Tuesday 29 September 2015

A Change in the Weather

   I managed tennis on Sunday and again this morning but the rain has since set in and, in fact, was quite torrential this afternoon. Bridge class started today and by the time it finished the temperature had dropped several degrees. I went to a movie later in the afternoon ("The Intern" - quite funny) and was quite chilled by the time I got home.

    Finally finished the kale rolls I made last week! Hope I don't get sick as they really were well past their 'best before" date. The grandkids were here on Monday for a couple of hours and decorated a slab of chocolate cake for my birthday tomorrow. So I have been nibbling away at it since then. At least I will be back to exercise class on Wednesdays and Fridays and I also got into the Thursday Yoga class. Yippee!!

Monday 28 September 2015

Pool Finished for this Year

    The pool guys were here bright and early today and drained and covered the pool. I asked them about the bubbles coming out of the return which I figured meant air was getting into the system. They agreed that was probably the case and a repair will be required when they re-open the pool next Spring. So I will have to budget for an added expense then!

    Some catchup to do - Thursday was lunch with the Probus ladies at Nova Restaurant. I had lasagna and Caesar salad and a glass of wine. With the tip it was $25 but quite worth it. Friday was the Don Mills Banquet which was lots of fun. It was held at Donalda Club - very posh! The buffet was delicious and we were seated right by the dessert table so, of course, I over-indulged. We left after the prizes and awards so it wasn't too late a night.

   On Saturday I was out at Lehman Crescent to babysit the grandkids. We had a delicious Shepherd's Pie with salad so I was well fed again. So it was Sunday before I had to cook again.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

First Day of Fall

  Another beautiful day with clear blue skies and a cooling breeze. Slept in this morning until 9:15 and, after a light breakfast, pottered until it was time to leave for the Senior's Centre. It was "Volunteer Appreciation" Day and as I had put in a few shifts in the coffee bar, I was invited for lunch. There were almost 100 folk there and the lunch was superb, so no dinner (except a salad) for me tonight!

    We also had prize draws (I didn't win anything) and entertainment (very spiffy ballroom dancers), then the floor was cleared and the music jacked up. I left at that point for a well-earned nap before cutting both the front and back lawns. All nice and tidy again although there are still some brown patches. Off to fix my salad and then my nightly walk before retiring to the couch to watch TV. A very busy day for the first day of Fall!

Tuesday 22 September 2015

A New Recipe Using My Home Grown Kale

     I was busy in the kitchen this afternoon and now have a mountain of dishes to clean! First step was to pick some of the large leaves on the kale plants and rinse and blanch them. While they were cooling, I got some bread started in the bread machine. I used the "dough" setting as I wanted to make baguettes which need to rise and then bake in the oven. While that was happening I cooked some rice and defrosted four breakfast sausages. This was in preparation for making kale rolls (along the lines of cabbage rolls).

   Once the kale had cooled and drained, I mixed the sausage meat, rice and some chopped onion and mushrooms. I added some chopped sage from the garden and a sprinkle of garlic powder. I then spooned this onto the kale leaves, rolled them up and packed them into a baking dish. I covered it all with tomato sauce and topped the whole thing with grated parmesan. Once the bread was out of the oven, I baked the casserole for about 40 minutes and ate it with a few slices of the bread. It was very tasty  (and, I hope, healthy!) and will do me a couple of more meals.

    It was an excellent morning for tennis, sunny but comfortably cool. I didn't rush over, arriving around 9:30, but stayed until 11:45, and played three good sets. There was quite a crowd but I had only a short wait between sets. I also managed a good walk after dinner tonight so have certainly had enough exercise for one day!


Monday 21 September 2015

Finally Back on Line

    I have been unable to get on the internet in the last couple of days but now it seems fine so I will try to get caught up. Cool but sunny over the weekend - went with Judy and the kids to a Fun Fair and Tennis coaching event on Saturday. Natalie and Elliot were good sports and stuck it out for nearly two hours. James not so much although he did try it for a while. They got to use more appropriate equipment than when I took them to the courts, so it was easier for them to handle. They also had burgers, corn and cake beforehand, and a mooch around the booths and jumble sale.

