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Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Jack-o-Lantern

   Almost missed out on buying a pumpkin. The first grocery store was sold out but, luckily there were plenty at the other store and we picked a big tall one. James was rather repulsed by the slimy contents but we managed to get it scraped out without too much "Yuk" factor! 

  Soon the face was carved to our mutual satisfaction and without any blood shed. All it requires now is a candle to light on Thursday to welcome the "Trick-or-Treaters".  

   Tomorrow there's a Hallowe'en party at the church. James will dress up as a kangaroo and I'm sure will pig out on Hallowe'en goodies (wiggly worms, pumpkin cupcakes and anything "cho-cho" (chocolate). No lunch will be required after that!

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The Last From the Garden

   Woke up this morning to great gusts of wind buffeting the windows and rain lashing down. It's also colder than normal, more like the end of November than October. I will be praying for an "Indian Summer" next month. The rain has brought down lots of leaves so soon it will be time to start raking -too wet right now though!

    Yesterday I picked the last three eggplants and a bunch of Swiss Chard. That's probably it for the garden vegetables although I have some green tomatoes ripening in a sunny spot indoors.  

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

A Chilly Taste of Winter

It was a chilly start to the day, 4C with a bitterly cold wind from the north-west - that's straight from the Arctic! The sun was in and out and did help a bit but the temperature barely budged all day.

   James and I had fun at "Sing, Play, Learn" and on the way home stopped off at the park. No one else there (no surprise there, it was freezing) James was dressed for the weather in his winter jacket, hat and mitts but, for some reason, I had only worn my light jacket and froze. I couldn't wait for him to decide it was time to head home but he was quite comfortable and enjoyed himself on the gym equipment and in the sand for nearly an hour. I will know better next time!

   Petronella tonight and we did some fun dances. We finished with a challenging 5-couple dance which I am glad I stayed for. That's the first time I've made it to the last dance - a big improvement in my stamina!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Just Chores

   Did some banking for Scarborough Dancers, and got a replacement light for the kitchen. Cut the front grass then had lunch and a nap.

   After that took the car for its rust and tire pressure check. Cooked a salmon fillet which I got for half price - it's rather pungent, I can still notice a strong smell in the kitchen. I may decide not to eat the rest of it tomorrow!

   Plants in again tonight (and maybe for good) as the overnight temperature will be low. That's it for today!!

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Some more gardening

    Picked all the green tomatoes this morning and composted the vines as we are expecting low overnight temperatures this week.  There's nothing worse than having to dispose of slimy tomato vines! In the process I found three small eggplants but I have left them as is to see if they get any bigger. I'm hoping they are not as susceptible to frost as the tomato plants.

   I also potted a geranium and a poinsettia that have been flourishing in the west-facing border. Once they have adjusted to their new homes I will bring them indoors with all the other pots. That's a step I take reluctantly as it means that winter is on the way. Every added day they can stay outdoors is a bonus!

   Just a small select group at the tennis courts today. One net is down and some of the windscreens, courtesy of Tamara and Washington, so we only had two courts to play on. But they were filled. I just hit for 30-40 minutes then headed to the coffee shop for a special offer ($1 off) then back home, all on my bike, so I feel I got plenty of exercise.

   Judy completed the half-marathon today - way to go, Judy! It must have been a chilly start as my thermometer was only showing 4C when I got up this morning. However, she managed a good time, 2h 27m. and got well deserved praise from all sides.

   Bought a delicious piece of Borgonzola cheese (no, that's not a typo, it is actually called that) and ate almost all of it on a homemade French loaf I had in the freezer. It was delicious. Now I have potatoes roasting in the oven and three small lamb loin chops marinating in the fridge. I will BBQ them soon and cook some green beans. Should be well and truly stuffed  in an hour or so!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Three Days in One

   Wednesday: James here and we had a nice morning at "Sing, Play, Learn". He didn't nap but stayed quietly in his bedroom reading while I lay down. Dinner was a quinoa salad, with red pepper, corn and cucumber, sprinkled with lemon juice and olive oil. Went to Petronella in the evening but didn't stay to the last dance. Carole was whipping through the program for the Kingston workshop but I'm not going so didn't mind missing a dance or two.


Brilliant tree colours.
Thursday: No tennis this morning. Four guys were on Court 1 but no one else showed up so I just headed back home. It was a little on the chilly side anyway. Later in the morning I headed down to the Collision Centre to get an estimate for the scratch on my car. It was still too much for my budget but the guy cleaned it up a bit and suggested I try some touch-up paint before deciding on repair. Next stop the Toyota dealership and a $15 purchase which sufficed to cover the scratches. Now to see if it prevents the area from rusting! Cooked chicken thighs in a pasta sauce with potatoes, mushrooms and sweet potatoes.

