Wednesday 31 August 2016

An Inventive Salad

   No tennis on TV tonight and I was too busy today to watch any, but I heard another Canadian is out - too bad! Exercise class, coffee and chat, errands (the farmer was here with corn), second exercise class then working in the coffee bar. I closed up at 2:30 as no one was there for coffee so was home before 3:00. I stopped in at the library on the way home and there were three books waiting for me! I only took one and will pick up the others next week.

    I got stung by a wasp yesterday and today it is still throbbing and quite itchy. I hope it doesn't get infected as that happened to me once when I stepped on something that stung me and my whole foot became swollen. I had to go to the ER for antibiotics.

   A short but heavy cloud burst this afternoon and now it is quite cool. There's a nice breeze blowing so I have opened all the windows. Only 21C right now, won't need the A/C tonight!

   Dinner tonight was a salad to use up some vegetables. I had some tuna and egg mixture on it from the sandwiches I made on Monday - now what to do with the bread? The greens in the salad were a mixture of celery tops, cauliflower leaves, mint and basil from the garden, all chopped and mixed with cucumber, red pepper and avocado - it was surprisingly tasty with a lemon, oil and balsamic vinegar dressing.

Tuesday 30 August 2016

Watching Tennis

   The U.S Open started this week so I have my free time taken care of. Unfortunately, one of the Canadians went out today but two still remain in the men's draw. Nick Kyrios is making short work of a qualifier at the moment.

    I just played one set of tennis this morning as I was working the board and providing refreshments, but it was a good set. Tracy and I (both lefties) were 4-4 against Alan and Erin, so we were quite satisfied. Just some light gardening this afternoon and got the garden refuse ready for pickup tomorrow.

   Chicken legs and green beans for dinner tonight and there are still some sandwiches left over from yesterday's lunch so I can tell there will be a midnight snack in my future!

Monday 29 August 2016

Change of Plans

   I had my day planned out - ironing, hair shampoo and cut the front grass, bridge in the afternoon - but a phone call from Elliot changed all that. They wanted to come over for lunch and a swim, and it would be their last chance before they went back to school. So I quickly switched on the pool heater, found someone else to take my place at the Bridge table and scooted out to pick up a loaf of bread and some cheese.

   They enjoyed their last fling in the pool and left by 2:00 p.m. I had a quick nap then picked some rhubarb as I wanted to make a cake to take to tennis tomorrow. Once the cake was in the oven I relaxed with my book until Ahmet (my window cleaner) arrived to trim some trees that were encroaching on my eaves troughs. That should hold them back for another year or so. Now I just need to get Steve to come over to cut down the nearly dead mountain ash in the front. It is looking very sad and has to go.

   I also cut the front grass - it was badly in need of a trim and looks much better although there are still lots of brown patches. After that I needed another swim and the water was still beautifully warm from the afternoon. I don't think I will have the heater on again this year.

    Still eating leftovers. I had some rhubarb left from the cake and I stewed it with brown sugar and Marsala wine - it was delicious!


Sunday 28 August 2016

A Quiet Sunday

Got home from tennis this morning hot and tired although we just played for about an hour, and went straight in the pool. Stan and I came back from a 4-0 deficit to win in the tiebreak, against Kathy and Iona, so we were quite pleased with ourselves!

    The rest of the day has been very quiet, snoozing or reading, but I did bake another batch of sugar cookies as the grandkids now expect them whenever they visit.

Saturday 27 August 2016

Dinner on the Barbie

   A tasty dinner tonight - chicken drumsticks, corn and mushrooms cooked outdoors.

   I left the leaves on the corn as the last time I barbecued it "naked" it got rather charred. This time it was just right although some of the silk was difficult to remove.

Friday 26 August 2016

A Cleared Freezer

   I just have a small freezer above my fridge but it does hold quite a lot on two shelves and sometimes I can't find stuff or forget what's in there. But today it is virtually empty!

   There's half a loaf of bread, one roll of puff pastry and some pitas and that's it. I defrosted a piece of fish for tonight's dinner and, as I was using a roll of the  puff pastry to make a fish pie, I also defrosted some sausages for sausage rolls with the extra pastry. A couple of sausages went in to the fridge for breakfast tomorrow. Now I can fill the freezer with  whatever's on offer at the grocery store at my next shop. However, it is a good feeling to have it almost bare today.

   I also did a big garden clean up, removing all the self-seeding sweet pea plants as the seed pods have popped. As well, a whole bunch of dandelions which were easy to pull up after yesterday's rain. This took me about an hour by which time I was ready for a swim. It's still very hot. I played tennis this morning, requiring another swim, and watched a tennis match in the afternoon, so it has been a busy day.