    Not long after they departed for home there was a heavy storm so we were lucky to be home before that occurred. Since then the weather has been pleasant, sunny but cool. I had great fun at tennis on Sunday morning with Kathy, Susan and Ben. We played two exciting sets - won one and lost one. In the afternoon I attended the first demo practice of the season so my legs were aching by night time. I had a soak in the tub before bed. 

   Today I had a slow start, cleaning up the pile of dishes in the sink, getting a loaf started in the bread maker and just generally pottering around in the garden. At Bridge this afternoon, Pinky and I were partners and had some unbelievable hands. We came out on top by quite a margin. Dancing tonight so I think another soak in the tub is in the cards!

Friday 18 September 2015

A Change in the Weather

   A much more seasonal day, in fact, right now it's raining. However, this morning was pleasant with just a bit of cloud cover so we had a nice morning at tennis. It was my last time on the board but I also managed two sets and they were good ones. Karl gave me a can of tennis balls as a "thank you" gift.

Thursday 17 September 2015

Two Busy Days

    Still hot for late September, hit 31C this afternoon. I was in the pool twice, following some garden clean up. It was a very refreshing 72F. Only two more weeks until it is drained and covered!

   I've had another couple of busy days. Yesterday I was out by 8:30 to attend the RTO brunch for new retirees. It was held down by the lake, a beautiful location and well attended. Coffee, juice, pastries to start, followed by bacon, sausage, eggs and hash browns. Speeches followed as we tried to recruit new members - I think quite a few will join.

   I went straight from there to the Senior's centre as I have been asked to tend the coffee bar on Wednesday afternoons from now on. This will work out well as I got into the Wednesday morning Fitness class (also the Friday class). It was quite quiet there so we closed up by 2:00 p.m., but it was a long day!

   Today was Probus Club in the morning (speakers from the ROM with a presentation on Pompeii), followed by Bridge. Sami and I had some good hands and came out on top by quite a bit. I was home by 3:00 p.m. to relax in the garden. Tomorrow won't be quite so busy, tennis in the morning and then a quick run to the grocery store as Judy and the kids will be here on Saturday to go to the Fun Fair at Leacock TC.

   I had some leftover poached salmon so made a salad with it on top for dinner tonight. Very tasty!

Tuesday 15 September 2015

Keeping Busy

   A busy couple of days and the rest of the week isn't much better. On Monday morning I decided on a round of golf at Dentonia ( an 18-hole par 3). It was a perfect morning - quite a cool start but I had my vest off before the 4th hole. I had some good drives but no pars. Also I cut out a couple of holes on the back nine as I was running out of steam. Considering this was just my second time on the links this year, I was quite happy with my performance.

  That evening was the start of dancing at Scarborough SCD. We had a great turnout and Donalda had some interesting dances for us to try. I swear she uses us as guinea pigs for her other classes!

   Today, instead of my usual tennis I had to attend the RWTO Exec. meeting at The Estates. Thank goodness they only happen four times a year. My job is to look after the sale of used books - tons of donated books arrived and we sold an amazing 80 books! This was followed by a nice lunch and entertainment - a hilarious Elvis impersonator! After returning home, changing out of my glad rags and having a nap, I went to a movie, "Mistress America". It was a bit of a disappointment as it had been well reviewed. Maybe I just didn't get it.

   I was still stuffed from lunch so just made a salad for dinner with some smoked mackerel I picked up on my way home from the cinema. It was delicious and plenty for me. Tomorrow I am off early to the RTO new retirees brunch at Bluffer's restaurant. Should be fun!

Sunday 13 September 2015

Disappointing Weather

   A miserable, wet, cold day which I have spent entirely indoors. It hasn't got above 15C all day and the rain has been off and on. I am sitting with a blanket over my knees and would have happily switched on the fire - but it is still off for the summer. The rest of the week is supposed to be warmer, thank goodness.

    I had to be up early to sign up for the Fall classes, with registration starting at 7:00 a.m. I couldn't get through until  after 7:30 and, by that time all the Zumba places, for the fall and winter spots, were taken and I had to go on the waitlist. Hopefully, I am not too far down the list! I did get into the other classes so am happy about that.

   Since then I have been working on the Minutes for the RTO meeting last week. It's a long, laborious process but it's now done and mailed off to Donna who will make any changes she sees fit. I am just glad to get it out of my hands.

