Friday 29 January 2016

Boots and Winter Coat Today

    Yoga yesterday morning followed by lunch at Dragon Pearl Buffet on York Mills. What a selection of delicious food they had! There were Chinese, Japanese and Thai dishes so I tried to sample as much as possible. Sushi, stir fries, dim sum dumplings and more. I was up to the buffet tables three times and was thoroughly stuffed by the time I called a halt. We each got individual pots of green tea on heating candles to wash it all down and took our time between visits to the food. I would certainly recommend it and hope the RODEO ladies go there again next year!

   Fitness class this morning, a very good workout, then a short chat over coffee before I headed home to shovel the driveway. The snow overnight was light, fluffy stuff so I had it cleared in half-an-hour, despite -6C and a strong north wind. Then I had a quick lunch and changed for the afternoon demo at Living Life retirement home. I only mixed up one dance slightly and was able to correct myself before anyone noticed (I hope).

   Still eating up the turnip from Monday. Tonight I am having it with crispy bacon mixed in just to make it more appetizing. I am getting pretty sick of it!

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Under the Weather

   Not much has happened in my neck of the woods in the last week.  I spent the weekend in bed with a bug which lingered until Tuesday but I had a couple of commitments on Monday so had to dose myself with some home remedies and hope for the best.

    Burn's Night on Monday with my social group so it was "piping in the haggis" and a meal with 'neeps and tatties and lots of other goodies. Luckily my stomach had settled down enough for me to enjoy the treats. I had leftover turnip and haggis again yesterday and turnip rissoles tonight. I may be eating it for the rest of the week!

    Tennis yesterday morning but I skipped Bridge lessons and slept all afternoon. Just needing to let my body fight off the virus.

   I closed the coffee bar early today as I had to be at Book Club by 2:30. We were discussing "The Painted Girls" by Catherine Marie Buchanan, a story set in belle epoque Paris and featuring Edgar Degas and Emile Zola. We were split on its merits (I definitely liked it though some thought it rather slow) but everyone agreed the author portrayed the period very accurately.

    Beautifully mild and sunny today - almost like Spring! - but back to winter tomorrow. It has been great not to wear boots or heavy winter coats too often!

Thursday 21 January 2016

On the Go All Day

   I am having a restful evening watching tennis from Australia after a busy day - no nap today and I won't be having an early night as there's a show I want to watch that doesn't finish until 11:00 p.m. So I shouldn't have any trouble getting to sleep tonight!

   It has been a fairly mild day today, it got up to -3C this afternoon with sunny skies and no need for boots. There's a massive snow storm coming north from the U.S. but it's supposed to miss us, fingers crossed. I really like the winter we're having this year.

   I was out of the house by 9: 45 this morning for the Probus meeting (skipped Yoga), went from there to Bridge with Marie, Margaret and Bonnie around noon, and from there back to Agincourt Community Centre for a swim. I tried out the sauna and found it quite relaxing, but after being in there a few minutes, the hot tub didn't feel hot at all! I did my usual 12 lengths - I don't seem to be able to increase this but at least have not had to reduce it. 

   Another meatless dinner tonight and not much carbs. You'd think I would have lost a pound or two but no such luck. I guess it's all the cookies with my coffee!

Tuesday 19 January 2016

Catchup Time Again

     Back to Sunday - I had a quiet morning doing chores, reading and working on my current puzzle. I made soup and had an early lunch because I was due at Broadlands for demo team practice by 2:00 p.m. It was a good turn out with two full sets and we did several fun dances, but I was tired by the time we quit at 4:00 p.m.

   I found a short cut to the DVP and was up in Markham by 4:30 for James' birthday party. He opened his presents while we relaxed with a glass of wine and a cheese tray. Then Judy served a delicious dinner of Pork Wellington (pork tenderloin wrapped in puff pastry), roasted vegetables and kale salad. This was followed by chocolate cake with a yummy strawberry filling. Later we played "Headbandz", Elliot was the big winner. He's so smart!

