Thursday 30 June 2016

Fun With the Grandkids

     Judy went into school today and dropped the kids off just before 8:30. We had a good day which included watching tennis (me), playing with a new electronic game (Elliot), making cards and other crafts (Natalie and James), and walking up to the library (all of us) which included  a stop at Tim Hortons for a coffee (me) and Creamy Chills (the kids). After our long walk we needed some down time so we all watched a DVD that Natalie had borrowed from the Library.

    Despite our morning snack everyone was ready for lunch by 12:30 - ham sandwiches, devilled eggs and a cheese and veggies plate. Elliot, James and I had some soup too and Judy had what was left when she got back around 1:30. We played Monopoly while we waited for her so it was a busy, fun day for all.

   I cleaned the pool later in the afternoon - followed by a swim - and it looks much better. I even gave it a backwash and then filled it up a bit. I hope the weather tomorrow is warm enough for everyone to have a swim, but thunderstorms are forecast.

   A baked fish fillet for dinner tonight with some kale from the garden. I also made a bean casserole for tomorrow's dinner and had some of that too. Some Pralines and Cream ice ream for a treat after. Naughty me!

Wednesday 29 June 2016

A Frustrating Day

   The pool guy came quite early this morning and fixed the leak. He did a great clean up afterwards but will be back in a day or two to replace the portion of deck he had to dig up. Since then (apart from a quick nip out to pick up groceries I will need tomorrow and Friday) I have been stuck at home waiting for the Enercare guys to show up. I had two different guys come at different times and the A/C is still not fixed. Someone will come back on Saturday to (hopefully) finish up. I couldn't even go out in the back yard in case I missed their phone call or doorbell! Meanwhile the A/C is still not working and I am praying for cool weather for the next few days, especially at night.

    I managed to amuse myself by keeping busy in the kitchen. I made a batch of carrot and lentil soup and baked a big strawberry rhubarb pie for Friday. It does look scrumptious. (OK I did go out in the back yard for five minutes to pick some rhubarb!). Since they left I have been reading "The Ice Child" by Camilla Lackberg. I highly recommend it, although it is quite gruesome, and I am at the exciting denoument. I had to miss Book Club this afternoon which was very annoying but it was either that or have to stay home tomorrow.

   I also watched some good tennis matches on TV although it was raining at Wimbledon. Luckily they have a roof on Centre Court. Both Canadians are quite easily through to the second round so next week will be exciting.

   Off to warm up some leftovers for dinner and there are still some strawberries left for dessert. Yum!

Monday 27 June 2016

Two Chores in One

  I had a busy morning - left the house just after 8:15 to be early in line at the Service Canada Centre for my new health card. It was on the way to the strawberry farm so I thought I would chance it. Unfortunately, at least a dozen people had the same idea! I hung around until almost 9:00 but the centre hadn't even opened so I left in disgust. 

   I went and picked a bucket of strawberries and decided to see how long the line was on my way home (I love combining two errands) and only had to wait about 10 minutes, got everything taken care of and was back on the road home in less than half an hour. I had bought a coffee and a pastry at the garden centre and the coffee was still warm so I enjoyed that in the car.

   Bridge this afternoon and my partner, Marie, had a Grand Slam! Unfortunately we had only bid at the three level so wouldn't have earned all the points. Other than that the cards were pretty dismal so I think Samia and Diane would have come out on top.

   It has been extremely hot today and got up to 34C this afternoon but the A/C in the house and the car are working efficiently. I spent a little time outside, watering the plants and reading in the shade, and had two dips in the pool. The water is still up over 80F but tonight  should be cooler so it may go down before morning.

   Liver, onions and mushrooms for dinner tonight and I will also cook some green beans - strawberries and cream for dessert!

