Friday 30 October 2015

Almost Through October

  Early start after a quick breakfast of cereal and juice. Fitness class this morning was pretty tough as I didn't seem to have much energy. However, after coffee and a cookie I was fine.

   Straight from there to the library in the mall to print some documents - my printer is still lost in the nether world somewhere, but luckily I don't need to print much. I just needed the sign-in sheet for the RTO meeting next week and a couple of other things and it only cost 15 cents a sheet. Then on to the hairdresser for a cut and blow dry before heading home - a busy morning!

   Lunch was my usual soup and a sandwich although I fried an egg for the sandwich which is not my norm. Then headed upstairs for a nap and actually slept for almost an hour, maybe a result of my fatigue this morning. I have finally got to the last few chapters of "Game of Thrones" but the sequel, "Clash of Kings" is waiting on my bedside table and another book is waiting at the library. I will probably spend the weekend reading.

    I have some leftover chicken and rice for dinner but will make a salad first as my vegetable course. Yogurt and fruit for dessert to use up the last of both before shopping tomorrow. I am getting much better at just buying what I need each week. I only have some grapes and half a sweet potato left this week. Must remember to buy onions as I have finally used up all of my crop from the garden.

Thursday 29 October 2015

Calmer Weather

   Things have quietened down weather wise although it is unseasonably cold, 8C, and still quite windy. The leaves won't stay on the trees much longer. I managed to avoid getting into my winter coat but only by rushing between the house, the car, the store and other indoor locations.

    Yoga this morning - I'm still finding it a struggle but will persevere for another few weeks. Hopefully it will get easier. After a quick coffee (there was free cake on offer!) I ran a few errands and was back at the Senior's Centre by 12:15. Bridge with Pinkie, Marilyn and Marie was fun - I played (and won) a couple of games although on the whole my partner and I had poor hands. Better luck next time, I say!

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Tail of the Hurricane

   Monday and Tuesday were nice although chilly but today has been continuous heavy rain and blustery winds. I have been dashing from one location to another, trying to avoid a soaking!

   On Monday I stayed home until the evening, except for a walk up to the mall for library books and some groceries. The bag was rather heavy walking home and my hands were pretty cold. One of the items from the library was the DVD of the first season of "Game of Thrones", which I am currently reading. I am trying to keep ahead of the episodes, but am watching a couple each night.

   On Tuesday I was at tennis (indoor at Hendrina's condo) by 10:a.m., home by 12:00 and changed before Bridge lessons. I took my lunch as we were there until 2:30 when I finally got home for a nap.

    First thing this morning was "Stretch and Strength" class followed by coffee and chat with the other ladies. I didn't stay long as I needed to get home to change before my coffee bar duties. It was quite quiet as many of the regulars had stayed home because of the inclement weather. No nap today as I went straight from the coffee bar to Book Club where we discussed "The Paris Architect". It hadn't been one of my favourites but I read it and enjoyed it nevertheless.

   Chicken in coconut sauce again as I have to use up the rest of the can of coconut milk. But meanwhile I am watching another episode of "Game of Thrones" - very violent!

Sunday 25 October 2015

Giving Thanks

    Still digesting lunch - a late Thanksgiving meal with the family at Judy's. They were away on the actual Thanksgiving weekend and Steve, Alison and I had fun hearing about the cruise and all their escapades, and seeing the photos. The meal was delicious and well worth the wait - pumpkin soup, turkey and all the fixings and pumpkin pie for dessert. I will just have soup and a sandwich tonight.

Saturday 24 October 2015

A Restful Day at Home

   I had a late start this morning - didn't get up until after 8:00. Breakfast started with a small banana while I cooked a poached egg which I had on toast with a glass of orange juice. More toast with coffee to follow and that was me set until lunch time. By the time the laundry was done, the newspaper read and the kitchen tidied it was 11:30. Where did the morning go!