The fish pie containing lots of vegetables, and the sausage rolls. Having the oven on made the kitchen very warm, even with the A/C on, so I had the overhead fan going as well. It's still 30C outside at 7:30 p.m.!

Thursday 25 August 2016

Pitter Patter Rain Drops

    After a very dry couple of months it is finally raining heavily - giving the garden a much needed drink and filling up the pool for an added bonus! Luckily I cut the back grass earlier as I'm sure all the brown patches will spring back to life tomorrow.

   I set off early for tennis this morning. It had rained a bit overnight but the courts were quite dry. People finally started to trickle in just before 9:00a.m. and I hit with Helen for a while, then had a foursome with Stuart, Paul and Gordon. That really wore me out so I switched to an easier court when Kathy arrived to take my place. It was very humid and I needed a swim when I got home around 10:30.

   Lunch with the Probus ladies today at Lara's, a middle eastern restaurant that we have been to before. I had a Fatousch salad with grilled chicken - it was so humungous I brought half home and will have it for dinner tonight.

  It's still raining. Thank goodness I didn't bother to water the garden today!

Wednesday 24 August 2016

My Day

   Here's how it went today:

7:00 getup, have breakfast (half banana with peanut butter, some yogurt), did
Sudoku and read the newspaper

7:45 talked to Zack (pool guy) about amount of chemicals  needed each week
I will be doing the pool check myself after next week.

8:45 leave for "Stretch and Strength" class at 9:00 at the senior's centre

10:00 coffee with friends after class

10:30 left to pick up library book, milk and eggs then home to prepare lunch

11:15 took lunch with me back for first half of "Osteo Fit" class - mostly aerobic

12:00 behind the counter at the coffee bar - ate lunch around 1:00

2:45 closed coffee bar, counted the cash and headed home for a nap

3:30 swim and sit in sun to dry off, read my new library book, "The Strangler
Vine". This is the prequel of my recent book, "The Infidel Stain" by M.J.

5:00 made avocado salsa to nibble on with tostitos and a glass of beer

5:45 to present - checked e-mails, blogs etc.

Now fixing dinner, broccoli casserole and a corn cob. Scared a mouse when I opened the composter to put in the peel from the corn!

Tuesday 23 August 2016

Problem Solved

   I got the coffee urn situation slightly solved this morning at the tennis club - at least we had coffee! The borrowed pot worked and we will use it until when or if we buy a new pot. It wasn't too hot - in fact it clouded over at one point - I had two good sets, then headed home as Judy and the kids were coming around 10:30 and I had left the pool heater on.

    The water temperature was up to 80F by the time I got home and the kids had their fun in the pool, then we had lunch and they left just before 2:00. I cleaned the pool after they left and it is ready for Zack (the pool guy) to add the chemicals and give it a backwash tomorrow. Just one more visit from him and  then I will take care of it myself. By the end of this month the possibility of algae should be gone (I hope!).

   I worked up a bit of a sweat lugging the hose around the pool so, after a swim, the rest of the afternoon was spent in the shade finishing my current library book, "My Brilliant Friend". It was a bit of a challenge but I am glad I didn't give up on it. I might even try the next in the series.
   I used my last tomato to make a very substantial spaghetti sauce so now I won't need any more food until tomorrow's breakfast. I'm stuffed!

Monday 22 August 2016

Pleasant and cool

   Just a quick entry as it is already 8:30 and I still have the kitchen to tidy and dishes to wash. Judy and kids are coming tomorrow and I must leave early for tennis as I have a replacement coffee urn to deliver. It's actually the tea urn from my dance group and I am hoping the basket from the old one will fit. If not we will use it to keep the coffee warm after making several pots in a small coffee maker.

   My only exercise today was to walk down to the drug store for a prescription. Bridge this afternoon and we had a good laugh and some good hands. I have changed seats as I was always getting terrible cards where I was before.

   Someone sent me this photo of my great-grandfather working on his farm in Scotland. He is also her g-g-f so we are loosely related. It was probably taken just around the beginning of the 20th century as he was born in 1851. It's hard to tell how old he is with such a heavy beard.

Sunday 21 August 2016

No Heatwave After All

    Rain first thing this morning and I thought that would mean no tennis, but the sun came out around 8:30 so I scampered about and got to the courts before 9:00. We dried off the courts and, with the help of the sun and a brisk wind, were able to play by 9:30. Stan and I started hitting and we were soon joined by Cathy and Gord. We hit for a while then played one long set and I was done!

