Wednesday 30 July 2014

Out on the Golf Course

   I had my first round of golf of the year today and it went better than expected. I went down to Dentonia which is an 18 hole par 3 course with very hilly terrain. You almost need to be a mountain goat to navigate it!

   Although I had a few sixes, most of the holes were bogeys or double bogeys - much to be expected since I haven't played since last fall. However, I did have two pars and, although there was no one to witness it, a birdie at the 10th hole!  also had a couple of unbelieveably long putts which just dropped in

   I skipped a few holes on the back nine as I was getting rather pooped but, all in all, I was quite pleased with my effort. Judy and I are going to a nine-hole course tomorrow morning while the kids are at camp so that should be a little easier.

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Tennis at Don Mills

   It was rather a cool overcast morning but perfect for tennis. The crew was out in force, Dick was "on the board", getting us set up for our sets and the coffee was on. Good times!

   I arrived early, stayed right to the bitter end (noon) and played four sets as the conditions were so agreeable.
This is how we keep track of who's playing and who is waiting. All the courts are filled (Court #1 reserved for the Junior Tennis Camp) and 20 people are waiting to play.

We just get to play 8 games (no deuces) then another group gets their turn.

Waiting our turn!

Sunday 27 July 2014

Quiet Weekend

     Not much happening this weekend - laundry and errands on Saturday morning were completed before noon. Electricity is cheaper on the weekend so works in with my schedule. A restful afternoon and some good shows on PBS in the evening.

   Today I was up early and had the ironing done by 8:30. A quick shower and I was off to the tennis courts. It was already quite hot but managed a set with Susan, Chan and Paul. I wasn't playing particularly well but Paul and I managed to pull off a win.

  On returning home I surprised a huge rabbit in the back yard. I suspect he is the one that has been eating my tomatoes. I've lost two now, just as they were ripening. The red pepper is still on the plant but for how much longer? I will need to pick it soon. I tried to get a photo of the intruder but he took off lickety-split.

    After lunch and a nap I got on my bike and had a quick run down to Starbucks for a Frapaccino. I had a $1 off coupon and it was very refreshing after the bike ride. Then just relaxing, reading and swimming for the rest of the afternoon. The air conditioning is currently running although the house stayed quite cool until late afternoon. I made barbecued ribs for dinner last night with potato salad and green beans, and will be having the leftovers tonight so no cooking required!
And there he goes under the gate, just like Peter Rabbit in Mr. McGregor's garden!
Another strongly perfumed lily.

Friday 25 July 2014

Cooling Off

   We have had a few hot days but yesterday and today have been both cooler and fresher.

   Grandkids on Monday for a swim, tennis on Tuesday - I was "0n the board" that is organizing the sets using our name tags and a board with hooks, I will post a photo of it next week. So I didn't play until almost noon and it was really too hot to be enjoyable.

   Wednesday was catching up on chores and I did achieve quite a lot. First a trip to the mall for a few errands including picking up yeast. I  had gone to make bread last week only to find there was no yeast in the house, so had to make do with soda bread. This time I was out of bulgar so had to substitute oat bran and porridge oats. It actually was an improvement, came out very light and tasty, so I may do that again. Of course the temptation of newly baked bread was too powerful to resist so the loaf was half gone before I got it sliced and in the freezer!

   I also made a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam with some berries from the freezer and the last of the rhubarb. The berries were very soft and mushy when defrosted but I gave the jam an extra long boil and it seems to have set perfectly. I will know when I finally get around to eating it. I am still using up my 2012 jam, if you can believe it!

    Thursday and today tennis in the morning (nice cool fresh conditions) and then a bit of gardening in the afternoons - digging out the violets again. I thought I had got rid of them last year but they're back with a vengeance. The nights have been great for sleeping with the windows open and a cool breeze. long may it continue!

Last of the jam making for this summer - strawberry rhubarb.

Can't remember the name and it only lasts for one day, but it is magnificent!

Nothing better than picking a ripe tomato for your lunch - and then eating it still warm from the sun.

My one and only red pepper - will it ripen and be picked before the rabbits/squirrels/raccoons get it?


Saturday 19 July 2014

Rogers Orientation

   I was up early this morning to head over to Yorkdale Mall for the Orientation meeting for volunteers at the Rogers Cup which is coming up in a couple of weeks. It was an 8:30 start in the cinema auditorium for all of us, then breaking off into our different committees. Sandy had laid on a nice breakfast spread and we munched happily as she went through the handbook. We have quite a few "newbies" this year.

    I had time to do my weekly grocery shop once I got home but didn't bother with lunch as I was still stuffed. The afternoon was rainy so I pottered in the kitchen, making some roasted red peppers and a batch of mango chutney. I got two small jars from one mango, one apple, some raisins, a garlic clove and half an onion. Not too shabby!

   Tonight is leftover Tuscan chicken but I made a delicious fish dish yesterday. It was supposed to be just a pan-fried basa fillet but at the last minute I topped it with an artichoke dip I had made previously. It was very tasty!

Amazing what can be concocted from an over-ripe mango!