   A quick run to the grocery store (rainy but mild) to pick up some fresh fruit and veg and then lunch (butternut squash soup and a tomato, cucumber and lettuce sandwich). Before retiring for a nap I put bread in the machine and set it on "dough" as I wanted to make a French loaf. It was done by the time I got up again and was soon proofing in a warm oven. I baked it in a couple of tins and it turned out well just in time to sliced it for bruschetta. The rest went in the freezer for later.

   Dinner was a salmon fillet (I was sick of chicken) and broccoli casserole. Because I had eaten so much of the bread I decided to forego any carbs and I really didn't miss them. I will probably be into the Girl Guide cookies before the evening is out!

Friday 23 October 2015

Fall Colours

   Brilliant blue sky today but a chilly start. However, it warmed up enough by the afternoon for me to work outside without a coat. The trees are almost all turned and were putting on quite a show as I drove home from fitness class this morning. Unfortunately I am still having difficulty uploading photos since converting to Windows 10. They are in my computer somewhere but steadfastly refuse to load in here! So you will just have to take my word for it.

   I used up the last of the produce from the garden in a chutney today - a small aubergine, two tiny tomatoes, garlic and a half-red, half-green pepper. I was pretty sure the pepper was not going to survive another chilly night and, going by the last one which I had to throw out, wouldn't ripen enough indoors. So into the pot it went. I still have a few onions, which will go in my next stew, and enough garlic to get me through the winter - and some to plant soon, ready for next year.

    I also ate the last corn cob from the farmer who sets up locally. He is long gone (probably off to Florida with all his profits!) and the corn was a bit chewy but still better than store bought. I had it with leftover butter chicken from Wednesday. I was lucky that neither of the lunches I had out this week featured chicken as there is still some left for tomorrow and I will be ready to try something different by the time it is all gone.

   I tried the olive oil I bought yesterday on bruschetta today and it was delicious - a little spicy and the tangerine flavouring came through quite strongly. I am going to see if I can get hold of the seller as I would definitely like some more. It would make a terrific gift!


Thursday 22 October 2015

Super Fall Weather

     A really pleasant day today, sunny and warm. I sat outside reading the newspaper for a while this afternoon. My outside thermometer registered 18C at one point - I have my doubts about its accuracy but it was up there anyway. I also did a bit of gardening clean up but there's still lots to do!

    Yoga first thing this morning - it's getting marginally easier so I will persevere - and then a quick change before heading down to Qssis for the RTO Fall lunch and craft sale. I got some nice crafts - marmalade, earrings and flavoured olive oil - as well as signing up for a card-making class in November. The meal was good - salad, pork, veggies and sweet potato mash, and ice cream for dessert. No need for much dinner tonight.

Wednesday 21 October 2015

A Ho-hum Day

     Out by 8:50 this morning for exercise class, coffee and chats after  (we had an interesting discussion about Monday's election results, some positive, some negative), then home to change and fix lunch before returning for my shift at the coffee bar. It was uneventful and I was home for a nap by 3:30.

    I have defrosted some chicken and will make butter chicken and rice for dinner tonight, broccoli  on the side. Just some yogurt for dessert.

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Eating Out

   I have the fire on tonight although it's not particularly cold - just damp and rainy. It is very comforting.

    Lunch out today with RWTO, so I had to miss the Bridge lessons. It was the craft sale but I didn't buy anything, severely tempted but managed to restrain myself - the last thing I need is more junk (see my entry regarding the Fall Fair at Knox Church). The lunch was delicious, salad, roast beef and vegetables, an ice cream dessert and coffee to finish off. Since then I have been napping and vegging. Not much on TV tonight but I'm sure I will be able to entertain myself!

   Just a snacky dinner tonight as I am still full from lunch. I think I have some crab cakes in the freezer and will have them with an avocado salad.