Friday: James here again and today he did nap. He was pretty beat, and quite fractious so I wasn't surprised when he nodded off after two stories and one song. Went to Wendy's group tonight and she taught the dances for the Stouville dance tomorrow. It's a nice program but I don't think I will attend it either.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Last Koffeeklatch

   Up early to make some sausage rolls - my contribution to the potluck lunch today. I got in three good sets of tennis before lunch then stuffed myself silly.  Lots of great dishes, salads, an especially tasty herring salad of which I had two helpings, spring rolls, fried rice (several kinds), dumplings, sandwiches, devilled eggs (Kathy's contribution), and several desserts. I managed to restrain myself and just sample two but one cake came with a delicious butter rum sauce, yummy! Harold brought his special Mulligatawny Soup which was spicy but so heartening.  Something must have been very salty as I have been drinking gallons of water all afternoon. There's always too much food when we have a potluck - everyone brings way more than they could eat so, of course, there's an overabundance! The summer club is now over and the bubble for the winter tennis will go up later this week - that's it for me at Don Mills until next Spring.

My Fall Planter
   Staggered home about 1:30 and dived into bed for a short nap. No supper tonight (or at least not until much later and then only soup and a small sandwich). I brought home a slice of pumpkin pie which I will have as a late night snack.

   Tomorrow is garden refuse pickup day so I spent an hour this afternoon trimming bushes and filling the bins. Soon it will be time to start raking the leaves but most of them will go in the composter. Got another tomato from the garden and another is almost ready to pick. Hope the frost stays away a few more nights!

Monday, 14 October 2013

Holiday Fun

   Last Tennis Social of the year. The Thanksgiving BBQ with salads and a pie contest. And tennis thrown in for good measure. It all got underway around 10:00 a.m. with round robin play - a good way to get to play with folk you don't normally see at the courts. I had three good sets but was worn out after that and ready for lunch.

   Hamburgers, sausages, pasta and green salad were followed by the entrants in the pie contest. Unfortunately I didn't get to sample the winning pie - pecan - but there were lots of apple pies, a pear pie and a pumpkin pie, and an apple crumble, all delicious, all homemade, and I didn't have to do any baking! There was a good turnout considering it is late in the season, and the weather cooperated beautifully. Tomorrow is our last Koffeklatch and later in the week the bubble goes up for the winter tennis club so our season is almost over. It has been a good year, all in all.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A Thanksgiving Feast

   Yesterday, another beautiful fall day, was the perfect time for a family get-together. This occurred at the Atherton's with Dave handling the turkey on the BBQ and Judy doing stellar duty in the kitchen with all the fixings that traditionally accompany the Thanksgiving meal. I don't know how she manages to juggle a full-time job, three small kids and produce such an excellent meal!

Handsome Elliot with his new haircut
 - the only one to sit still for a photo!
   There were 11 of us around the table and the food just kept coming. First we had a delicious pumpkin soup. This was followed by the turkey (tender and juicy), stuffing, sweet potato casserole, Brussell sprouts (roasted with bacon by Alison) a yummy risotto with, I think, squash and cheesy topping, ham, roast potatoes (my contribution, I got off easy) and cranberry sauce. Wine was on tap and generously poured. We all did the meal justice but I'm sure there were tons of leftovers. Dessert was a pumpkin cheesecake with cream and pumpkin pie and ice cream - you could have one, both or a mixture of all. By this time full capacity was being reached and only room for a coffee and some relaxed conversation on the back patio. The kids vegged out in front of the TV so the adults were able to enjoy the outdoors peacefully.

   Today started out, and remained, rainy though still mild. Nothing much on the agenda other than a few chores and grocery shopping. A light dinner is indicated tonight after all the food consumed yesterday!

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Little Visitors

Friday, October11, 2013   

 I had the grandkids over this morning - yes, all three of them! They had a day off school but they brought over their Great Aunt Lena who is visiting from Scotland. So there were two adults to corral them. A quick trip to Tim Hortons (hot chocolate and timbits, coffee for the adults), a visit to the park, and then home for lunch, so the morning went pretty fast.