Friday 18 July 2014


   Up early this morning as I wanted to get the shallots pickled before I headed out to the tennis courts. First they needed to be rinsed and dried as they had been soaking in salt overnight. Then it was a quick process of boiling up some vinegar, sugar and spices, bottling them and filling the jars with the vinegar. I was done by 8:30 a.m. but now have to wait a couple of weeks before trying them.

Two jars each of pickled onions and beetroot - should keep me going well into the fall.

     I got to tennis quite quickly as the traffic was relatively light for once or maybe because I was a little later, everyone else was already at work. I had three good sets with reasonable breaks in between but it got quite hot and humid as the morning progressed. Jasmine had organized a lunch outing so I needed a shower and fresh clothes after I got off the court. Once we had cooled off we gathered at "Joey's" for a very convivial meal - all 17 of us.  It was fun to end the morning thusly - we should do it more often!

   A light dinner tonight - fish, quinoa  and a few vegetables - and definitely no dessert!

Thursday 17 July 2014

The Fruits of my Garden

   A lovely set of tennis at Bridlewood this morning - blue sky but not humid, very pleasant. Only 6 of us there, it seems such a waste that more people don't attend, but all the more court time for us! A father and his 3 kids arrived around 10 a.m. but we weren't using the third court anyway. It's supposed to be adults only on Thursday mornings.

   The grandkids were over for a swim yesterday and I needed the heater on all morning to get the water warm enough. The nights have been quite cool this week (lovely for sleeping) but it has meant the water is always low 70's  in the morning. Natalie doesn't mind the cool water but the boys are more picky. However, they did go in after lunch for quite a long swim. Neither Judy nor I got in, just too chilly!

   Cooking up a nice dinner - Tuscan chicken. I use chicken thighs and after browning them add onions, artichoke hearts, chick peas, sun-dried tomatoes and, for a change, a small Italian eggplant. All it requires to make it absolutely delicious is some red wine but when I don't have an open bottle I use Marsala and it's a good substitute. So that's what I did today.

   Yesterday I lifted all my shallots - I got nearly 2 lbs. They are presently soaking in salt and tomorrow I will finish pickling them. Last week I made some pickled beetroot which should last me a couple of months so I will be all set for tasty pickles well into the fall!

This year's batch of Strawberry Jam - I still have several jars of last year's to finish even though I gave some away as gifts.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Car Woes

  I can't believe I have neglected my blog for almost a week! Much has happened so I will attempt to catch up.

   Last week I decided  had better heed my mechanic's calls and take my car in for a service. Big mistake! I spent most of one day and a couple of hours on a second trip to have all the things wrong with it fixed. Plus it cost me an arm and a leg!

    On the plus side, all three days I had set up for tennis worked out and I was able to get in several sets each day. Unfortunately, Sunday was rainy but I had housework and gardening to catch upon so I had no problem filling the morning.

Not as many blossoms on this climbing rose as I cut it back severely last year - but it still is beautiful.
   This morning tennis was doubtful due to heavy rain overnight and early in the morning. Ever optimistic, I headed over to the courts and found one court dried off and almost ready for play. After a coffee we started to play although the skies were still very threatening. As the morning progressed the weather improved and by noon we were hot and sweaty (very humid conditions) and had had three good sets. This afternoon the wind became very strong while I cleaned the pool and, although the temperature was in the mid 20's it got too chilly to sit outside. I hope it improves tomorrow as Judy and the kids are coming over for a swim.
Self-seeding sweet peas come up here every year.

Friday 4 July 2014

My Swet-smelling Garden

    On exiting my back door today I was hit by an intoxicating perfume. I traced it to a lily that had opened overnight. If you recognize it, please tell me its name. It comes up each year and quite enthralls me with its beauty and perfume. The lavender, which I severely cut back in the spring, has recovered well and is also emitting a strong perfume, especially when watered or brushed against.

I also have several herbs that smell quite strongly - rosemary, oregano and mint - but they need to be handled before their odours become evident.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Canada Day

   On July 1st. we celebrate our great country with friends, feasting and fireworks - at least I got the friends and feasting part organized; the tennis club was holding a round robin and barbecue lunch. Unfortunately, the heavens opened after about 10 minutes of organized play and we were well and truly flooded.

    Luckily, we had tennis to watch on TV in the club house - Milos Raonic playing in the fourth round at Wimbledon. He won his match against a Japanese player who is ranked 11, so lots of smiles and cheers. Meanwhile the courts were being dried off, the sun came out and we were able to have another set before lunch. Chicken skewers, salads and tasty desserts with a plentiful supply of cold drinks - the temperature and humidity were very high.

   Came home for a much needed swim and rest before Steve arrived with his chainsaw to demolish a couple of dead trees in the back yard. After an hour we were both so hot and sweaty we decided to call a halt for today. All the big trunks are cut up and most of the smaller branches but I have no more bins so the remaining stuff will have to wait until the next garden refuse pick up day. Then I can reload the bins again.

   Another swim was called for after al that strenuous activity - the pool has been consistently in the 80's for the last few days - and then a quick tidy up of the yard before relaxing with a drink and snacks. I am still eating the leftovers of the "Festive Special" but dinner tonight should be its last appearance.