Sunday 18 October 2015

Chilly Weather

   The nights have been below or hovering at zero for the last few days and so I have brought in all my outdoor plants that need preserving over the winter. I also gave the grass what I hope will be the last cutting of the year. At least I will leave the front grass to John next door to cut if he feels it is too long. I will rake it once the leaves have all fallen, in the next week or two.

   I have had a couple of "at home" days with only a trip to the grocery store yesterday and demo practice this afternoon. I did pop in to the Knox Church Fall Fair on Saturday (at Ora's suggestion) but didn't find anything worth buying. The last thing I need is more junk to clutter up the house! I did have a coffee there and bought some lemon poppy seed bread to have with it.

   I cooked a marvellous stew yesterday, with lots of wine, tomato paste and juice as well as plenty of vegetables, and will have the leftovers tonight. Good TV tonight (right up to 11:00 p.m.) so I am happily ensconced at home for the evening with the fire on. It should warm up a bit this week but I doubt there will be any outdoor tennis until next Spring.

Thursday 15 October 2015

Yoga, Probus, Tennis and a Swim

   On the go all day and lots of exercise. I had to leave the yoga class early to get to Probus by 10:00 a.m. The talk today was on the Solar System - not really up my alley! But at least there was coffee, cookies and time to chat with other Probus members.

    There were more people at the indoor tennis drop-in today - 12 - but I still got lots of games and didn't sit out for too long. However I was glad of the hot tub after my swim (12 lengths today) to ease my aching muscles.

  I made a cauliflower casserole to have with leftover salmon and added the last of the kale. The plants are gone to the composter. Lots of cheese in the sauce made it very tasty, and there will be lots for tomorrow's dinner.

Wednesday 14 October 2015

Two Extra Pounds

    I had a nasty shock when I stepped on the scales this morning - I have gained back the two pounds I lost last year. I'm hoping it's just the two big lunches I've had this week and, once I get back to my usual eating habits, they will disappear. I worked extra hard at the Fitness class this morning and went for a walk this evening to compensate. Hope it works!

    Busy day today - Out by 8:45, gym class then errands, back home by 11:00 to change and fix a lunch, then back to the Senior's Centre for 12:00 to tend the coffee bar, finished there by about 3:15 after counting the cash and making the deposit. When I got home I made a jar of chutney as I still have eggplants from the garden to use. Since then I have been vegging out either on the computer or in front of the TV. That's enough activity for one day!

   A nice light dinner tonight, broiled salmon, mashed sweet potatoes and peas, all ready in 10-12 minutes. I will try not to eat too many of Natalie's Girl Guide cookies tonight (the good ones, mint and chocolate  covered) which may have contributed slightly to my weight gain, but will have a couple with hot milk before I go to bed.

Tuesday 13 October 2015

Too Much Food!

    Another lunch at Don Mills TC, this one for the Kaffeeklatchers and it was "Pot Luck". Tons of food, both sweet and savoury, and Harold's turkey soup. I could have made a meal of that alone but went on to stuff my face with sandwiches, salads, turkey casserole etc., etc. We did play some tennis although it was quite windy and a mix of sun and cloud. I went straight from there to bridge lessons and got to play some interesting hands.

   Just a light dinner tonight, made up of leftovers from the lunch and a piece of apple strudel from the Senior's lunch (which I had to pass up). Everyone in bridge class got a free piece!

Monday 12 October 2015

Something Burning!

    I was doodling through entries in Facebook a few minutes ago when I became aware of an unpleasant smell emanating from the kitchen - oh, no! I had left some red peppers roasting in the toaster oven and had completely forgotten about them. They are burned to a crisp and the smell will probably linger for days. This is not the first time this has happened and my rule to myself is to set the timer for 10 minutes, which I forgot to do today.