   A nice salmon fillet for dinner. Meanwhile I am waiting for the Men's Final in New York, Federer and Djokovic, but it's still raining there. I guess I will cook dinner and hope it has dried up before too long. I still have some rhubarb and apple crumble left but I don't think I will get my walk tonight.

Friday 11 September 2015

Technology Working For Me

   So nice to be able to play tennis in more comfortable temperatures! I didn't rush out this morning, mindful of the busy traffic now that the schools are back. It was a fairly easy drive and I arrived around 9:00 a.m. and got straight on the court. A short break between sets ( just enough time for a coffee and snack) and I was done by 10: 45. I got home in time to watch the first Ladies semi-final from New York then decided to head up to the Rogers store to pick up my new modem and PVR box.

   I hoped to have the new box set up in time for the second semi but the fates were not with me and it required a long call to Rogers support to actually get it functioning. By this time the second match was almost over but I did get  to see the last few (and most suspenseful) games. Now I am watching the Men's semi-final matches which should take me through most of the evening. What will I do with my time once the tournament is over on Sunday? Well, I do have a few things lined up.

   No cooking tonight, just warming things up. As I am currently online, it appears that the new modem is functioning properly.

Thursday 10 September 2015

Nothing Better Than Home Made!

    Busy in the kitchen today - while gardening this afternoon I noticed quite a bunch of rhubarb so picked enough for a rhubarb and apple crumble. I will have that for dessert tonight with some yoghurt. I also cooked my favourite chicken dish - thighs with ceci (chick peas), artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes. It also has a swig of red wine in it and, luckily, I had an open bottle.  I drank the rest with the leftover artichokes in a mayo and parmesan dip. So, not too many leftovers.

    This morning I had an early start (again, when will I get to sleep in?) I had to be at Markham and Lawrence for 9:00 a.m. and the traffic on Markham was pretty bad. But I was on time for the RTO meeting - in fact was first there and got to set up the conference room before anyone else arrived. By that time I was ready for a coffee and that was supplied along with fruit and muffins. The meeting went well and was over by 11:15. Now I need to go over the notes and type them up.

    Seemingly there has been torrential rain in New York so the tennis matches tonight have been cancelled. Luckily this is a good night on TV so I will just catch up on the semi-finals tomorrow. 

Wednesday 9 September 2015

Cooler Weather

    Another wet start to the day but this time it brought some cooler temperatures. In fact, I had the windows open most of the day and should have a comfortable sleeping night. I even had a vest on for my walk this evening with the temp. in the low 20's.

   I went to the coffee bar this morning but wasn't needed as Maria is back from her summer at her cottage. Also, Ron is back to take over his usual Monday spot at the Bridge table, so I will have to find another group. This Sunday we sign up for the Fall classes so I will have to be up bright and early for that!


Tuesday 8 September 2015

Some Exciting Tennis

   It was still 28C when I went out for my walk at 7:00 p.m. this evening - and humid to boot. I needed a swim when I got home. My walk takes me 40-50 minutes, depending which route I take.

    We had a wet start to the day, but I went down to Don Mills TC regardless. The drizzle finally stopped and we had a court dry by 10:15. There were only 8 people there but we had a couple of good sets.

   The day stayed cloudy so I got in a bit of gardening. The sun came out intermittently around 5:00 p.m. but by that time I was watching the tennis from New York. Now it's Venus versus Serena so I am settled in front of the TV for a dynamic evening of tennis!

Monday 7 September 2015

Another Scorcher

   Hot and steamy on the tennis courts this morning. I was on the court by 9:45 and barely made it through the second set - was feeling a bit dizzy by the time we walked off the courts, and covered with sweat. My face was beetroot red!

   However, after sitting in the air conditioned club house for half an hour I felt a bit better and by that time lunch was ready. We were served tasty wieners in a bun, green and potato salad, and corn. Also coffee, punch, and lots of yummy cakes and desserts. You can't beat the holiday socials at Don Mills!

    I was home by 1:30, had a quick swim to lower my body temperature, checked out the U.S. Open (nobody interesting playing) and had a nap. When I went out later for another dip I noticed the outdoor temperature was 35C. I didn't stay out long, just watered the plants and hanging baskets. I am still trying to hydrate myself after my morning's exertions.