Sunday 26 June 2016

Surprise Visitors

    When I got home from tennis this morning (Susan and I beat Kathy and Candy) there was a message on my answering machine. Judy asked if they all could come over for a swim - it was hot! I rang back and caught them as they were about to leave so assured them visitors would be welcome, especially with the promise of providing lunch! I tried to clean the pool but gave up after 20 minutes as there was virtually no suction, but I did turn on the heater. It's well over 80F now.

   They arrived about 11:30, had a swim, cooked hot dogs on my barbecue and were back in the pool for another swim soon after. I couldn't find my camera so didn't get any pictures but, hopefully, it's the first of many days of fun in the pool. They left around 3:00 and I went for a nap. Then a quick trip to the store to replenish supplies and that's been my busy day!

   Salmon for dinner with green beans but no carbs - I had a big sausage in a bun for lunch and will try not to eat anything starchy until tomorrow. The temperature was in the 30's since early this morning. Thank goodness the A/C is working.

Friday 24 June 2016

Clearing the Fridge

     I am still trying to use up all the food in my fridge and today I managed to clear out one freezer drawer by making a salad. Now it will get washed (the drawer I mean) ready for shopping tomorrow. The salad had two lonely lettuce leaves, a quarter avocado and half a small grapefruit, all doused in juice from half a lemon, some balsamic and olive oil. Nourishing and healthy!

   With the salad I will have a baked basa fillet on a bed of kale (from the garden) and some broccoli and cheese casserole, using up an opened container of sour cream approaching its expiry date  in the process! I feel very virtuous, and no carbs.

   I got in 3 sets of tennis this morning despite Kaffeeklatsch being restricted to just four courts due to the paving of the main driveway. There was lots of time for socializing and plenty of coffee in between sets but I left around 11:15. It was quite hot by then but, on the whole, it was a very pleasant morning

   The techies came to fix my A/C this afternoon and were here quite a while. The problem was more serious than I thought and they have to come back tomorrow to finish. Fingers crossed that they can do so as it is supposed to be quite hot over the weekend.

   "Outlander" tonight and a new episode of "New Tricks" so I will be well entertained until bed time.

Thursday 23 June 2016

Out For Lunch Again

    Beautiful morning on the tennis courts with Kathy, Cathy and Chan. Mid 20's and no wind, perfect playing weather, but the winners were Cathy and Chan even though Kathy and I had some good games. I had a swim when I got home before getting changed for lunch with the RODEO ladies.

   Lunch today was at Bluffer's Restaurant, down by the lake. It's a beautiful location and the food is reasonable. I had Seafood Quiche with a salad and a glass of wine. After lunch I took a stroll down to the water and saw a heron surveying the world from a sailboat mast. Very nautical.

    A bit of gardening after my nap but it got a little cool so I didn't stay out long. I didn't need much dinner tonight so I made an omelet with mushroom, chicken and roasted red pepper - just whatever needed eaten up in the fridge. It also had some blue cheese sprinkled on top. There's another chocolate brownie calling to me from the freezer so I may indulge in that later!

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Unusually Busy

    I thought this would be a quiet day as my fitness class is over until next month, but it  turned out to be quite hectic. The pool guys were here first thing and solved the chlorinator problem but I am still getting lots of air in the system and expect the suction will still be poor when I go to clean the pool.

   Next was the puddle in the basement! I discovered it last night and I suspect the water is coming from the A/C unit. I called to arrange for a technician and he will be here Friday afternoon. It's only a month since I had the annual checkup. I hope it's nothing serious.

   After dealing with all that I cut the back grass and generally tidied the yard. It is looking much better. That took me until 11:15 so a quick shower before walking over to the senior's centre for my duty in the coffee bar. It was very quiet there today (I only sold 4 cups of coffee) so I closed up around 2:00 p.m. and walked home. I got my 4,000 steps and also 4 chocolate brownies which were going for free. So each cancels the other out!

    A bit more gardening when I got home - there's always something to do there - then a quiet time with my book on the lounger. Today I started "The Light of Heaven" by Edna O'Brien, a novel describing the immigrant experience in the early 20th century. It's very good so far.

