Author Archives

Snowbird of Paradise

An Albertan who spends winters in California.

Deal breakers

I never learned how to barter. I never needed to. Nearly everything I have bought was sold for the price on the sticker. Oh, I did learn how to negotiate for cars and houses, but the expectations of the deals were pretty clear to all concerned. There was no […]

Earth Hour

I didn’t “do” Earth Hour this year.  Two years ago I turned out all the lights as requested, and I sat in the dark. It was a very long hour. Last year I was better prepared. I sat in the light of some candles and played solitaire. This year, […]

What’s on first?

I took part in this conversation today in downtown San Jose. I was looking for the pharmacy and saw a young couple having coffee outside a Starbucks. Me:  I’m sorry to disturb you, but I’m looking for Walgreen’s. Young man: Oh yes. (Pointing) It’s first on your left. Young […]

Easy to talk to

I’m easy to talk to. I like to find out about people, what makes them tick. I am quite good at asking open-ended questions that encourage descriptive answers. These, I think, are good characteristics.  What I am finding, though, is that after a “first date” with someone, he nearly always thinks […]

Not happening

If you think being retired will be easy work, think again. I’m on a four-month leave of absence from my job and if I want to do more than watch TV and surf the Internet, I have to get busy. When I am at work, I have two […]

Self-employed engineer

In an email with only occasional punctuation, but with frequent capitalization, came this: “I am self employed Engineer,Studied the course Metro-Chemical Engineering with a Degree.” Metro-chemical engineering must be for men of ambiguous sexuality who have excellent fashion sense. I’m picturing David Beckham in Fort McMurray. Or, maybe metro-chemical engineering is for studying […]

Red Work Boots

I am going to be volunteering at a Habitat for Humanity worksite on Thursday. Because I didn’t bring my work boots with me to California, I went to buy some. The store was very closely packed, and there were lots and lots of boots in boxes.  I started to […]

I let her do that

Conversation after a long “get to know you” walk: He:  You don’t always agree with everything I say. That’s refreshing. Me:  Surely other people in your life disagree with you sometimes. What about the people you work with? He:  No. They don’t argue. Me:  Why not? He:  Because […]

Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Tom Stoppard play “Rock ‘n’ Roll” is awesome.  I saw it at The Stage in San Jose, and it was performed brilliantly, with excellent sound and visual effects. It explores Czechoslovakia’s Prague Spring, the Velvet Revolution and the effects of popular music from 1968 to 1990.

A fabulous foundation

I have a goldmine of material with which to create a book. It is a collection of emails, letters, research, diaries and cards related to my husband’s illness. He was ill for eight years. Initially, I was copying emails and internet research to take to him in the […]