20 Questions for Wendy


What are you currently reading? I’m reading an historical novel, Somewhere in France, by first time Canadian author, Jennifer Robson.  Most often I read best-selling novels just for the sheer escape, but never when they first come out.  Lately, I’ve read a number of biographies and autobiographies of Canadians – W.O. Mitchell, Mordecai Richler, Randy Bachman -  and find them very satisfying.  I never miss reading The Citizen and The National Post newspapers and only ever read them at night. What is your favourite quote? Currently:  To avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.  Elbert Hubbard Longtime favourite:  A Rule for Living by John Wesley:  Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can. What is your favourite moment of the day? I love having breakfast with Frank.  Chatting, drinking coffee and watching birds at the feeders on the deck as the sun is rising is pure bliss.  Then at the opposite end of the day, it’s walking around the garden when all the work has been done and I literally take time to smell the roses. What do you wish you had more time for? No question, it’s being in my garden.  So often, though, my time there is spent doing the chores, and, that while I enjoy doing them for the most part, sometimes I just like to walk, sit, gaze, listen, touch, and smell – my heart sings and I am at peace. When was the last time you lost your temper? More often than not I just seethe, rather than outright blowing up.  I’m not too proud of being in either state, and fortunately neither happens very often.  I’ve learned a calmness and a patience that can get me through even the most frustrating situations. What do you wish you were better at? Playing the piano, for sure.  I love music from the late 20s, 30s, and 40s as well as show tunes, and play well enough to entertain myself.  I’d like to be more confident and carefree with my playing. Who would you love to work with? I already enjoy working with people with similar interests but not necessarily the same viewpoint.  Sharing ideas around a common topic is something I truly appreciate. What are your pet peeves?   Don’t get me started!  Stickers on fruit, labels on garden plants, spelling mistakes on menus … What is your guiltiest pleasure? Eating popcorn with butter and maple syrup drizzled – no, POURED - on it – to die for. When was the last time you laughed really hard? I am a great fan of the Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip and have all the anthologies.  Even though I’ve read every one of them many times, I always find something in the drawing, the story line, or the words that can get me belly-laughing. What is the biggest mistake you ever made? I still often think, with a great deal of guilt, about the time I cheated on a test in a Grade Nine English class by looking over onto another student’s paper. I didn’t get caught, but I have sure paid the price over more than half a century! What keeps you awake at night? With age comes wisdom.  I have learned that it is truly a waste of time to worry about things, and I have over time developed an inner calm which is fundamentally a spiritual calm, that gives me that ability to deal with issues both in my professional life and personal life in a composed, patient, and thoughtful manner. What are your guiding principles in decision-making? Doing the right thing in a straightforward and honest manner has always been my mantra and has served me well throughout my life.  For those issues when no path before me is clear, I take the time to reflect on as many aspects of the problem as I can and try to avoid an unconsidered decision.  Quite frankly, for a very long time I have practised the habit of looking in the mirror at the end of the day and knowing that I have not compromised my principles; there have been very few times in my life when I could not look myself in the eye. What is your favourite book, music, radio station? Book – The Thorn Birds; Music for listening – Beatles, Guess Who, Beach Boys; Radio Station – CBC One What are some of your favourite memories of childhood? No question, it’s sliding down Stoddard’s Hill which is the hill on Morphy Street between Edmund and James Streets. Second favourite would be daily swimming at Riverside Park followed by rowing our family boat, the WeWaKa, up and down the river – no safety equipment – just us, our friends, our fishing rods, and endless summer days. Third are the ‘huts’, as we called them, that we built and played in in the then empty field at the corner of James and Morphy Street.  What has been your greatest regret? I have very few, if any, regrets in my life.  Not everything has been perfect in the past nor do I expect it to be in the future, and I know that I haven’t always made the best decisions, but I don’t spend a great deal of time looking in the rear view mirror and wondering what could have been. What is your favourite food? Anything Frank BBQs – especially ribs and lamb chops.  I take credit for the fabulous marinades and the sides! What is your favourite drink? No hesitation here … German Riesling wines. After living in Germany and drinking the finest of wines for the best of prices, I became a forever fan. What is a talent people would be surprised you have? Surprise!  I am quite accomplished at cooking Chinese food.  When we lived in Vancouver, I had the opportunity to learn from a wonderful teacher, shop and eat in Chinatown, and gain an appreciation for quality Chinese cuisine, especially from the Szechuan and Hunan provinces.  And … I eat with chopsticks regularly! Have you any other tidbits you’d like to share about yourself? People who know me well know that, if we are at home on Saturday night, my TV is tuned to the PBS station so I can watch The Lawrence Welk Show.  I love it – the songs, dance routines, Joanne on the piano, the colourful costumes, and the crazy hair-dos – fabulously retro!