   Yesterday I had Natalie over for dinner before we went to DITP so I had the leftovers from that meal tonight . She did really well at the dancing - learned how to do a reel and practiced the setting step. We did 5 or 6 dances but she fell asleep on the way home. She'd had a busy day!

Monday 20 June 2016

The Plumber Cometh

   There was thunder rumbling in the distance but no rain materialized which is a shame as the garden needs a good soaking. So I have been out with my hose, front and back. It hit 34C this afternoon so I had two dips in the pool which is already 79F without having to resort to the heater.

   The plumber came this morning and I no longer have any leaking taps - all covered by my Maintenance plan. The tap in the basement was going to be an additional cost so I decided just to forgo that repair. It really is hardly dripping at all. I had to be up and dressed by 8:00 a.m. but he didn't come until nearly 10:00. At least I got some much needed housework done while I waited.

   Bridge this afternoon and I had one amazing hand - a small slam but unfortunately we had only bid at the 4 level. Other than that pretty ho-hum cards but better than the last few weeks.

   Liver, mushrooms and onions for dinner tonight with a small salad with olives and blue cheese. Tasty!
Blue Cheese and Avocado salad. It also had tomato, roasted red pepper and olives with lemon balsamic dressing.

Sunday 19 June 2016

So Hot!!

   I had a great night out yesterday - a good meal and then danced every dance -  but I came home with aching feet and tired legs. As a result it took me forever to get to sleep. I had planned to get to tennis early because of the heat but just got there about 10 minutes ahead of my usual 9:00 a.m. start time.

   Kathy and Susan were there shortly after and we got a court at 9:00 but had to give it up at the next changeover. By that time we were all quite hot and sweaty and glad to stop. Susan and I headed home but I think Kathy stayed for another set - brave girl!

  I was in the pool within minutes of getting home and that cooled me off sufficiently. Next on the agenda was the final of the men's tournament at Queen's (London). I was very torn as to who to support - Andy Murray (Scottish) or Milos Raonic (Canada). Milos won the first set in a tiebreak and was up a break in the second set before Andy upped his game and was the ultimate winner. It was an excellent match with some amazing shots - very enjoyable!

    Another swim this afternoon and am now sitting in a nicely cooled house. It's 33C out there! Salmon, quinoa and corn for dinner tonight, a nice change after the heave meal of cabbage rolls, beef remoulade and chicken schnitzel last night. I'm scared to weigh myself!

Saturday 18 June 2016

A Big Night Out

   I'm doing an early blog today as I will be leaving for the White Heather Ball in a couple of hours. It's held just north of Oshawa in the General Sikorski Hall and the food is very Polish. I'm expecting to pig out on cabbage rolls and Weiner Schnitzel!

    Luckily the Hall is air conditioned as it is another scorcher today. I noticed the temperature was 33C when I logged in today. The pool is warming up nicely and I had a dip just before lunch after doing a (very) little gardening. Since then I have been hiding out indoors where it is still cool and have just finished practicing the dances for tonight. None are too hard but did need to be reviewed.

    I was woken up at 6:00 a.m. this morning by the little dog down the street barking his head off. For some reason his owners let him go at it for about 20 minutes and as I had all the windows open I kept waking up with each renewed chorus. I did manage to get back to sleep eventually and woke again at 7:30. Still, I didn't feel completely rested so hope this does not turn into a regular occurrence.

Friday 17 June 2016

In My Garden

   Here`s a photo of the kale in my vegetable garden. It is only three weeks since I bought the plants from the garden centre and already I am picking it and using it in recipes. It really is a `wonder food`! Yesterday I put it in an omelet. I wonder if I could make Kale soup. Maybe I will try that tomorrow.

I picked these peonies last week and they have lasted several days indoors. They really are better picked early as they don`t last long in the garden, especially if we have heavy rain.

