  It took a lot of looking through all my photos to come UP with an idea.  So I'm showing you a video of my photos honouring the words UP and UNDER - you'll see how it works.  In each photo, I am standing UNDER something and looking UP - except in the case of the Burrard Street Bridge in Vancouver, I'm looking across and under it AND the last photo where I'm up in a plane looking out at the clouds over Greenland.

ENJOY!  And have an unbelievable final week of November.  Only a bit over a month until we enter into the year 2018!  Where have the years gone?  Thanks to Melody and her team for continuing to keep ABC Wednesday alive.

Oh...one more thing - when you see the photo of my looking UP at one of the Liver Birds in Liverpool, England, please note that those birds are 18 feet tall with a wing span of 12 feet.  So even though they look small in the photo, just imagine....

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Happy Birthday Tegan

I've written about my Tegan - yellow English Labrador - before, but this week is her 5th birthday and for a dog, it's a milestone!  We are so bonded, especially since we've moved to this condo and it's just the two of us living together.  She absolutely LOVES having company, especially the family and certain friends she's met here and her tail never stops wagging.

I thought I'd tell you about two incidents that have happened to her within the last two weeks.  First, she nearly drowned in the river when she leapt in and grabbed a small buoy to bring back to shore.  However, she couldn't make it for two reasons:  first, the buoy was attached to a rope that was itself attached to a pipeline at the bottom of the river and wouldn't move.  It was small enough for her to hold onto with her mouth but she - being a retriever - wanted to bring it ashore.  The second reason was that the tide kept pulling her away from where we were screaming at her to come! come! come! And of course, being just a dog, didn't have the brains to let go of the buoy!  A fisherman and his wife were on their boat and saw what was happening and came running out with a long stainless steel fishing stick of some kind with a barb on the end.  The fisherman managed to hook it onto her collar and jerked it so she dropped the buoy and he pulled her in.  Whew!  I was ready to throw off my coat and boots to go in after her, but thankfully, she was rescued.  She knew something was wrong because as you can see in the photo below, she was scared and couldn't even look me in the eyes.

The second incident was a happy one when I decided to take her to a new dog park about a half hour away from home.  We were having a glorious walk in the woods and she was so happy to run around free and sniff every tree, bush, and leaf!  I spotted a couple of yellow English Labs ahead of us so scurried to catch up to them.  Of course Tegan beat me there, but the ladies were waiting to ask me where she had come from (breeder).  It turned out they ALL - all three of the dogs - were from the same breeder - the male was 7 years old, the female 6 and Tegan is turning 5 on Friday.  They may even have had the same mother and father! At the very least, they are all cousins and maybe even actual brothers and sisters (but not from the same litter). What a fantastic meeting - we chatted and continued to walk together for quite a ways until I lost track of them when I was chatting with someone else on the trail.  Here are some photos of the 3 dogs.

Tegan is the smallest one with her pink tongue hanging out.  And in the next photo, she's the one sitting prettily saying, Please.

 So - one scary incident and one very happy incident - all within a few weeks of each other.  Tegan is still my love bunny and even at 65 pounds, she loves to jump up on my lap (when permission is granted) and snuggle in with me on my big leather recliner.  We love going on our daily walks, weather permitting, and visiting friends and family whenever we can.  When I have to go out to work, she settles nicely in her very own lazy-boy (my late mother wouldn't mind her using it) and has a nap until I come home to feed us both our dinners.

Here she is at just under 3 months old

Here she is on her favourite trail now telling me to hurry up.