   Other than that, this has been another fabulous day. Warm and sunny and in the low 20's, but now some cloud cover although I feel quite sunburned. We had a couple of hours of tennis at the Don Mills Thanksgiving Social, followed by a delicious lunch and prizes. I won a can of tennis balls, although I nearly missed it as I was in the kitchen, helping with the washing up. There were lots of treats left over which will be brought out tomorrow at the Kaffeeklatsch pot luck lunch. My contribution will be sausage rolls. Today I made a kale and quinoa salad which I didn't try as there were so many other nice salads on offer.

   Later this afternoon I pulled up some more plants, including the aforementioned kale (it really has overshot itself), ready for the garden refuse pick-up on Wednesday. Most of the leaves went in the composter but the stalks were too thick.

   I am still stuffed so have forgone my usual pre-dinner snacks. There are leftover ribs waiting to be heated up with corn and potatoes but I think it will be a while until I am hungry.

Sunday 11 October 2015


    Unbelievably warm today - it actually reached 24C this afternoon! I walked over to Sir John A. Macdonald C.I. to vote in the advanced poll this afternoon and I was sweating when I got home. Later, I fertilized the lawn and pulled up most of the mint, in preparation for planting next year's garlic.

   Thankfully it was still quite cool for tennis this morning and we started in sweaters but soon we were stripping off a layer or two. Susan and I started out with singles, then were joined by Stan and Cam for a quick set. By then I was done but Stan and Susan joined Kathy and Victoria for another set while I went home and Cam went to hit with Gordon. It was surprising that there were not more people there - perhaps they were home cooking their Thanksgiving turkey or had gone out of town for the long weekend.

   I used my barbecue to brown some ribs for dinner and had them with potatoes and fried onions and mushrooms. Unfortunately the meal required quite a few dishes which are still sitting in the sink! So must get cracking.

Saturday 10 October 2015

Saturday Chores

     Just the usual Saturday chores - laundry, grocery shopping and a bit of gardening. The morning was cool but brilliantly sunny. Some clouds this afternoon but still pleasant enough to sit outside for a while.

    I made my favourite breakfast today - an egg muffin. I make this in the toaster oven in a ramekin. First layer is chopped green onion, mushroom and red pepper. Then some torn up bread over which I pour a beaten egg mixture. I add a little milk to the egg, salt and pepper and a sprinkle of herbe de provence. Finally it's all covered with grated cheese. This is baked at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and comes out looking like a muffin. Delicious! A glass of orange juice and some toast and coffee later keeps me going until lunch time.

Friday 9 October 2015

Feeling Guilty!

   Three days since my last post but they have been busy days (or that's my excuse anyway). We had lovely fall weather on Wednesday and Thursday so I was trying to cram in lots of stuff before it goes. Today was on-and-off rain but still mild, so another busy day.

   The Athertons left for their cruise on Wednesday, not without event - car trouble, but luckily not too far from home. They should now be aboard the cruise liner in Boston harbour, or maybe even out to sea. They are headed for Bermuda where the temperature is a balmy 27C. Lucky them!

   I had my first Yoga class yesterday and managed all right until we had to stand on one leg - I just couldn't hold it for more than a few seconds and I don't think practice is going to improve that. I can do it wearing shoes but not in my bare feet, funnily enough. Still playing tennis outdoors for another week but I checked out an indoor drop-in tennis program  at another Community Centre which I might utilize if I am stuck for exercise. It was quite fun as it was a small group but it may get busier once the outdoor courts close for the winter. We shall see.

   I made some chutney this afternoon using eggplants I had grown. They weren't fully ripe but, once cooked, became quite soft. It also had tomatoes (from the garden), onions and red and yellow peppers. Even with all these vegetables it just made two small jars but I'm sure they will be tasty once the mixture has had some time to mature.

   I went down to Don Mills for tennis this morning after Fitness class and despite the rain. We got two good sets with just a few sprinkles while we were playing and I was home by 12:30. That's the last Friday tennis. Boo hoo!  Chicken drumsticks in the oven and new potatoes ready to boil. The farmer with the corn truck had his last load for sale this week so I stocked up on cobs, so that will be my other vegetable. No dessert required after a feed like that!