   Just a light dinner tonight and no snacking beforehand as I am still quite full from lunch. I will also take the shorter walk as I am sure it's not going to cool down much even when the sun goes down. Thank goodness for A/C!

Saturday 5 September 2015

Love My PC Points!

   The thermometer in my back yard registered 35C at one point today! I have mostly stayed indoors but did water the plants and cut back the foliage on my tomato plants to get the sun to those few tomatoes remaining. This required a swim even though I only worked for about 20 minutes. I had another swim around 5:00 p.m. and sat in the shade for a while, but am now back to the tennis on TV.

   $20 of free groceries today as I cashed in some PC Points. I got some lamb chops on sale (another saving) and will have that for dinner with a potato and some corn. Unfortunately, the farmer with the corn wasn't at his usual spot, probably has taken the holiday weekend off, but I will open a can of corn instead of the fresh.

Friday 4 September 2015

Last Day With the Kids in the Pool

    Marginally cooler today with a light breeze. I managed two sets of tennis, starting nice and early (8:20). I was home by 10:00 as Judy and the kids were coming over for a last swim before they go back to school next week. They left shortly after lunch as they are going camping later today for the weekend. If the weather stays nice they might come over one weekend for a swim.

   One Canadian is through to the next round (Bouchard) but Raonic is having quite a battle with Feliciano (aka Deliciano) Lopez. Milos is already two sets down and will have to battle his way back to win. He hasn't ever won a match from that much of a deficit.

   A light dinner tonight - chicken frittata with mushrooms - then a walk after. I have a minneola orange for after and that should keep me until morning.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Still Hot and Humid

   Watching Andy Murray battle a Frenchman at the U.S. Open. He was 2 sets down but has just won the third set. Can he do it? I will certainly be urging him on!

   It was so hot on the tennis courts this morning that I expired after less than an hour. It took me a couple of hours to recover but it is nice and cool indoors. Outdoor temperature is 30+. The pool is still refreshing and good for a quick cool down  after gardening or tennis but I have stayed indoors since this morning's activities. The afternoon was spent at the Senior's Centre (thankfully air conditioned) playing bridge. Marie and I didn't have very good hands but did win a couple of contracts. The other team came out on top however.

   My after dinner walks have been going well, but I doubt I will lose any weight. I will give it a couple of weeks then see if there is any change. I have been trying to eat a lighter meal in the evening and abstain from any late night snacks - the trickiest part! Last night I just had some almonds and a couple of dried apricots.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

More Tennis on TV

   Both Canadians are through to the third round at the U.S. Open but both matches were real nail-biters. Raonic is suffering from a back injury but he has to recover for his next match on Friday. Bouchard was very up and down, losing the second set in a very one sided tie break. But she did manage the win in the  third set at 7-5.

  That is basically all I have done today since getting home from my stint behind the counter at the Senior's Centre at 12:45. I did have a swim before lunch but have barely been out since then. It is really hot out there!

    Another chicken concoction for dinner tonight, this one involving corn and mushrooms as I try to use up all the leftovers.  

Tuesday 1 September 2015

A New Exercise Program

   Not much to report today. I was at the tennis courts by 8:10 to set up for the morning play. I got a half set in with the early birds before the courts started to fill up. As it was forecast to be quite hot, most people arrived before 9:00. We had all six courts today as the youth camp is over so we didn't have too long to wait for the changeovers. I got another two sets but had to hang around until noon to clear up.

   A quick swim before lunch and then got the U.S. Open on TV for a couple of hours. No major matches but several of the women seeds are out already. I had another swim later in the afternoon and sat outside for a while to dry off. Too hot for gardening but I did water the plants.

   I plan to make a chicken salad for dinner as I still have lots of white meat left from the chicken I roasted on the weekend. I'm going to use Lidia's recipe using celery, orange and yellow peppers, and tomatoes. Then douse it in a tasty homemade dressing. I have mint and parsley from the garden and the leaves from the celery for the green stuff.

    I read online today that a couple of km. walk after dinner, even at a low speed, will result in weight loss! Hard to believe but I plan to give it a try for a couple of weeks. Hopefully it will be a bit cooler by then.

P.S I threw a few walnuts and some dried cranberries into the salad. It was delicious!