Monday, November 13, 2017

S is for SMILE

Hi everyone!  Hope you all remembered "Remembrance Day" (as we here in Canada call it).  I know it's a service of remembering those who gave the ultimate gift to us by fighting against evil in the past wars.  However, I couldn't help but smile when recalling that so many men in my family were part of those who fought.  My grandfathers (both of them) fought in World War 1, with my paternal grandfather passing away at the young age of about 50 from complications of the gas he inhaled at one of the battles. I remember that night so clearly as I was about 7 years old and in bed when suddenly the house came alive with shouts and sirens as the paramedics tried to save his life after suffering a massive heart attack.  But I remembered my Grandpa with a smile on November 11th.  I also remember my other Grandpa and the photo I have of him in uniform.  My Dad and his sister, my Auntie Jo, were both in World War 2, my Dad as a flight trainer and pilot who monitored the east coast of Canada for German warships, U-boats and submarines.  He didn't go overseas and never got injured but he also never discussed his experiences in the war until the year before he died.  However, he focused on the happy times of flying through the clouds and goofing around during training periods. He lost a lot of his friends in those years. Here's my Dad at about 22 years old, proudly posing in his RCAF uniform.
I am also happy to being smiling broadly these days after having some dental work done.  I had to get a bridge done but after 2 attempts, my dentist decided that for some reason, my mouth was not accepting the new types of glues.  So, she had to do a sort of "old-fashioned" way of doing it.  I'm very happy now as I have a great smile with straight teeth now!
Finally, I am smiling because I made a BIG decision and I'm proud of myself.  Some of you know the background of my disastrous marriage almost 4 years ago and why I've been separated for almost 3 years.  Well, I went to my lawyer and have now filed for divorce and costs if he contests my application.  Hopefully, he will have learned that I'm not someone to trifle with and will simply sign the form - or else just ignore it.  Because we've been separated for almost 3 years, the application will simply go through the courts and "he" will be informed that he's now divorced.  But if he hasn't learned anything from me, he will try to get access to Tegan, my dog, and if he does, he will end up paying for my legal fees as well as his own.  But then I know him - he's too cheap and will probably give up.  So I will be divorced early in the new year - hopefully, January or February. Another fresh start for me!
Next year, 2018, I am planning a 6-week trip to England, Wales, and Ireland!  I'm smiling all the time with anticipation because I am going to try to rent a cottage in North Yorkshire (near my friend Jill) and hire a car to learn to drive myself around.  The car must be an automatic, though, because my brain won't work trying to shift gears AND stay on the proper side of the road.

So all in all, I'm feeling pretty good these days!  I just knocked on my wooden desk - just to be on the safe side.  LOL

Thanks, Melody, for keeping ABCW alive...not too many contributors - yet - but keep at it.  I always post mine on Facebook, too, so if anyone is interested in joining in, they can always contact me. Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, November 06, 2017


November is always a time of remembrance and respect. We remember our Canadian Armed Forces for their participation in all wars since confederation (1867). Because of our ties with the British Empire, Canada joined forces in the Second Boer War, World War 1, and World War 2. Canada has also participated in multinational coalitions and fought in the Korean War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, and the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan. As well, Canada has played an important role in peacekeeping operations worldwide and has sent more troops than any other country.

Along with remembering Canada's military forces for their sometimes heroic endeavours to keep our country and other countries democratic, we show our utmost respect to them on November 11 every year. We honour them for their specific actions and conduct and respect them for their dedication to freedom. Here is a poem I wrote about respect.


Respect is a blood-tinged soldier's cerise.
It looks like privates positioned at ease.
It sounds like everyone saying "Please."
It smells like the cool crisp scent of autumn leaves.
It tastes like the bread and wine we receive.
It feels like reverberating vibrations of sound.

I would like to share this slideshow from the photos I took at the Remembrance Day service in my village of Ladner, British Columbia, Canada on November 11, 2014. I also dedicate this post to my father, a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force, who patrolled the east coast of Canada during World War Two keeping Canada safe from enemy forces that tried to cross the Atlantic in submarines, warships and German U-boats.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Thanks to Melody and her radiant and ravishing group of revolutionaries for keeping ABC Wednesday alive. We refuse to restrain ourselves as we revere the ridiculous to the reflective to the romantic revelations of our contRibutoRs. Please take part in your area's services to rejoice in renowned reflections.
Respect is honoring the moral high ground.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Q is for QUINCE

Welcome to one of the hardest letters of the alphabet - Q as in queen, quarter, quarantine.  This week, I'm showing you some photos of quince, a fruit that I'd never heard of before.  I discovered it quite by accident last month (September) when I took a drive out to Westham Island Herb Farm - a regular destination of mine.

I was able to get a parking spot right alongside the corn patch that left me only a short walk to the entrance.  However, just as I got out of the car, a photo op presented itself.  This (what I thought was an apple tree with one of the farm buildings behind.
I took another look and thought, "Oh it must be some type of pear."  But later, as I was leaving, I noticed a little tag on the tree so I took a look and discovered it was a "bourgeot quince."  Once home, I looked it up online and discovered it's something like a cross between a sweet apple and a pear.  Now I have never tasted a quince, but it sure sounds delicious and from now on, I'll keep an eye out for them in the stores.

Apparently, most varieties of quince grow in hotter climates, but the "bourgeot" is acclimatized to British Columbia's sometimes cold winters.  If you are interested in reading more about the quince here is a great website from the BC Living Magazine.

Have quintessentially great week, everyone!  Many thanks to Melody and her team of assistants for keeping ABC Wednesday alive.

