Sunday 29 November 2015

Some Good TV

   Usual Saturday chores yesterday but nothing much on TV in the evening (due to the US Thanksgiving holiday I suspect) but, luckily, I have the second season of "Game of Thrones" from the library, so watched a couple of episodes of that instead.

   It was quite a cold day but I managed to squeeze in a walk around noon while the sun was out. It was rather windy but I had a pot of hearty soup waiting for me at home for lunch which will do me a few days. Still eating the leftover pizza for lunch but cooked Tuscan chicken for dinner. This will also last me another couple of days.

    This afternoon Sheila and I went to the RSCDS meeting at Broadlands. It was quite interesting to see how the committee works but nothing of much interest to us was discussed. However, there was tea and snacks after so it wasn't a totally wasted afternoon! "Borgen" on TV tonight, can't wait to see what happens next. Before that I will watch another episode of GOT while I eat dinner.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Lunching with the Old Dames

    I was a bit achy this morning but I'm not sure if it was the 'flu shot or just my usual aches and pains. It took me a while to get going and I was almost late for yoga class at 9:00. But I managed most of the positions even though my back was sore. I didn't stop for coffee but came straight home and had some here.

    It was RODEO (Retired Old Dames Eating Out) lunch today at Milestones. It was expensive! A glass of wine was $10! I had mango shrimp and Asian cole slaw, it was a bit spicy but not unbearable. I was first up from the table and off to indoor tennis at the Don Montgomery community centre. It was quite busy so I just played two sets before departing.

   Next stop was the pool for a few laps and a soak in the hot tub to ease my sore back. It's feeling much better now.

    I have some pizza dough proofing in the bread machine and will make a pizza soon. I have lots of toppings to use up and will load it with cheese - my favourite! The house is nice and warm tonight despite the thermostat still at the overnight setting. Outdoors it got up to 13C this afternoon. I have the fire on really just for its welcoming sight and the oven has been on  high to cook the pizza. So cozy!

Wednesday 25 November 2015

Errands Galore!

   A few errands taken care of today so I am feeling quite satisfied. First off I needed a scraper to clean my windshield before heading over to exercise class. The sun had warmed up the car a bit so it didn't take long to clear off the ice. I didn't stay very long for coffee after class as I still had shortbread to make. I made a batch yesterday but left it in the oven a bit too long.

    I was back at the Senior's centre for noon to man the coffee bar but closed it up at 2:00 p.m. Next stop was Book Club and our last meeting before Christmas, hence the shortbread. A few others brought goodies too, so we had treat time with tea or coffee before we started the discussion. This month's book was "Wild", a memoir by Cheryl Strayed about hiking the Pacific Coast Trail. It was well received with mostly positive comments. I am waiting for the movie from the library.

   On the way home I stopped at the grocery store to return something, then the drug store to pick up a prescription, check my blood pressure (almost in the normal range) and get my 'flu shot. It wasn't busy so I was taken almost right away. I hope I have no side effects. So far it is fine.

   The temperature got up to 7C today but, with the sun shining, it felt warmer.

Tuesday 24 November 2015


   I woke up to a white world  and frost on the car but, luckily, the sun was out and the windshield was clear by the time I left home. I will have to hunt for my scraper - it's somewhere in the garage. The temperature is supposed to rise into the double digits in a day or two so the snow won't hang around too long. 

   Tennis this morning - Swan, Bea and Hendrina, home from her trip to Peru and Machu Pichu.  She had lots to share with us. I started out slowly on the court but managed to come up with some good shots in the second set.

    I went straight from there to bridge class and my first coffee of the day. I was desperate for some caffeine! This was the last class of the year and we learned some new conventions. We played a few hands before quitting around 3:00 p.m.
   I have defrosted a chicken breast for dinner but have no idea how to prepare it - probably grilled with salad. That should be quite healthy. I can use my tasty flavoured olive oil.

Monday 23 November 2015

A Chilly Night

    I am having a lazy morning - slept until 8:15, very unusual for me - and, since I couldn't connect with the internet at all yesterday (again!), decided to try this morning. And, voila, it works!

   Yesterday was a pretty full day for me, which is unusual for a Sunday. I was out of the house by 10:15 to get to the Atherton's for brunch. It was Natalie's 8th birthday on Saturday so the family was invited to help her celebrate. We were all there, including Lucy the dog, and had a lovely meal courtesy of Judy and Dave. The grandkids were all in fine fettle (and voice) and Natalie was her usual exuberant self - only more so with all the excitement.