   I was on the hunt for a new coffee urn for the tennis club this afternoon but was unsuccessful. The only one I found was out of stock so I will try again another day. Meanwhile I have arranged to borrow the tea urn from my Scottish Country Dance group and hope to convert it to making coffee. Time will tell. During my travels I stopped in at a Chinese supermarket which one of my Bridge friends had recommended. It was very busy and had everything you could want to buy including ready to eat dishes. My mouth was watering but I managed to control my appetite, apart from some free samples they were giving out.

   Leftover lamb chop for dinner with a corn cob. It was quite filling yesterday so should tide me over until tomorrow when I will defrost something else.  The temperature is supposed to go down to 13C tonight, and only a high of 23C tomorrow so it looks like the heatwave is over. I am so pleased to have cool nights!

Saturday 20 August 2016

Another Heat Wave Commences

   It's 7:15 p.m. and still in the low 30's C. I have been hiding out indoors for most if the day - it was even too hot to sit outside in the shade. A couple of swims cooled me enough to water the plants, then I scurried indoors.

   I picked up a book from the library today only to discover I had already read it. Luckily I still have another book to finish so will try to get another one from the library ASAP.

    A delicious lamb chop for dinner tonight. It was 30% off at the grocery store today and I braised it in wine to juicy tenderness. In fact I only ate half of it, it was so big, so will have the rest tomorrow.

Friday 19 August 2016

No Coffee!

   I played like a doofus at tennis this morning - balls spraying in all directions. Not getting any coffee may have contributed to that, the coffee urn was broken. But I was on the winning side in one set, thanks to my partner, Sue. She has an amazing slice!

    Still more Olympics today - the men's and women's 4X100 relays on the track, which are always exciting. This afternoon I watched the individual equestrian competition which I always enjoy - the horses are magnificent. The other event today was the Bronze medal soccer game which the Canadians won. Not my favourite sport but it was quite exciting when just the highlights were shown.

    One of my favourite dinners tonight - shrimp in a garlic and lemon sauce and a corn cob. I am still trying to clear out my freezer and I think there's just a couple of pieces of fish in there now. Grocery shopping tomorrow and I have $20 worth of PC points to cash in. I may treat myself to something special, a can of crab meat, a tasty cheese or some flavoured coffee, I'll will look out for some specials.

Wednesday 17 August 2016

A Very Warm Swim

    Cooler and very pleasant today but I spent most of it indoors as this is my day at the senior's centre - fitness classes at 9:00 a.m and 11:15, then behind the counter of the coffee bar from noon to 2:45. Home by 3:00 for a swim and found the pool was 85C! Somehow the heater had been switched on (by mistake) so I will have to try to find the culprit! It was a very pleasant swim nevertheless.

    Nothing else to report - a nice piece of salmon for dinner, and another evening of Olympics. I missed the equestrian competition this morning but perhaps they will show highlights from it later.

   An interesting sunset tonight, it only lasted a few minutes but I managed to capture it.


Tuesday 16 August 2016

Just a Blink or Two of Sunshine

   Rain all morning so no tennis. Judy and the kids arrived around 11:00 and poked around the house until lunch. Then, just as they finished eating, the sky started to lighten and they donned their swimsuits. By the time they got in the pool the sun was out and it was quite warm.

    We sat outside for almost an hour and then the clouds rolled in again and swim time was over. Since then it has been intermittent clouds and sun with a few more sprinkles. After they left I cut the back grass and pulled some more weeds - they are unending!

   More Olympics tonight - we watched the men's 200m heats this morning and there will be high jump (and other events) this evening. What will I do with myself once the Games are over?

Monday 15 August 2016

Dim Sum....Yum!

    Pinkie arranged for us to have dim sum today - at 10:a.m.! The restaurant was buzzing and if we had not been there early we would have had a long wait. I had to take the car in for a service first thing and walked down to the restaurant. I wished I had remembered my camera but I definitely will the next time we go as it has quite spectacular decor. We had many tasty dishes - we each chose two or three - sticky rice, dumplings, turnip cake and more, and we finished it all except for the dessert. That we took with us to have while we played bridge.

   Pleasant temperatures today and I cut the grass and did a bit of weed-pulling this afternoon. The weekend's rain really brought things on. It is cooling off nicely overnight so no need for the A/C. The farmer was at his spot on Birchmount today so I had fresh corn with dinner tonight.

   Still lots going on at the Olympics so I will be kept entertained tonight.

Saturday 13 August 2016

Finally .....Rain!