Monday, October 23, 2017


Sorry I missed last week everyone, but it was a particularly busy time.  Still is, but I figured I should try to put together a little something just so you don't forget about me! I decided to show you a few of my latest photos of pumpkins out at Westham Island Herb Farm near to where I live. I really enjoy going there in the fall to see their wonderful displays of fruits, vegetables, and flowers. A scarecrow greets everyone at the gate with a wheelbarrow full of pumpkins and the store is filled with all sorts or pumpkins, gourds, and flowers.
Tegan and I plodded out to the pumpkin field but it appeared that a lot had already been picked. But she did sit nicely so I could take her picture there.
Finally, this is their fabulous "Produce Pickup" truck!
So pumpkin season is upon us as Halloween grows ever closer.  I won't be buying a pumpkin to carve as there aren't any children who go door to door in my condo development.  But I just might buy a pumpkin pie for dessert when the kids come over for supper next weekend.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

N is for Neighborhood

How many of you remember the TV show "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood"?  It was a staple in our house from about 1980 to about 1990 for my two daughters.  When Daddy arrived home from work about 5 pm, they would greet him with hugs and kisses and then off they'd go to watch the show while Daddy and Mommy would catch up on their days as we all waited for dinner to be ready.

Fred Rogers was born in 1928 and passed away in 2003 from stomach cancer - far too young!  He was beloved by all children because of his gentle and soft-spoken personality.  Did you know that he was a Presbyterian minister as well as being responsible for creating, hosting, and composing the theme music for this educational children's series?  I know that whenever I sat down with the girls to watch, I was mesmerized by his voice and the way he spoke to the characters as though they were real life people.

Did you know that when Fred Rogers worked for NBC in the early 1950s, he didn't like the fact that commercial television relied so heavily on advertisements and merchandising?  What did he do? He quit and went to work at a Pittsburgh public television station as a puppeteer on a children's show. Rogers began wearing his famous sneakers when he found them to be quieter than his work shoes as he moved about behind the set.
From Wikipedia, I found that Fred Rogers had a connection to Canada where it reads:
"In 1963, Rogers moved to Toronto, where he was contracted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) to develop his debut in front of the camera, the 15-minute children's program Misterogers,[25] which though popular with children ran for just three seasons. Many of his famous set pieces—Trolley, Eiffel Tower, the 'tree', and 'castle'—were created by CBC designers. While in Canada, Rogers brought his friend and understudy Ernie Coombs, who would go on to create Mr. Dressup, a very successful and long-running children's show in Canada, and similar in many ways to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Mr. Dressup also used some of the songs that would be featured on Rogers' later program. The two of them co-starred on Butternut Square on CBC TV between October 19, 1964, and February 10, 1967.

In 1966, Rogers acquired the rights to his program from the CBC and moved the show to WQED in Pittsburgh, where he had worked on The Children's Corner. He developed the new show for the Eastern Educational Network. Stations that carried the program were limited but did include educational stations in Boston, Washington, D.C., and New York City."

 Here is the famous "Neighborhood Trolley".

Click HERE to view an episode of "Mr. Roger's Neighborhood." You don't have to watch the entire thing, but be sure to listen to Fred Rogers sing the opening song about "won't you be my neighbor."

Have a wonderful week, everyone. I must say I'm so glad to have you all as my ABCW neighbours!

Monday, October 02, 2017

M is for MOORS

As I've been so busy lately, please excuse this repeat from October, 2016.  But I think the new contributors will enjoy it and the old ones might, too.

This week on ABC Wednesday, we're celebrating the letter M as in moss, mother, mist, mushroom, macadamia, melancholy, Manitoba, marching, mud, and magnanimous!  I am focusing on the moors of North Yorkshire where I spent a week visiting my dear friend Jill and her family and friends! It was the most marvelous week and I miss them all very much - the people and the moors and look forward to making another visit some day.

For those who are not aware, the North York moors contain one of the largest heather moorlands in Great Britain covering an area of 554 square miles or 1,430 square kilometers.  When the heather is in bloom, it a magnificent sight to behold!  But even when it's not blooming, if you go up to the highest point on the moors, Chimney Banks, there are vast expanses of gently sloping hills and valleys with farms scattered throughout and sheep grazing on the hillsides.  The coastline here along the eastern edge of Great Britain boasts of small towns and villages, some perched precariously on the edge of cliffs or hillsides.  Whitby, Scarborough, and Robin Hood's Bay are all places I visited during my trip and made me want to never leave!