    It was all go today as I was on the road to Don Mills by 7:45 a.m. I got there by 8:00, had everything ready for Kaffeeklatsch by 8:20 and hit for a bit with Maria until some more people showed up. It was not very busy today which made for a stress free time. Lots of treats as I had brought my Rhubarb cake, Kathy brought chocolate wafers and Hendrina brought cherries. Then, just as we were ready to go (it was very hot) Margaret showed up with yummy lemon cake. I just played two sets - I was hot even sitting in the shade! Needless to say I used the pool a couple of times to cool off once I got home.

    I had a productive afternoon, after a nap. First I set up a plumber to come on Monday to fix my two dripping taps. Then I sorted out some debris in the garage and got the outdoor tap there turned on so I could water the front border. Finally I tidied the front porch and got the propane tank hooked up to my barbecue. Finally I marinated some chicken wings and later barbecued them. They got a bit charred on the outside as I forgot to turn down the flame but were tasty nevertheless. I am just glad the barbecue has survived the winter

Thursday 16 June 2016

Out With the Ladies Who Lunch

    A special treat today - I had lunch out with Donna, Bonnie and Diane. We went to Diane's Seafood after this morning's Probus meeting. We all had lobster and crab rolls with carrot and ginger soup and coleslaw. Everything was delicious! Donna and Diane also split an order of oysters and gave me one to try. They were rather expensive - $15 for a dozen - but I may try them next time we go there. It's a favourite haunt for the three of them and I was honoured to be invited to join them.

    The Probus meeting went well - I got some free paperbacks, schmoozed over coffee and then we had an interesting speaker telling us about the writing process and her most recent novel. I buttonholed Gloria at the coffee break and persuaded her to be available as a substitute for our Monday afternoon bridge foursome. I also signed up for next Thursday's RODEO lunch as it's at one of my favourite spots, Bluffer's Restaurant down by the lake.

    After the big lunch I just had a light dinner tonight - an egg and vegetable omelet with some kale from the garden. it's amazing how quickly it is ready to pick. I also made a rhubarb cake to take to Kaffeeklatsch tomorrow. The rhubarb in the garden has been very prolific this year and I plan to make some rhubarb and ginger jam soon.

Monday 13 June 2016

A Busy Morning on the Computer

   I had the TV on early this morning to watch tennis from London (not the Wimbledon tournament) but it was raining and they were showing reruns of last year's matches so I switched off. I started typing up the Minutes from last week's RTO meeting and was still at it at 11:30 when I decided to call it a day.
I had just left myself time to get showered and dressed - and prepare a packed lunch - before it was time to leave the house for Bridge.

   I actually managed to play two hands, and made the contract in one, but I was still getting terrible cards most of the time. I hope my luck starts to improve soon. Marie had a grand slam! I made a blunder just as we were getting ready to leave. Sheila came over to ask if anyone was available to play on Thursday and I volunteered without remembering I had been invited to lunch after the Probus meeting that day. When I got home I called Sheila to see if she could get someone else but if she doesn't, I will have to play. I will be very disappointed if I have to miss the lunch!

   I have a basa fillet to cook for dinner tonight and still have not decided how to prepare it. I thought about kedgeree but am almost out of milk which I would need for the sauce. It will probably be baked in the oven with some vegetables and a spicy topping. I also have some asparagus to use up which will be a tasty side dish. No carbs though!

Sunday 12 June 2016

Strange Weather

   Yesterday was a scorcher but, amazingly, the house stayed quite cool. By evening the wind had picked up and changed direction so it was a cool night. There had been heavy rain overnight but I cut the grass both front and back nevertheless.

    Today was still very windy (at one point this afternoon I was expecting the fence to blow over) but we played tennis anyway. Susan and I won 6-2 against Shirley and Betty which was pretty impressive for us. Susan's awesome forehand was working well. I did a bit of gardening this afternoon and even sat reading in the sun for a bit, but I was quite well wrapped up. It only got up to the low 20's today so no swimming. It has calmed down a bit now.