   I left there around 1:15 to attend a demo practice. Moira put us through our paces (and then some!) so when we finished with a rousing rendition of "Chrysanthemum" (Google it if you want to see what I mean, it's a square set dance and quite lively), I was thoroughly exhausted.  She doesn't give breaks!

   I had to go by the ATM on the way home but luckily it was a drive-through so I didn't need to get out of the car. I spent the evening with my feet up on the couch, heating up leftovers later for dinner. Today I feel much better but have another busy day ahead, so will make the most of this quiet morning at home. It got below zero last night and is still only 4C so there is no temptation to go outdoors and work in the garden.

Friday 20 November 2015

Problems Connecting

   I wasn't able to connect to the internet yesterday until late evening, thus no entry. Nothing much happened - Probus meeting in the morning, bridge after lunch (played two good hands but my partner, Pinkie, and I were very frustrated by Sami who bid high just to prevent us from having the contract and then went down four under! That's not kosher.) Finally a nice relaxing swim and soak in the hot tub. 

   Today is much colder and very windy but sunny. No snow yet but it's forecast for the weekend. Fitness class in the morning, a stop off at the library to pick up two books and then, after lunch, card making with June and Trudy instructing us. We made three lovely cards and a little gift box. It was fun and my cards came out well. Trudy wants to have another class in January and I thought I might ask Judy if she wants to try it. 

    Fish for dinner tonight, so I'd better get cracking. Luckily it doesn't take long to cook. I'll bake it in the oven with some oven fries.

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Printer Problem Still Not Solved

    The day started out nicely, sunny but a bit on the cool side. I needed gloves when I walked over to the Senior's Centre for my stint in the coffee bar. But now it is raining and I understand it is to get quite cold overnight. We really haven't had any significant frost yet but this might be the first.

   Just the usual Wednesday activities and dinner tonight is salmon and quinoa. Stephen dropped by on his way home from work - we almost missed each other - to see if his laptop worked with my printer, which it did. So the problem is definitely the compatibility (or lack thereof) with Windows 10. Be warned! We have come to the conclusion I will have to replace the printer. So, if anyone is interested in a slightly used printer (and they haven't upgraded to Windows 10) let me know.

    I have finally managed to find a way to upload photos, thanks to Steve. Here's one I have been saving.

This was taken in June at Edwards Gardens. Natalie, James and me at :Dancing in the Park".

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Turkey Lunch and a Pumpkin Tart

    Much colder today but I still went out with just my jacket. I took some gloves but didn't really need them as the sun was shining. Mind you, although it was very windy, I was just running from house to car to The Estates where we had our monthly lunch.

    The meal was good - a nice salad, rather dry turkey and stuffing, saved only by the gravy, and lots of beans and carrots. Dessert was the usual ice cream and coffee. It was our Christmas lunch so there were piles of gifts for children to be donated to charity.  There were a ton of books donated for the book sale table (which I run) and we made almost $40 - that's 80 books sold! Still lots left for the next lunch.

   After the big meal I slept the afternoon away and stayed reading in bed until almost 5:00 p.m. I hope I can sleep tonight! I still wasn't hungry so just fried up a sausage and put it in a bun with lashings of mustard for dinner. I think I had enough vegetables at lunch. Nothing much on TV tonight so I may just finish the Louise Penny book I am reading. There are two books waiting for me at the library so I had better get cracking.

   Wendy brought pumpkin chiffon tarts to bridge yesterday and I still have one in the fridge so I think I will just go and indulge myself right now! They were delicious. Tomorrow I can start on a diet.

Sunday 15 November 2015

Giving At Christmas Time

      I just came across a blog entry deploring the commercializing of Christmas. This person does not participate in Christmas in any way - no presents, Christmas tree, cards or special seasonal foods! How depressing!

    I have to admit I have cut back on my Christmas spending but I do  participate in many ways. I have already cooked my plum pudding and will send cards to people I don't see very often (just to let them know I am still alive!) Just before Christmas Day I'll get out my artificial tree and decorate it with my old ornaments although I buy a couple of new ones most years.

   We don't exchange gifts in the family but donate to our favourite charity in each person's name. I have even managed to persuade my grandkids to participate in this by having them choose from the "Gifts Of Hope" catalogue, although I do get them a small gift - a book or toy. And, of course, we still get together next month at Swiss Chalet for the Festive Special and at my house for turkey and all the fixings on Christmas Day. No "Bah Humbug" for me!

    I was out working in the garden in just a sweater today - blue skies and no wind so I was able to collect up the last of the leaves. I even sat outside reading for a while. It has been an incredible November, weather-wise, so far.