    I got home in time for "Downton Abbey" and "Borgen", my two regular Sunday night shows, and was ready for bed by 10:00 p.m. - a busy day!

  A stay-at-home day on Monday until the evening and I was happy to stay indoors as it was very cold (-10C) and windy out. Scarborough social group in the evening with another good turnout. We certainly need a few of these as our rent is going up this year  by almost 50%! It remains to be seen if we can sustain this over time as the church is asking us to continue to pay the monthly rent through the summer months when we don't meet and therefore have no money coming in. Time will tell!

    Another cold day today with minus temperatures and an icy wind, but no snow. I had an early start to the RWTO meeting at 9:30 a.m. followed by lunch - roast beef, yum! And they even remembered the horseradish!! Cheesecake for dessert, also yummy.  

   A quiet evening watching tennis from Melbourne - what a treat! No Canadians playing today but Milos and Eugenie are still in the mix. Good luck to them.

Saturday 16 January 2016

It's Saturday Again - How Time Flies!

    An early post tonight as I am off dancing this evening. It's the monthly dance at Crescent school so I won't bother with any dinner as we get tea and sandwiches around 9:00 p.m. I had a quick look at the dances earlier and only a couple are going to be challenging - I may sit them out!

    No freezing rain overnight after all, in fact no rain at all and we had a sunny afternoon. The temperature has dropped just below zero now and it's a bit windy but not too unpleasant.

   Usual Saturday chores today but I spent the afternoon reading my current library book - "Career of Evil" by Robert Galbraith (also known as J.K. Rowling) and the third book in the Cormoran Strike series. He's an ex-army private detective and a rough but quite lovable character so I'm enjoying it immensely. I still have the Saturday paper to read so will get stuck into that once I finish posting. The fire's on and it's cosy in here - I noticed today that it was still light at 5:00 p.m. so the days are getting longer.

Friday 15 January 2016

An Unfrosty Friday

    Still mild, in fact rain is forecast for this evening.  It was supposed to get up to 5C today but where I am it only reached 1C so it may be freezing rain. Just in case, I put the car in the garage. I hate having to scrape ice off in the morning before I can go anywhere. My main quest tomorrow is to find a gift and card for James as it's his 6th birthday on the 19th.

    I had a good workout at fitness class today and, after coffee, just had time to clear off the driveway (again!) before heading back to the Senior's Centre for Progressive Bridge. This is a bit more challenging for me as the level is much higher than my usual groups. I managed not to embarrass myself, in fact got a compliment on one of the hands I played! I picked up some free soup before I left so that will be lunch tomorrow.

    Just leftover chicken and roast potatoes for dinner tonight, followed by a minneola. That should hold me until breakfast.


Thursday 14 January 2016

Yoga and Bridge

    Not so cold today and we even saw some sun this afternoon. The temperature almost reached zero by the afternoon and I tidied up the driveway which still had some icy patches. First yoga class since mid December and, boy, was I aching after. But I feel I have had a great stretch and cleared my lungs with all the deep breathing. I just came home for coffee today as my usual group of friends don't do yoga.

   Bridge with Bonnie, Marilyn and Margaret this afternoon and I had a couple of very successful hands. I also had a couple where I went down badly and one I shouldn't have bid on at all! We live and learn.

   Skipped the pool this afternoon as I am almost, but not completely, back to normal. I ate normally today for the first time since the weekend and feel none the worse for it - cereal and orange juice for breakfast, a sandwich and half an apple at lunch and salsa chicken and delicious balsamic roasted potatoes for dinner. Samia called me this evening to see if I could play bridge on Monday but I already have a game arranged.

Wednesday 13 January 2016

More Like January

    No more snow after all but quite cold (-8C) and a strong north wind. Just my usual Wednesday - fitness class in the morning followed by coffee, a trip to the library, home to change out of my gym clothes, then back to the coffee bar for my afternoon shift. Not a big crowd so I closed up at 2:30, counted the cash and locked up.