If you're a fan of the TV show "Heartbeat," on Knowledge Network in British Columbia and maybe on public networks elsewhere in the world, you will see the locations where the show was filmed. So now when every Saturday night at 8 pm, I settle down to continue watching the show, I can make note of places I've seen with my own two eyes - Beggar's Bridge, the high road along the top of the moors, the cemetery at Egton where they filmed all the funeral scenes, the village of Goathland where the fictional "Aidensfield" is set and its train station where parts of the Harry Potter movies were filmed, Scripps Garage and the "Aidensfield Pub" where Jill and I had a glass of wine one evening.
I truly believe I could happily move into a small cottage in a small village in this area and spend much time photographing the people and the scenery in all seasons.  And I can picture myself finding spots along the beaches, hills, or valleys where I would take a notebook to do some creative writing.  I know that I am fortunate to live in a country like Canada, on its west coast near the ocean with its spectacular scenery, but there is something about the moors of North Yorkshire that continue to call me during my waking hours and whisper to me as I gently slip into dreamland. 

I hope you enjoy my photos of these moors but I am sorry I don't have any from when the heather is in bloom. So here's one from Mr. Google so you can marvel along with me. I recognize this spot as it's quite near the village of Grosmont where I stayed with Jill. 

I dedicate this post to Jill for her friendship and hospitality and especially for the wine!

Turn up your sound and click for full screen to fully enjoy the video with its haunting music.  With thanks to the merry Melody, our new administrator of ABCW, and to the matchless team of assistants.
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

Monday, September 25, 2017

L is for Lounge Chairs

Welcome to L week here at ABC Wednesday!  I thought I'd share with you a few photos I took at Whistler when I was there the last 3 days of August with my daughter.  My camera was in hand all the time, and I spent a lot of time focusing on the perfect shots.  Some of the ones I really like from the mini-vacation are of the chaises longues or lounge chairs that were scattered around the village. I tried sitting in one of them, but because they are made of metal, they weren't very comfortable for my back.  But the chairs were okay.  Most of these chaises longues were around the central lagoon that was surrounded by a beautiful and lush lagoon and greenery.  Following are some shots of the lagoon and loungers.

Hope you like these shots as much as I do.  I had a lovely time at Whistler and found that it had changed a lot since the last time I'd been there.

Monday, September 18, 2017

K is for KIWIS

Welcome to K week at ABC Wednesday! I really had some trouble thinking about anything to show you, but I finally remembered something.

Last year, I visited Westham Island Herb Farm and discovered a kiwi tree.  There were so many kiwis hanging off the branches, I wished that I could pick them.  But instead of "stealing" them, I took a few photos and here's one that turned out quite nicely. You can even see their fuzzy outsides. I had had no idea that kiwis would grow in our climate, but there you have it.  They do! I'm also quite pleased that this photo made it into the middle of the top ten on a challenge in Red Bubble.
Kudos to Melody and her team who have been successful in bringing a new ABC Wednesday to life! There has been a good turnout of contributors, including some new ones.  Keep plugging ABCW to your friends and family and it will become THE best meme on the internet.  Who knows? Someone might end up on Oprah one day.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

J is for JAY (bird)

Welcome to ABC Wednesday, Round 21, where this week we celebrate the letter J.  This letter could begin words like jam, jar, jump, jealousy, jonquil, or names like Janet, Jaclyn (or Jacqueline), John, Jason, or James

In August of this year, I took my Welsh visitors for a drive to Shannon Falls.  We had a great time strolling upwards towards the stairs leading to the falls. We wandered through forest growths of cedars and beside the creek where the waterfall ends up and people were jumping from rock to rock or just simply cooling their feet in the frigid water.
Then, on our journey back to the car, as we were winding our way through the old forest growth, I just happened to look up - I have no idea why - but there was a bird sitting on a branch immediately above my head!  I quickly and quietly readied my Canon EOS Rebel T4i camera and started shooting.  The bird didn't move.  So I went in for a closer shot - and then closer - the bird didn't move.  It was almost as though this bird was actually posing for me!  I thought it was a blue jay, but on further research after returning home, I discovered it's a Stellar Jay

Apparently, the blue jay resides through most of eastern and central USA, although western populations may be migratory. It is predominantly blue with a white chest and underparts, and a blue crest. It has a black, U-shaped collar around its neck and a black border behind the crest.
The stellar jay, however, is native to western North America, and has a black head and upper body. It is also known as the long-crested jay, mountain jay, and pine jay. It is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains.
Here he is in all his glory!

Isn't he gorgeous!

Hope you all have a jolly week and we'll be back next week for the letter L as in Leslie!