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, September 29, 2012

L is for Leslie's Lovely Ladies

Hi everyone! I'm baaaaack!  Half of my holiday was wonderful and the other half was stressful.  My friend Cathy and I started out mid-August in the Hampshire area of England, near Salisbury and Stonehenge where we stayed with old friends John and Marion.  We met their two grandsons, both of whom had been born since the last time we'd seen them all.  After a few days of visiting, dinner partying, and spending a day at Churchill's residence at Chartwell, we headed west to Wales.

Arriving in Wales by train, we were met by my great friend Jane and her newest pup, Freyja.  At only 18 months old, she is extremely well trained, gentle, and friendly.  We went out for dinner with her and her friend Neil to a great old and traditional English pub called "Cripple Creek" nearby and stuffed ourselves with scallops, black pudding, and other tasty tidbits.  We spent the next day touring through Abergavveny, Crickhowell, and Hay-on-Wye (a very famous town for its book stores).  We stopped for lunch at a little place called "The Granary" where Cathy & I sampled "bubble & squeak."   After giving Freyja a stretch by strolling along the River Wye, we headed for the Skirrid Inn (more to come on that for letter S) but it is famous for being the oldest public house in Wales.  The last place we saw that day was Llanthony Abbey where we took lots of photos and had a cold drink before going back to Jane's for a light supper. The next day, we drove to Swansea and met up with Liz who took us out to Rhossili where the scenery is absolutely spectacular!  Lunch was spent overlooking the cliffs and the beach a long way down and then a lovely walk out to Worms Head before heading back to Swansea Harbour for a look around.

Off to Liverpool after our stay with Jane where we met up with Di and her husband Ian at a luscious restaurant at Albert Dock.  What a wonderful but short visit.  I loved what I saw of Liverpool (the Maritime Museum) and the area around Albert Dock and would like to go back some day.

Then it was off to the Isle of Man where we were welcomed by the Coopers - Carol, Alan and their 4 wonderful children.  They took us out right away for a drive along the coast where we went to Castletown (where the kids go to school), Port Mary where we stopped to take photos of the harbour and the sailboats, and later the entire family took Cathy and me for dinner at Tanrogan (a Manx word for a king's scallop shell).  The next day, Carol & Alan took us to the Crofters Cottages at Cregneash (a national folk museum), a historic village where you can see how people lived way back when.  Then we went to Peel and saw the majestic castle there and to the Calf of Man, a little island just off the sound of the Isle.  Then Cathy & I spent some time downtown in Douglas and did a bit of shopping.  That evening we had to spend in as the Manx Grand Prix was having its trial runs and they sped right past their house.  Their son Sam was watching at the end of the drive when he suddenly ran in shouting that there had been an accident just up the road.  We found out the next day that a young local boy, experiencing his first race, had been killed.  Before leaving the Isle of Man the next afternoon, we spent some time at the Museum of Man, which was fascinating.  Lots of photos to come for the letter M.  Lunch at the Hop Gardens and even though it was raining, you could easily see the beauty of the gardens there.

We spent the night in Liverpool again as we had to catch an early train the next day to North Yorkshire.  That is where we finally met the lovely Mrs. Nesbitt, creator of ABC Wednesday!  She brought us fresh eggs from her hens, which we decided to cook for dinner rather than wait for breakfast!  We stayed in the village of Grosmont where a friend of Denise's, Jill, had arranged a holiday cottage for us.  It was so lovely and comfortable and Cathy & I each had our own bedroom complete with queen-sized beds!  The next day, we decided to check out the village and were pleasantly surprised.  We popped in to see the historic railroad museum, the old schoolhouse (now a restaurant), and the church.  When we were having tea at the old schoolhouse, the owner, Mr. Sanderson, took our photos sitting at old desks and wearing dunce caps!  Then he gave each of us a School Leaver's Certificate that stated we had successfully completed primary lessons in reading, writing, arithmetic, needlework and country dancing WITH MERIT!

The next day, Jill took us for a drive all over the Yorkshire moors as it had dawned such a beautiful sunny day.  We went to the North Yorkshire Visitors' Center in Damby and had lunch at the Wooly Sheep Cafe.  One of the day's highlights was visiting the village of "Goathland" where the TV show "Heartbeat" and where the railroad station scenes from "Harry Potter" were filmed.  We also drove through Egton & Egton Bridge, Castleton, Gleisdale, Fry Up, Lealholm, and Dunsly.  Finally, we went to Sandsend near Whitby and got some photos of the sea and the promontory where a sailboat was just coming around the bend.  We saw the cathedral at Whitby from a distance and got the feel of the town as we drove through. We spent the next day with Denise at her place out in Liverton and went for a lovely long walk in the country to see horses, geese, ducks, and her local church.  What a fun day!