    While I was at the library this morning I dropped into Dollarama next door and picked up a new jigsaw puzzle. Although they don't have a big choice they are only $3. It's 1000 pieces so will keep me busy for quite some time!

   I still haven't got my appetite back so just had yogurt for breakfast, soup for lunch and a mushroom omelette for dinner. Maybe I'll lose a few pounds!

Tuesday 12 January 2016

The First Snow

   I've been feeling rather under the weather for the last couple of days but had things to do, people to see and places to go so......soldiered on regardless.

   Yesterday I made a trip to the bank to see about my missing $40 and, voila, it's back in my bank account! Persistence pays off, seemingly. I had to talk to the manager to get it done but it only took a few minutes. As I left she said, "Have a good day", to which I replied, waving the receipt, "Now I will!"

   Bridge in the afternoon (Pinkie, Diane and Diru were our group and I had a wonderful hand where I bid 4 and made 6) and dancing at night with a nap in between. Bad news for our social group - the church where we meet has increased the rent to $150 per month (as compared to $25 a week) but also insists we pay for the three summer months we don't meet and don't have any money coming in! If we go along with this we will soon deplete our meagre resources but the management seems entirely oblivious to our concerns! We are looking into an alternative location.

    The first Robbie Burns' lunch today despite a heavy snowfall overnight. We did have some snow in December but it soon disappeared so this our first real snowstorm. The snow was quite light so I cleared half the driveway before I left and left myself plenty of time to get to the west end on a very sloppy highway. The pie, haggis and coleslaw was tasty. The haggis was piped in and addressed by Brian, then we performed some dances (I mixed up two but we managed to disguise the fact so I don't think the audience noticed). Then we had the good folks up for a few ceilidh dances so fun was had by all. Filled the car with gas on the way home as it was just 96 cents a litre - the cheapest in quite a while. When I got home I got the snowblower going to clear the rest of the driveway even though more snow is forecast for tonight. I had plugged in the battery before I went out and it worked a charm.

   Don't feel like much dinner tonight but there's some fried fish in the fridge in case I get peckish later.

Here's another puzzle I did over Christmas - it was very hard as everything seemed out of focus. It's a well known painting  - "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat.

Sunday 10 January 2016

A Change in the Weather

   It started out quite mild this morning (6C) but with lots of rain - my back yard is a pond! However, the temperature dropped radically this afternoon and by 4:00 p.m. we had snow showers and zero. I hate to think how icy it will be tomorrow. I put the car in the garage just in case everything ices up.

    I spent a good chunk of today typing up the minutes from Thursday's meeting but now it's done and sent off to Donna for her perusal. My last effort had a couple of mistakes so I hope she catches any errors this time.

    Over the holidays I did a couple of jigsaw puzzles and this was one of them which took me almost two weeks. It is the interior of a cathedral in Vienna but I haven't been able to find out which one. It was very tricky the first time but a little easier when I tried it a second time. Maybe I will visit the real thing some time, it is certainly beautiful!

Saturday 9 January 2016

Rainy and Dull

   Very mild today for January, 6C although my outdoor thermometer was showing 9C. In any effect, most of the snow is gone. There was rain overnight but today was just dull and grey. It is so unusual to see the green grass at this time of year.

    I called off my dinner date with Bud - just didn't feel like socializing and he didn't seem too disappointed! I would rather just stay home and watch TV and I still have some of the free meal from yesterday to eat. I will cook up some broccoli to go with the meat and potatoes - an easy dinner. There are usually good shows on TV on a Saturday.

   Didn't accomplish very much today other than my usual Saturday chores. But I did make an interesting loaf in my bread machine. It was a parmesan and sundried tomato concoction with garlic and onion powder and it turned out very well. Of course I have already gobbled up a couple of slices! I will slice the rest and store it in the freezer, out of temptation's way.