   I've been trying to get my eReader working but my computer won't recognize it. I must be using the wrong cable - it seemed to fit but I think it is from my camera so possibly isn't compatible. Dinner in half-an-hour then I am off to Wendy's class at Westview Church. I hope we do some interesting dances. Tomorrow is our family Thanksgiving lunch at the Atherton's so I will be up bright and early to get the roast potatoes started. Judy and Dave will be cooking the turkey on the BBQ, I think, so all will be go at their house too. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Still Things Ripening

   Another beautiful fall day - makes up for the grim weather still to come. We were at the tennis courts for nearly two hours this morning, a perfect day for hitting the ball.

   I can't believe the tomatoes are continuing to ripen - I will be able to pick another one soon. And there are another two eggplants forming. However, I doubt they will ever be big enough to pick. I did quite a bit of garden tidy-up this afternoon; the back garden is looking quite spruced up.
 
Salmon and quinoa for dinner. I have been eating too many carbs so this should be a bit healthier!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A Bit of Gardening


   I have decided to get rid of the violets behind the pool as they were threatening to take over the whole back border and even spreading into the grassy patch by the bench. Luckily their roots are not deep and next spring there will be room for a few strategically placed perennials, maybe some more sedum which I love.
First half done - so much better!



Still a lot to go.

There were originally some yellow flowers in the second spot but they seem to have been completely pushed out. Perhaps I will find them as I start to remove the violets. Then it's on to the peonies which need to be cut back and tidied up. There's always something to do in the garden.

   Dancing at Petronella tonight - their first night of the season and I hope to sell some tickets to the Scarborough Christmas Dinner and Dance. First off, left-over lasgana roll-ups; I like to have an easy meal on the nights I go out, so I don't need to rush around cooking something,so warming up leftovers is ideal.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Finally, Sun!

    What a gorgeous day!  It started out cool, but by the time I got to the tennis courts (traffic horrible!) it had warmed up a couple of degrees. Soon we were stripping off the layers and in summer outfits. Not too busy either, which meant no long waits between sets. Jasmine had brought in a birthday cake for Magda so we had a little treat mid-morning along with our coffee. We only have one more week before the bubble goes up for the winter club, which I don't join, so will make the most of these two weeks.

    I bought the ingredients for Lasagna rollups on the way home and that will be dinner tonight. I need to use up some Swiss Chard from the garden and will use it as a substitute for the spinach. Nothing much on TV tonight but I have a good book - MaddAdam by Margaret Attwood. That will keep me going for a few days.

    

Sunday, 6 October 2013

No Sun All Weekend

    It has been a pretty miserable weekend, weather-wise. Rainy or overcast with not a hint of sun or blue skies. Luckily, I had lots of plans so time did not hang heavily on my hands. In fact, I could have done with a little more time to nap!

    Saturday morning, chores and shopping. Afternoon, meeting with Wayne and his Membership Committee. Evening, arrive at Crescent School for the monthly dance at 7:20 and set up the 50-50 draw table. Sell tickets, do some dances, have tea and snacks, more dancing, then head home around 10:30. I didn't manage to stay to the end or drop in on Margaret's after dance party, but it had been a busy day.

    Today not quite so hectic but I am still feeling the effects of yesterday. Just a demo practice in the afternoon which I would have been happy to miss. I haven't signed up for any demos yet this year as my energy level is still pretty low. Hopefully, things will improve as the medication is reduced. However, we finished off the session with one of my favourite dances, Chrysanthemum. It's a square dance and is really fun to do, once you have memorized it. Now to relax and enjoy a roast chicken and veggies dinner. Yum!

   I had one interesting thing happen yesterday at the liquor store - I picked up a really inexpensive bottle of Chardonnay but it came up as more expensive at the checkout. When I queried it, it turned out that it had been incorrectly labelled (the price listed was actually for a half bottle) but they had to give it to me for the listed price! I will really enjoy drinking it.

  

Friday, 4 October 2013

A Rainy Day

   Have spent a quiet day at home as I woke up to rain so no tennis this morning. James was at day care so I spent the morning doing some light housework and reading. Got out in the garden this afternoon once it had dried up but didn't do anything too strenuous.

   Dinner on the go, pasta and shrimp, and then I am off to dancing. We need to learn one more dance for tomorrow's dance at Crescent School so I hope Wendy teaches it.

   Yesterday I attended an interesting presentation on The Galapagos Islands, given by a travel company. It's an expensive trip so I doubt I will be going but there was a wealth of information on the habitats and vegetation to be found there. Also Ecuador sounds like a delightful place to visit so I will keep that on my list of "go-to" places.