This is getting quite long and is only the first half of my holiday, so I'm going to stop now and let you watch a little slideshow of all the lovely ladies we visited in England and Wales.  You will also meet Ellee and Sally, with whom we had lunch at Peacock's in Ely, just north of Cambridge.  Also, you'll see Anne who lives in Oxforshire and Jennifer who is an American living in Paris but was visiting London while I was there, and Chris who lives out in Essex, north-west of London.  You'll be hearing lots more about the rest of my holiday in the weeks to come and I'll be posting lots of photos, too. 
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Sunday, September 23, 2012


Hi from Wales, everyone!  I'm happy to announce we shall be home Wednesday - all things going well.  I must say, though, that we are both completely knackered from traveling and from all the stress of DL having had surgery requiring a 3-week stay in the hospital.  We will both be needing a lot of sleep in the next week or so.  One good thing was that I had packed so many knickers that I only had to do a couple of loads of laundry!

Another good thing, too, was that DL was well enough to accompany me to the home of his ancestors, Wales, to stay with my friend Jane and to see that Great Britain is much more than just London.  The green hills, the friendly people, the delicious lamb and other delicacies have helped to soften his mood and give him a better perspective on the entire country.  I have lots and lots of material to share with you over the coming weeks and months - maybe even years!   

In the meantime, we have decided that we will look into getting a female yellow lab puppy when we feel rested enough to deal with a "baby."  Now to find a name for her!  Any ideas?
Just to let you know, too, that I did meet up with the kind-hearted Mrs. Nesbitt.  Tea and scones were served in her kozy kitchen beside her new kooktop.  And - she does not have knobby knees.  Klick HERE to check out other contributions to ABC Wednesday!

Monday, September 17, 2012

J is for JOSS

The Urban Dictionary defines "joss" as good luck or good fortune. Good joss can also mean to have good kharma or fate.  See those knuckles?  Well, I'd like to jab them into someone's face right about now!

I left to go on a holiday with my friend Cathy in mid-August and was having a lovely time until we reached Liverpool two weeks into our trip.  My dear Lorne (hereafter known as DL) had been working in London since mid-May and called to say he was very sick.  I told him to get to the hospital, where he was told he had a broken toe that had become infected.  The infection had spread throughout his entire body.  DL told me to continue with my plans; however, a few days later when we were in North Yorkshire, he called to say he was having surgery in 2 days.  So after consulting with Cathy, we decided it was prudent for us to curtail our time in Yorkshire and head to London to check things out.  

Long story short, DL ended up with an amputation!  Yes, half of his big toe is missing now!  I know it does sound minor, but losing a toe, especially your big toe, means it will take ages to heal properly and even then one's balance is off until you learn to adapt.  

Cathy left on schedule, but DL and I have had to cancel our pre-booked return flights, fill in a bunch of paperwork for our insurance and get DL's doctor to fill in his part. Then we have to pay for our return flights up front, with DL's seat costing us an arm and a leg (over and above the toe!) because he will have to keep his foot raised.  Medical personnel have said he cannot fly 9.5 hours with his foot down.  

On top of that, the people DL was working for are trying to cut his contract short, which means less money with more expenditures!  And, we miss out on our long-awaited holiday to Wales that we were going to have when his contract was finished at the end of October.  

So, whom do I jab?
We both just want to get home and put this whole experience down to bad joss!  Then we will jump for joy that it wasn't worse than it was! And when these two sad puppies get home, we're going to decide what kind of real puppy we're going to get!

Saturday, September 08, 2012

I is for ITALY

It has been 6 years since I had the most incredible trip to Italy!  It's almost inconceivable to imagine how beautiful the country is, but if you've had the pleasure of visiting this iconic country, you'll understand why it was the trip of a lifetime for me.  I brushed up on my Italian before leaving western Canada so that in case I got separated from the group, I'd be able to intelligently communicate with the locals.  That actually did happen and I was very glad that, although imperfectly, I was able to identify my needs.  Also, when I became sick in Sicily, an Italian dottore interviewed me about the symptoms of my illness. 

Briefly, I spent one month in Italy, 2 weeks touring from Rome north to the Italian Riviera as far as Portofino and then over to Tuscany to see Pisa, Florence, Siena, and small towns in the countryside which included San Gimignano where "Tea With Mussolini" was filmed.  Then we went back to Rome and went south to Pompei and the Amalfi Coast where we took a day trip to the Isle of Capri.  Finally, we spent a week in Sicily, which has an interesting connection to Greece. 

I took hundreds of photographs with my now-old Samsung Digimax 700 and it was actually fun for me to go back and look at them anew.  From them, I've chosen some in order to impart that feeling of inspiration and awe the country and people of Italy gave me.  I'd return in an instant if money were no object!  Salute Italia! Be sure to turn up the sound for the accompanying musica Italiana!
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Incredible thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, our founder/creator of ABC Wednesday.  She and her incomparable team immediately visit each contribution to see what interesting and intelligent ideas you've come up with.  To participate or to view posts, simply click here.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

H is for a HELLUVA lot

In preparing this post for ABC Wednesday's H week, I was at a loss at first.  However, when I got going, I found a helluva lot of photos that work for this letter.  I hope you enjoy the slideshow.  But before you get to that, let's hear it for the honourable Mrs. Nesbitt who created ABCW.  She and her hysterical helpmates hop over to all your posts to give huge thanks for hustling to take part.  Now turn up your sound and enjoy the HOT and HAUNTING jazz as you honour me by viewing a healthy and hearty variety of my shots.

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