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.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


In Ecclesiastes 3, it is written that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens; a time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; and it goes on to say Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before, and God will call the past to account.

As human beings, though, we tend towards wishing, thirsting and aching for what we intellectually know is either wrong, forbidden, or impossible - for whatever reason. Although it's been almost 20 years since my husband died, there are still times when I think back and remember the good times we had with our daughters. I remember when we first met, he tried to seduce me with his collection of Leonard Cohen records (78 rpm - remember those?). I remember the smell of his cigarettes and the rum and coke he loved to drink at the end of a hectic day at work. And I also remember the unbelieveable pain I experienced when he died. It took me years to come to the conclusion that I actually wanted to survive. I put one foot in front of the other, took one moment at a time, and finally was able to laugh and love again.

But once in a while...


Yearning is the colour of morning dew.

It looks like dreary clouds in a sky of blue.

It sounds like Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.”

It smells like cigarettes and rum with cola.

It tastes like wearisome and warm champagne.

It feels like barbed wire tears and cold, wet rain.

Yearning is the soul aching for what can’t be gained.

In the fall of 1973, I'd been married a few months and, although I loved my husband, things were not going well. I took myself off to a movie to get my mind off things and saw "The Way We Were." Not a great choice. It took me back to the person I'd been with for over 3 years before marrying my husband after only 6 months of knowing each other. I cried all the way home, thinking about what we had had and what we might have been able to have if we had not been so immature.

But then, I guess God had another plan for us all. I have fully mourned the loss of my husband and am now dancing in the love that I had lost and now have found again. Enjoy the song for its beautiful lyrics and melody and don't yearn for what could have been. This is a time to sing and dance with joy!

Memories, light the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories of the way we were.
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we give to one another
for the way we were.
Can it be that it was all so simple then or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again tell me would we?
Could we?
Memories, may be beautiful and yet what's too painful to remember we simply choose to forget.
So it's the laughter we will remember whenever we remember the way we were.

Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me - Would we? Could we?

May be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget

So it's the laughter
We will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

X is for XMAS

I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah! I'm a bit late getting this posted as the days have just flown by. Today, I'm rushing out to lunch with a great friend whose birthday lies mid-week between Christmas and New Year's...her birthday tends to get lost between these big holidays, so we have tried to make it a tradition to get together for her own big day. Here is my poem for the week and following a few photos of our Xmas - some scenes from around the neighbourhood, my coffee table centerpiece, me with my new Hudson Bay Company teddy bear (named Henry after the explorer), and Lorne so surprised to receive the book he's been desiring for some time now!


Xmas is red and green and blue and gold.

It looks like a rainbow of stars in the sky.

It sounds like angels singing on high.

It smells like cider and oven-baked pie.

It tastes like fruitcake, pudding, shortbread.

It feels like hugs from family and friends.

Xmas is warmth and love to behold.

Monday, December 19, 2011

W is for WONDER

Wonder - as in to be filled with awe, admiration, and amazement. Next to the wonder of the season that is upon us, I "wondered" (as in curiosity) what else one could use in the context of awe, admiration, and amazement. I determined that it is all around me - as in the country where I live - Canada!

Every time I've gone on vacation elsewhere, I've come back "wondering" why I left. Flying into YVR (Vancouver, BC) is a spectacular experience with the Coast Mountain range on the north, the flat delta lands to the south, and the Pacific Ocean
behind. Maybe it takes going away for a while in order to appreciate the wonders of Canada - sunsets over the Pacific Ocean, the magnificent mountains and valleys where lakes are tucked away, the fantastic forests full of cedar, pine, fir, hemlock, and our national tree, the maple.

When we lived in Ottawa for a few years, we experienced all four seasons in true form - spring with the blossoms, summers of humid heat and thunder and lightning storms, autumn colours, and frosty winters when the Rideau Canal would freeze over. We bought a truly Canadian treat from a little cabin on the ice - beaver tails, which are flat fried pastries dunked in sugar. That and a cup of hot choc
olate hit the spot while I watched my girls ice skating on the canal.


Wonder is blue turning red, yellow and gold.

It looks like autumn sunsets on the Pacific so bold.

It sounds like echoes in valleys of stone.

It smells like raindrops and grass freshly mown.

It tastes like sweet beaver tails in frosty sunshine.

It feels like shivers up the timbers of forests so fine.

Wonder is Canada's oceans, prairies and awesome alpine.

And for a special treat of "wonder," here's a photo from Mr. Google of Lake Louise tucked in the Rocky Mountains near Banff, Alberta. Isn't it wonderful?

Monday, December 12, 2011


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. This tutoring business needs me to be in top mental form, as this year with 3 grade 12 students, I must read, study, understand, and be able to transmit this understanding to them. So far, I've had to read Albert Camus' The Outsider, which I read in the French language as L'Etranger at university. I've also had to read most, if not all, of Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire, which in my honest and humble opinion could be an entire year's, if not semester's, study at the university level. When we get to Othello and Catcher in the Rye, it will seem a piece of cake compared to what we've done so far.

I'm stunned at the level of comprehension expected of Grade 12 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.

And so, to attempt to get the brain cells working at top form again, I've resorted to joining the local seniors' recreation center and taking a "Fun & Fitness" class 2 or 3 times a week. I guess I'm doing the right thing, even though I feel very clumsy and awkward because of my bad back after that lovely triple fusion. Today in the local newspaper is an article about getting mentally fit by staying physically fit. At class this morning, as I was doing the weights portion of the day by sitting in an upright chair to support my back, I thought "I guess I should keep going with this because I might be in a wheelchair one day and will have to have strong arms to wheel myself around." Hopefully, that's a loooooonnnnggg time in the future. I've been attending this class for about 2 or 3 weeks now, and do find it easier bopping up and down the stairs at home. And, by the way, how do you like my skiing form over to the top right? That's about the extent of my skiing, I'm afraid, but it's fun to look at it and dream!

Here's my take on vitality for this week.


Vitality is bright red, yellow, and blue.

It looks like a jovial jogger ahead of the queue.

It sounds like laughing and screaming on a roller coaster.

It smells like healthy, whole wheat bagels from the toaster.

It tastes like fresh snow on the tip of my tongue.

It feels like frosty air inhaled in the lungs.

Vitality is health and energy through and through.

Continued thanks to Denise Nesbitt for creating and 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.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

U is for UNITY


Unity is a milky, pearly white.
It looks like starlight on a clear, bright night.
It sounds like a cob calling to his pen.
It smells like popcorn shared in the den.
It tastes like sweat as we share one life.
It feels like serenity throughout the strife.
Unity is two, a husband and wife.

ABC Wednesday is the brainchild of Denise Nesbitt, the mainstay in our group of bloggers. Thanks to her and her unified union of utterly committed and useful assistants! Click here to participate or to just check in and see what we all do.