Tuesday 6 October 2015

Getting Ready for Winter

    A stay-at-home day yesterday, just a little gardening, until the evening when I went to dancing group. I was on tea duty so got there earlier than usual to set up. Just a small group but we had some fun dances.

    Tennis this morning - next week is our last week outdoors - and it was very nice , no wind and quite mild. I stayed until 11:30 then a quick stop at home to change and pick up some lunch. Next stop bridge lessons and I got in quite a nice group. I played a couple of good hands, much to the disgust of the opponents. They went down on their contracts.

    After such a busy morning I didn't feel like doing anything else for the rest of the day - I didn't even go out for a run after dinner. By the time I had eaten it was already dark.

   The robins have been madly stripping the berries from my Mountain Ash trees. They swallow the berries whole in a couple of gulps - it's fun to watch. They must be stocking up before their flight south.

Sunday 4 October 2015


   The furnace was working when I got home from the monthly dance last night so I was able to cancel the service call. Who knows what the problem was but it seems to have fixed itself. I wish I could say the same for my printer!

   Steve came over today ostensibly to take me out for my birthday lunch, but I got him to take a look at the problem. He worked on it for over an hour with no success, except for a message that said the ink cartridges were low. Just to remove that possibility we went out to get new ones. We stopped at Eggsmart for brunch first as we were both hungry by then. I had a Mediterranean omelette with fresh OJ and he had the "Big Breakfast" (eggs, bacon, sausages, ham and pancakes).

   Our next stop was Walmart for the ink cartridges but, guess what, when we got home and installed them, the printer was still not responding. The next step is to try the printer with another laptop so he will stop by next week some time to give it a try with his. If that fails I guess I will have to invest in a new printer!

   Still stuffed from brunch so I think a salad will suffice for dinner tonight.

Saturday 3 October 2015

Is Winter Here Already?

   Very chilly again today and a cold wind coming right from the Arctic. I hope this isn't the end of the pleasantly warm Fall weather - it's too soon for winter!

    We had an outdoors demo this afternoon - a Street Fest - but it really was too cold for dancing in our shirts. We kept our jackets handy to pull on after each number. There was quite a crowd so we were able to cajole some into trying out the easy dances. We were done by 2:30, just in time to turn the mike over to "Elvis" while we headed for the coffee shop to warm up.

    My furnace didn't turn on this morning (indoors it was 13C) so I have a call in to a technician to fix it tomorrow. Meanwhile I am well wrapped up in several layers and extra socks. I'm sure I will survive another night. I will be out at the monthly dance tonight so will just jump into bed with extra covers when I get home. Off to make some egg salad sandwiches for the tea break!

Friday 2 October 2015

The Temperature Drops

    I just rescued an avocado in time before it turned! I bought it last week when it was still quite green and forgot about it. Luckily it was still edible after I removed a few black spots and I made it into a salsa dip. Delicious with a glass of wine and some tostitos!

    It has been quite cold for the last two days with the mornings only 4 or 5C. I had to wear gloves for tennis! Yesterday was sunny which warmed things up a bit, but today was cloudy and quite windy - very tricky on the courts. This week was the start of the Fall exercise classes so today I did that first before I headed over for tennis. In fact this week was my last day at Thursday tennis as I got into a yoga class which starts at 9:00 a.m. I will continue on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays for another couple of weeks (unless it snows!). Then we start indoor tennis at Hendrina's condo.

   Judy took me out for lunch today for my birthday. We went to Panera bread and both had a delicious salad and a nice chat. They are off on their cruise next Wednesday so I won't see them again until they get back.

   I brought in some of the plants in pots and a few tomatoes today in case we have a frost, and cut the back grass. There are always lots of chores as we approach winter, getting the garden tidied up and put to sleep. I will tackle it a little bit at a time. Next job is to plant the garlic for next year's crop.