    Sticky chicken wings for dinner and some of the leftover asparagus frittata. I also had some of it in a croissant for breakfast - that was really yummy! I had corn with the wings yesterday and made another rhubarb crumble today. I have been well fed this weekend 

Friday 10 June 2016

Fun in the Sun

     A lovely morning at tennis today - sunny but not too hot and not much wind so I stayed until 11:30. Some errands on the way home - picked up beer and wine and returned all my empties, then filled the car with gas. That will cut down on my chores tomorrow.

     I made an interesting meal tonight. It was a crab and asparagus quiche but without the pastry. Lots of cheese made it extra tasty and there's enough left for tomorrow.

Thursday 9 June 2016

One Last Zumba Class

      Not as cool and windy today but too cool to swim - the water temperature is under 70F, too cold even for me! We did get up to 23C today but back in the teens now.

    I had my work cut out for me, taking notes at the RTO meeting this morning. It was long and with much discussion on several contentious topics. Now I have to type up the minutes and send them to everyone. The facility where we hold the meeting, Cedarbrook Lodge, was having a barbecue and we were invited to attend. Can you believe I was the only one to stay? I had a tasty hamburger with potato and Caesar salad and some nice company.

   The it was a quick change before heading over for the last Zumba class. I worked up quite a sweat and was ready for a nap by the time it was done I got up around 3:20 and spent the rest of the afternoon reading. I've started "A Certain Justice" by P.D. James and, although the book is big and heavy, I'm really enjoying it.

    After my big lunch I just made a frittata for dinner. I included some kale leaves from the garden - my first picking - and topped it with crumbled blue cheese. Seriously delicious!

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Unseasonal Weather

     This was my exercise morning so I set off just before 9:00 a.m. for my first class. It finished at 10:00 a.m. and I took a quick run up to the garden centre (Wednesday  is senior's discount day) and bought two more echinicia plants, one pink and one white, and a purple basil. Then back to the senior's centre for my second class which I only get to do half of as it overlaps with my shift in the coffee bar.

   It was very quiet in the coffee bar today as several of the usual classes are finished until July and I had to throw out half a pot of coffee. I usually manage not to have too much left over but today I miscalculated. Sometimes I will bring the leftover coffee home in my thermos but I won't need to make any coffee tomorrow as we get free coffee and snacks at our RTO meeting.

    It has been bitterly cold (for June!) today with a strong wind that feels like it has come from the North Pole! Right now it is 15C although it did get up to 17C at one point this afternoon. However, it feels much colder. No swimming this week - I haven't even bothered to check the temperature of the water. It will be Saturday before it gets to more seasonal temperatures  but the water in the pool will still be rather chilly as the nights are staying cool.

   I managed to get the new plants in the ground, decked out in my warmest hoodie, and I just hope they survive the transplant. Everything else - tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, kale, herbs - are well established and should survive a few cold days. Then I had a long chat with James, my youngest grandson, and we have agreed that he will wait until July to come over for a swim. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will have warmed up by then!

Tuesday 7 June 2016

A Movie

     It was a dull, cool morning but only a few sprinkles of rain so we managed a full morning of tennis. I got home around 11:30 with more than my usual dose of coffee (it was chilly) but still managed a short nap after lunch.

    After pulling weeds for half an hour I left for the cinema to see "Me Before You" - quite a tear jerker but enjoyable nevertheless.  I got dinner in the oven by 7:15 then returned James' call from yesterday. He was at Baseball practice so maybe I will talk to him tomorrow. He wants to come over for a swim but I think it will be too cool for the next weekend so I don't think that's going to happen any time soon.

   A nice piece of fish, baked in the oven. for dinner with some more asparagus. That should keep me until tomorrow morning

Monday 6 June 2016

A Quiet Day

   A quiet morning - I made vegetable barley soup and roasted a red pepper - then bridge this afternoon with Marie, Diane and Sami. I had terrible cards again; it's been weeks since I had a decent hand. A bit of gardening when I got home but it was a bit on the cool side (despite my outdoor thermometer reading 30C!) so I came inside after filling a bucket with weeds.