    Yesterday was a busy day - I was out by 8:10 for a Scottish Country dancing workshop and returned at 5:45 with very tired legs and sore feet. Luckily I had some leftovers for supper and then soaked in the tub for half-an-hour. After that I felt better and managed to stay up to watch my usual Saturday shows until 10:45. I certainly slept well last night. Tonight I have made chicken wings in a honey garlic glaze and they look delicious.

Friday 13 November 2015

Winter is Not Far Off

   Cold and blustery today - I had my winter coat on while raking the leaves this morning. But the wind kept blowing them around so it was rather a wasted effort. I will wait for a calmer day before finishing the job.

   Fitness class this morning and I got a good workout. I didn't stay long after as I wanted to get the raking started. Then I finished the Minutes for the last RTO meeting and sent them off to Donna, very happy to see the back of them. I only hope she doesn't send them back for revisions!

   I have to take minutes again tonight at the Bridlewood Tennis Club AGM. There is likely to be some controversy as a new group is vying for the head positions. It will depend on how many people turn up - usually there is a very small turnout but that may change tonight.

   Leftover salmon and broccoli casserole tonight - hopefully the last of it. I made a minestrone soup for lunch from the tomato soup left over from cooking butter chicken last night. I don't think I will use that recipe again as, although it was a snap to prepare, it didn't taste very genuine. The soup was good though, full of pasta and vegetables.

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Remembrance Day

    Stretch and Strength class first thing this morning and I did feel all stretched out by the time it finished. It was a little bit rainy on the way there but not too cold. I stayed for coffee but left before the Remembrance day ceremony as I had to be back again by noon.

   It wasn't too busy this afternoon at the coffee bar so I was glad I took my book. I'm reading the latest Louise Penny book, "The Nature of the Beast" and am enjoying it - the usual characters who seem like old friends now. I walked there and back which amounted to about 40 minutes and, luckily, the rain stayed away. Hopefully that took care of a few calories.

    I seem to have been snacking all day so will wait until later to have some dinner. It's just the same leftovers I had for lunch so I'm not too excited about the thought of food. I copied down a neat recipe for easy butter chicken from which I will make tomorrow - that should liven up my taste buds! 

Tuesday 10 November 2015

Change in the Weather

 Tennis with Carol, Bea and Lillian this morning and I think I overdid it as I was very stiff and sore afterwards. But we did manage to win a set. I went straight from there to bridge lessons and headed straight for the coffee bar as I was gasping for a coffee. The lesson today was very interesting and we got to try out what we learned by playing several hands. I brought a sandwich for lunch and ate it between hands.

    Home for a nap but I didn't feel guilty lying in bed as it was raining quite heavily, so no possibility of working in the garden. The remaining leaves will be thoroughly soggy by tomorrow.

   I made an interesting dinner tonight - a salmon pie with broccoli and mushrooms and a mashed potato topping which I crisped in the oven. I added lots of cheese to the pie and the topping so it was very rich but delicious! There's enough left over for lunch and dinner tomorrow - and all this from one can of salmon!

Sunday 8 November 2015

Tired But Happy

     The morning went in very quickly - a tennis match on TV, the finals in Paris (Djokovic beat Murray), a little ironing and then I made the Christmas plum pudding. I discovered I had only enough suet to make a small one so I hope it will be sufficient for the Christmas dinner!

    This afternoon I went to a dance class. Tony was teaching dances with unusual formations. It was quite a challenge. In fact for one I had to come home and watch it on YouTube to see how it should be done. But most of the other dances weren't too tricky. Only 15 people attended but with Tony's wife Lorraine we managed to make up two sets.

   Now it's an evening of TV in front of the fire. It has been decidedly cool today despite sunny skies.  I have some fish to cook but, in the meantime, I am quite happily ensconced with a glass of wine and some cheese and crackers. Lidia is cooking up a storm on TV so I will just sit back and enjoy!

Friday 6 November 2015

End of the Indian Summer

   Well, the beautiful weather has come to an end with rain and blustery winds. The leaves were knee deep on the ground this morning and I did a bit of raking and filled up the composter. The rest will go to the curb to be picked up next Wednesday.

   Fitness class this morning, followed by coffee and chats. Home by 11:00, with a stop at the grocery store for a butternut squash - I had an urge to make soup for lunch. Got the soup on and went out to plant next year's garlic. It was still quite mild and the rain had stopped. I did a bit more garden clean-up as well as the raking but will need to cut the grass on the weekend. It is still growing! By the time I was done in the garden the soup was ready and, along with a sandwich, made a delicious lunch.