      A huge thunder storm this afternoon and the temperature has dropped a bit. The rain should help the grass which is quite brown and scorched, and I am glad I didn't bother to water the garden today. In fact, it sprinkled on and off from quite early this morning and is still quite overcast so there may still be more.

    Finished my current book this afternoon in between watching tennis at the Olympics - two very exciting matches. Now it's over to the track events with some Canadians in the heats - hope they make the finals.

Friday 12 August 2016

Heat Wave Continues

   Still extremely hot and now also very humid - I was on the tennis courts by 8:45 and dripping with sweat by 9:00! However, I did stay until almost 11:00 and played three sets. Not at my best and considerably worse than my level of play yesterday with Susan when we beat the two Cathies 6-1. I have had two dips in the pool today and only sat out long enough to dry off and water the garden. Time to go and give the plants in the front a drink, I think! We had some rain last night but the promised downpour today hasn't materialized.

   I am enjoying my current book, "The Vacationers" by Emma Straub. It's an easy, fast-paced read so I think I will finish it this weekend. Luckily I also have another good book from the library to get on with.

    Made these cookies this afternoon and they turned out really well. The secret seems to be to use corn starch with the flour and to mix it all in the food processor. Also, bake at 300F. I will store them in the freezer and nibble on them occasionally.

Thursday 11 August 2016

Too Much Nibbling

    It got up to 36C today and is still 32C at 7:30 p.m. I seem to have spent the day eating so some serious self-control will be required tomorrow. Here's how it went:
Breakfast was half a banana spread with peanut butter and a little bowl of yogurt. After tennis and a swim I served my tennis friends coffee and rhubarb cake - I just had a small piece. Lunch was half an apple followed by a bowl of cauliflower carrot soup but since then it's been continuous nibbling!

   I had a 2:00 p.m. meeting with the committee for our country dance group at Sheila's house. After the meeting she served us tea, cheese and crackers, and mini eclairs (I had two). Crackers and cream cheese with my pre-prandial glass of wine around 5:30 and dinner, which is pending, will be a chicken, tomato and roasted red pepper salad and, hopefully, that will be it! Perhaps some fruit or yogurt later.

Wednesday 10 August 2016


    It's 7:15 p.m. and still 35C. The A/C has been blasting away all day - hydro bill is going to be humungous this month!

    Defrosted some shrimp for dinner and will have them sautéed with a corn cob - that's all I feel like tonight.

  Although I did have a couple of dips this afternoon, it was too hot to sit outside, even in a wet swimsuit. I have been happily ensconced in front of the TV watching the Olympics. More swimming tonight but not much chance for any Canadians.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

A Lovely Trip

   Finally a chance to post an entry after a few busy days. Most of the blame lies at the feet of the Olympic coverage from Rio, so let's backtrack to Sunday.

    I was invited to visit the Athertons at their trailer on Orr Lake. It's a lovely situation, a small privately owned trailer park on quite a substantial lake. Their trailer is fairly new and quite commodious with room to sleep the three  kids in bunks and a double bed for the adults. It also has a very large screened-in porch where they eat most of their meals. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera but will remember the next time I visit. The lake has a nice beach and is quite shallow, perfect for the kids to paddle in or plunge off the dock. I had a try at kayaking in the afternoon but it was so windy that I couldn't get very far from the shore - kept getting blown back! I left around 5:30 and had rather a slow drive home, getting in at 7:30, tired but happy.

    I had a quiet morning on Monday and left for Bridge around noon. Pinkie had brought some mango pudding for us to try - delicious - and we made plans to go for dim sum next Monday before our Bridge game, should be fun and Pinkie will order for us.

    I slept in a bit this morning - thought I was getting up at 6:45 only to discover it was actually 7:45 so had a bit of a scramble to get on the road to the tennis courts at a reasonable time. Hendrina was already there when I arrived so I took the cake out of the freezer and it was ready for our little celebration after we had played two sets. Hendrina was quite thrilled to have her 80th birthday recognized and the cake went quickly although she managed to save some to take home. Our last set was shortened as Carol succumbed to the heat - this is the second time she has had to quit early.

    Lunch at Panera Bread with Judy and Elliot (the other two are at camp). I had a chicken citrus salad which was delicious and just enough for me. Since I got home it has been a mixture of reading outdoors and watching tennis at Rio (Serena is out!) and there's more to come.

    Just a light dinner tonight as I made myself some bruschetta an hour ago. I am having trouble keeping up with all the tomatoes and peppers in the garden, not to mention the kale!

Saturday 6 August 2016

First Day of the Olympics

    Where has the day gone? I have done very little but it is already 6:30p.m  and very little accomplished. Of course, I have been watching quite a bit of the Olympics (currently watching a Canadian in the women's tennis singles - and she's in the lead) and made a pot of soup for lunch and a batch of pickled beetroot this afternoon. I still have some fish to cook for dinner but that will only take a few minutes.