   Nothing else on the agenda - dinner is leftovers but I have polished off a bottle of white zinfandel that I opened on Saturday. I had some blue cheese on crackers with some grapes with the wine so no rush for dinner. The sky is getting quite dark so we may have some more rain before long.

   Here's a photo from a while back:
This is one of the easier puzzles I completed this winter.

Sunday 5 June 2016

A Good Soaking for the Grass

    Rather a dull day today but not cold. A couple of quite heavy rain showers this afternoon but it is now sunny and drying up. A pleasant 24C.

   There was rain overnight so I didn't go to the tennis courts. Instead I spent the morning watching the Men's Final from the French Open - great tennis and quite a tense match, but Novak beat Andy in the end to get his first French Open title and all four slams. Yesterday's Women's Final was also exciting with Serena being beaten by a youngster from Spain.

    Some gardening this afternoon in between showers. I finally feel I am getting the upper hand although the rain will just encourage the weeds to keep growing! No need for a swim but the water has stayed around 74F and the rain has kept the water level up.

   I picked some rhubarb yesterday and made a rhubarb crumble - there's still some left for tonight. Dinner is Mediterranean chicken legs (baked with onions, tomatoes and home made sauce) and a corn cob. I am still reading "After You" by Jojo Moyes, the sequel to "Me Before You" which we discussed at Book Club a month or two back.

   The sky is getting darker again and I think I heard some thunder so the wet weather is not done with us yet!

Friday 3 June 2016

Treats and Gossip

   No post yesterday as I went up to Port Perry late in the afternoon for a practice for the White Heather Ball which is on June 16th. It took me over an hour, fighting the rush hour traffic on the 401, then driving an interminable distance north of Whitby to get there. It was fun once I arrived and I did learn a couple of tricky dances, but driving home in the dark on a road I was unsure of was no picnic either. I don't think I will go there again.
   Gorgeous morning on the tennis courts - I stayed until noon, not playing all the time but had 4 sets, coffee and cookies, and caught up on the gossip, then helped Magda clear everything away so we are welcome next time. We really need to get people to wash and dry their own coffee cups - they must think their mother works there!

    I had two stops to make on the way home - the bank and the library - so it was almost 1:00 p.m. before I got in the house and straight into the pool. The water temperature is still hovering around 74F but was so refreshing after a sweaty morning that I stayed in for quite a while. Then lunch and a nap until about 2:30 when I did a bit of gardening. I cleared a little border by the back walkout and think I will put in another echinacia plant to attract butterflies - tomorrow is Senior's discount day at the garden centre so I will pick it up then. It had clouded over by then so it was quite comfortable working outdoors.

    Did I mention my visit to "The But and Ben"? It's a little Scottish bakery by the Civic Centre (I was there for the Planning Board hearing into the church application to close the walkway we use). I bought several unhealthy but delicious treats (pie, bridie, haggis)which I will have for dinner tonight - naughty me!

Wednesday 1 June 2016

Not So Warm

   No swim today - decidedly cool and I wasn't doing anything to work up a sweat. It was sunny but only got up to 21C because of the north wind. The pool has dropped a couple of degrees and will continue to do so while the nights are cool. At least it is comfortable sleeping weather.

   I had my fitness classes this morning then in the kitchen at the Senior's Centre for a few hours this afternoon. Classes are beginning to wind down, only a couple more weeks until they are over until July. I will have to get out on the golf course!

   Fried fish and green beans for dinner tonight - if the fish is defrosted in time! I'm not starving yet so will give it a couple more hours. The pool guys came by today to check the chemicals in the pool even though I asked them to come only every other week. I will have to give them a call. The return vents are still producing a lot of bubbles, indicating air is getting in somewhere but they don't seem concerned so I won't worry about it either. No news is good news!