    After a half-hour nap I was still in a "clean-up" mood and tackled the dust bunnies under my bed. Since I only do this a couple of times a year, it's a big job - first a long-handled duster to get the majority of the fluff and then a wet cloth to finish the job. A lot of bending but it delivers a certain sense of accomplishment!

   Boneless chicken thighs for dinner. I will bread and roast them along with some sweet potato coins, and make a salad. Then everything will be eaten up ready for shopping tomorrow. I also have to shop for the ingredients for the Christmas Plum Pudding which needs to be made very soon, so that it can mature for a few weeks. 

   The temperature is dropping from a high of 18C, to 7C overnight. Already it is feeling colder. Goodbye Indian Summer!

Thursday 5 November 2015

Excitement at the Pool

   One of the lifeguards had to jump in to save a woman in difficulty at the pool this afternoon. She had just got a little out of her depth but it created a great deal of excitement among the swimmers, especially those in the conversation pool. A report had to be filed by the lifeguards and an interpreter was required as the woman didn't speak much English. At least now we know that the lifeguards are ready and able to do their job!

   This was my last stop of a very busy day starting at 8:30 a.m. I spent the morning taking the Minutes at the RTO meeting, requiring intense concentration which I'm quite unused to these days! Then I went to Arkadia, a Greek restaurant, with Marilyn, Margaret and Donna. We had a delicious lunch, I had spanakopita, and the others had fish but we all agreed the food was excellent. I hope to go back some day as there were other things on the menu I would like to try.

   After lunch, although I was quite stuffed, I went to the community centre for indoor tennis. Tamara was there and we had time to catch up while we waited our turn to play. It was quite busy with, at one point, seven people waiting to play. However, I don't think I waited more that 10 minutes at any time. Then the pool for a few laps and a relax in the hot tub. Busy, busy, busy!

   I can't decide what to have for dinner since I had such a big lunch. I've had a beer and some bruschetta but should eat something else, perhaps an omelet.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Still Indian Summer

     Still in the low 20`s today, sunny and pleasant. However, the temperature is dropping now that the sun is down. I walked to my stint behind the coffee bar this afternoon and it was a beautiful stroll - took me 20 minutes each way and saved me having to go out for a walk later.

   Keep fit this morning - I slept late and had to rush my breakfast to be there on time. Obviously I have adjusted to the time change! The class was very full - I think everyone was there since it was such a pleasant day. I stayed for coffee and tried to recruit some of the ladies for Trudy`s card-making classes. I am going on Nov. 20th to make some Christmas cards but she has lots of other dates.

   Leftover fish and barley casserole with the addition of some Brussel sprouts. I par-cooked them then browned them in butter and added some sweet chili sauce - yummy!

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Is it Really Fall?

   The temperature got up to 20C today, blue skies and a warm sun. It is set to be nice for the next few days. An Indian summer. Whoopee!

   I am currently snacking on crackers topped with Applewood-smoked cheddar,  home made chutney and a glass of red wine (left over from cooking the steak and kidney pie filling on the weekend).  Very satisfying, I really won't need any dinner but I will cook a piece of fish anyway. There's some quinoa and barley casserole left over from the weekend to go with it.

   Tennis this morning - we almost played for two hours! Then home for a quick change (I was so hot I got out some summer attire) and grabbed my lunch to take over to the Senior's Centre for Bridge lessons. First stop was the coffee bar as I hadn't had any coffee yet and was desperate for a cup. We learned about "transfer bids"  - a bit complicated for me but we tried a few hands with mixed success. It's interesting to try new things!

   The fire's on despite the warmer outdoor temperature -  it's so comforting to see its glow. The house is quite warm so won't need any other heating tonight.

Monday 2 November 2015

Hallowe'en Has Come and Gone

   I'm afraid I was a grouch on the 31st. and didn't "shell out" for the Trick-or-treaters. Usually I only have a few kids so decided this year not to participate. No one came to the door on Saturday so it was a good decision.

    The weather was lovely again today -  mid teens, blue sky and very little wind. I did a bit of garden clean-up this morning then sat outside reading for half-an-hour. Bridge this afternoon, Pinkie didn't show up (I had a message from her on my answering machine when I got home, asking if we were playing) but we managed to recruit someone to play with us. I had one terrific hand which I think I played really well but, other than that, the cards were not good.

  I made a steak and kidney pie yesterday (delicious!) so will have that again tonight. I also had caramelized Brussel sprouts with a sweet chili sauce yesterday (also delicious!) but will skip a vegetable tonight. I don't like to eat too heavily when I am going dancing as we have tea and cookies during the evening.