   I am enjoying my current book, "The Infidel Stain" and spent quite a bit of time reading this afternoon in between cooling off in the pool. It has been very pleasant, mostly sun but a gentle breeze. Currently it is 27C.

Friday 5 August 2016

Get Out the Ice Cream!

   Well, the cake did have to go in the freezer as Hendrina was a no-show at tennis. It was extremely hot and humid again and quite a few people gave it a pass today. I left at 10:00 a.m. after two sets as Judy and the grandkids were coming over for a swim (also I was very hot and uncomfortable). We had a great time with them splashing in the water and showing me their new tricks. James has taken to somersaulting into the water with a big splash. He is such fun to watch. They had a second swim after lunch and left around 2:30 just as I was thinking about a nap!

    It's still 27C at 8:00 p.m. and the A/C has been humming away all day. No sign of it cooling down but soon I will turn it off and open all the windows. I am just about to go serve myself a big bowl of pralines and cream ice cream with a piece of rhubarb cake. I will remember these roasting days when we have freezing temperatures in January! I hope it cools down somewhat overnight. This morning it was just as warm in the house as when I went to bed so no relief then.

Thursday 4 August 2016

Friends in the Pool

     My tennis friends came over for a swim after we played this morning. It was extremely hot on the courts - we were just melting by 10:00 a.m. - so a cool di was called for. Then we had coffee and rhubarb cake (and ice cream for Susan and me, the others declined) and sat around chatting as we dried off until almost noon.

   After they departed I had a quick lunch and headed out for my Zumba Gold class. Again, just melting when that was finished so another quick dip (I went straight in the pool in my workout clothes, I couldn't even wait to change) and then a nap. The rest of the afternoon was spent reading in the shade.

   I am planning on having a chicken and tomato wrap for dinner when the notion takes me. I have a cake to ice first for Hendrina's 80th birthday tomorrow. I just hope she shows up at the tennis club or it will have to go in the freezer

Wednesday 3 August 2016

A Tasty Dinner

    After light meals at breakfast (banana and yogurt smoothie) and lunch ( half an apple and a bowl of carrot lentil soup) I decided to barbecue my dinner. My little table top BBQ on the front porch is just the right size for my meal. Caramel Pecan ice cream for dessert!

A corn cob and chicken thighs

Corn, cherry tomatoes, roasted red pepper and goat cheese salad.

Tuesday 2 August 2016

A Bit of This and That

   What a splendid day it has been! Wall-to-wall blue skies - not a cloud in sight - and hot but not uncomfortably so. Tennis first thing, home for a swim by 11:00 a.m. and a bit of shopping before lunch. Since then it has been a mixture of napping, baking, gardening and reading, with several cooling dips in the pool. Now I am ready to settle down with a drink and some avocado and salsa dip. The avocado came (free) from a booth at the Roger's Cup and was just ripe enough - I timed it perfectly as it's sometimes hard to tell when an avocado is ready to eat.

    I picked rhubarb this afternoon and made a rhubarb cake in case I have company later in the week, and also roasted some peppers from the garden.

There are several more almost ready to pick - as with the tomatoes they all seem to ripen at the same time and I have to keep eating it all up.

   As promised, some photos from the Roger's Cup:
Our station at the Main Entrance.

The Mazda VIP Lounge entrance.

Up high in the stands.

The Final - Novak Djokovic defeated Kei Nishikori in a hard fought match.

Monday 1 August 2016

Simcoe Day

    Up early to make sausage rolls for today's holiday social at the tennis courts. I also took the spinach and faro salad that I brought home from yesterday's volunteer party. I didn't get to try it - it was all gone before I got to the buffet table. However, there was enough food to feed an army so I had plenty of tasty stuff - and delicious desserts! It was pretty hot on the courts but I played three sets, one some, lost some - oh, well!

    I did a bit of gardening after I got home and had a swim, and then spent the rest of the afternoon finishing my library book - "The Taming of a Queen" by Phillippa Gregory. Its subject is Katherine Parr, the last wife of Henry Vlll. Although it's a novel, it sticks pretty closely to the actual historical facts and I enjoyed it. There's another book waiting for me at the library so I will pick it up tomorrow.

    After the big lunch I just needed a light dinner so I had half of a turkey ciabatta sandwich which also came home from the volunteer party. I toasted the bun, added some roasted red pepper and had it with some cherry tomatoes and a peach. Very tasty!