Friday 8 January 2016

An Unusual Day

   Today started out as my usual Friday but things took a turn for the better in the afternoon. My regular fitness class this morning followed by coffee with friends. After returning home I found some tennis on SN1 - the WTA Brisbane Open. I just caught the end of a quarter final match but, since the next match wasn't scheduled for a couple of hours I decided on something different.

    I walked over to the Senior's Centre for Duplicate Bridge. This is a new activity for me and a bit more challenging than my usual group. The other attraction was that there are free dinners delivered on Fridays around 1:00 p.m. from a catering company (probably their leftover lunches) and today there was quite a selection. I managed to get a roast beef, mashed potatoes and veg. meal. as well as a carton of navy bean soup. As it is served cold I took it home after bridge and heated up the soup. The roast beef meal was too much to finish for dinner so I ate all the vegetables and saved some of the meat and potatoes for another day.

    Bud (from bridge) has offered to lend me a book (to improve my game) so we have arranged to meet for dinner tomorrow night so that he can give it to me. I hope he doesn't expect me to have read it and upped my game by next Friday! I may have to avoid playing at his table in the future!

Wednesday 6 January 2016

A Warming Trend

    Still in the negative values this morning but it got above zero by the afternoon under sunny skies. I walked to the Senior's Centre around noon for my shift in the kitchen and back again around 3:00. Very pleasant!

    My day started with fitness class followed by coffee with some of the other ladies. Our little group has grown somewhat smaller with people having to pass up on exercise due to injuries or other commitments. But it was nice to catch up on everyone's holiday activities.

    So, not a very eventful day but I am glad to get back to my usual weekly activities. Yesterday I had my usual tennis game at Hendrina's but I have to miss the next two Tuesdays because of other commitments. I made cabbage rolls for dinner tonight but they were rather overcooked and the cabbage was too chewy. I'd better search out a proper recipe before I try them again!


Monday 4 January 2016


   The outside temperature was -15C this morning and with the wind chill, -20 something but, with sunny skies, it didn't felt that cold. It did get up to -10C this afternoon but is falling again as the sun goes down. I noticed that dusk is coming a little later this week which is a good thing.

    First thing this morning (well, 10:00 a.m.) was a visit to the bank as the ATM gipped me out of $40 yesterday! They will look into it but I'm not holding my breath. Bridge this afternoon and we had some good laughs but Pinkie and I had terrible cards, although I did manage a no-trump game which can sometimes be tricky. The other pair, Marie and Diane, had a grand slam game, so their cards were really working out for them.

  Out dancing this evening so will have to bundle up - will have to force myself to go but I know I will have fun once I`m there.

Friday 1 January 2016

Another New Year

    A lazy morning and not too much for breakfast as I was lunching at Judy and Dave's and they always put on a good feast. We usually go to Steve and Alison's on New Year's Day but Alison had just got back from 10 days with her family in Victoria. Steve stayed in Toronto to look after the pets and that's a full time job!

    The grandkids were in fine fettle and as boisterous as usual. We started with champagne mimosas (well, prosecco actually but it was fizzy and delicious) then had lasagna, salad and garlic bread followed by a selection of cookies and bars from Judy's Christmas cookie exchange. They were delicious and, as usual, I went for the chocolate ones! After lunch we played a game of Family Feud and I think some cheating went on as my team didn't win. Natalie came out on top of the money round with her quick answers - although it helps to go first. Elliot and James were quite piqued by her success!

   Home for a nap by 4:00 and then just reading by the fire. It's not too cold today with only a few snow flurries - not enough to shovel. I will just have a light dinner later as I am still stuffed. One of my New Year's resolutions is to only eat when I have hunger pangs rather than on a schedule. We'll see how long that lasts. Thankfully exercise classes start again next week and, if the snow stays away, I will try for some longish walks. If we get snow, shovelling it will be my exercise!

Time to put away the Christmas table centrepiece for another year!