Wednesday 19 October 2016

Getting Ready For a Trip

   Off to Spain tomorrow so it is unlikely I will be able to post while I am away. But there should be lots of photos when I get back.

   Just my usual Wednesday - Fitness class, a couple of errands then back to the Senior's Centre for my shift in the coffee bar. I closed up just before 3:00, walked home, had a nap and did some packing. I hope I haven't forgotten anything - on my last trip I didn't bring an umbrella and got so soaked on one particular day that I had to throw away my shoes!

    A final meal consisting of leftovers and it was remarkably good - three sausages, two tomatoes, a handful of peas, a cup of cauliflower and a generous amount of cheese. I cooked the tomatoes into a tasty sauce, browned the sausages and boiled the cauliflower. Then combined everything and baked it for half-an-hour. There is even enough left to put in the freezer for my first night back!

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Eating Up Leftovers

   I started the day with over an hour at the dentist, getting the whole works - gums pricked, teeth scraped and polished and a couple of X-rays. Thank goodness I get 85% back from the insurance company. I got a good report on my teeth healthy and won't have to endure this thorough a check up again for 5 years!

    I had salad twice today in an effort to have nothing perishable in the fridge by Thursday. The first salad was at the RWTO lunch today and it was followed by grilled chicken breast in a delicious sauce and lots more vegetables ( I didn't eat all the mashed potatoes). Chocolate ice cream and coffee for dessert.

    Tonight I made another salad (still have half a tomato and a bagful of watercress from Judy - at least I think it's watercress, she wasn't sure either) and the last (small) slice of quiche. This was followed by a kiwi in evaporated milk. So not too much left in the fridge. Tomorrow I will work on the pot of cauliflower soup but will have to freeze the rest of the cauliflower - it was huge! Then there's just a couple of bananas, an apple and a clementine to eat.

   Came home from lunch and immediately cut the back grass as it was finally dry enough to cut but the sky was getting dark again. The temperature got up to 25C this afternoon but the rain didn't materialize. Last night we were discussing if the last few days constituted and Indian Summer but seemingly there has to be frost before the mild spell, so not quite.

Monday 17 October 2016

Dreary and Foggy

   I think it must be an instance of temperature inversion (cold air sitting on top of milder air) as today it was very foggy until about 400 p.m. It is still cloudy but has cleared a bit and stayed mild.

    The car got its rust check this morning and had all systems checked for the winter. Nothing needed repair which is good news and, even better, it was done in 2 hours.

    I went straight to Bridge where Marie and I had great cards. I made several contracts, one of which was a small slam. I will definitely keep that seat next time!

    Leftover quiche with pickled beetroot for dinner, then I am off to dance group. David is to bring the treats tonight - hope he remembers!

Sunday 16 October 2016

Busy Saturday

   Saturday started off with a visit to the Fall Fair at Knox Church. I met some friends there, had a coffee, bought some baked goods and preserves (red pepper jelly and Seville marmalade) and, what I had been looking for in particular, a pearl necklace for $5!

   In the afternoon I picked up two of the grandkids for an outing to the Ceilidh. Traffic was heavy but we got there on time. They danced almost every dance. They were nice, easy dances, Natalie had done some of them before and really enjoyed them. James was really there for the pizza after, but he was a good sport and joined in several too. His favourites were The Gay Gordons and the Dashing White Sergeant.

    As well as pizza there were lots of sweet treats and fruit after the dancing. We were well fed and even took some home. I got them back to Markham by 7:15 and got back to my place before 8:00. There was no need for anything else to eat but later on I had some sushi leftover from lunch. Sushi really should be eaten the day it's made.

   A quiet day today - too wet for tennis this morning although it was mild, so I got some chores done. I want to leave the house reasonably tidy when I leave on Thursday. This afternoon was demo practice but for some reason I seemed to have run out of energy (too much housework?) so I left during the last dance. When I got home I spent 10 minutes or so tidying the books in the trunk of my car. They are for the book sale at the RWTO lunch on Tuesday but I weeded out a few that I don't think will sell and I will donate them to the Senior's Centre tomorrow.

     I have a nice piece of salmon for dinner which I will have with some salad and green beans. No dessert - I spoiled myself yesterday!

Friday 14 October 2016

Back to the Exercise Regime

     Out early for Fitness class this morning - I am finding it harder to get up in the mornings as it is dark later. Today it was almost 8:00 a.m. before I surfaced. Then I had to rush to be out by 8:45. I am quite out of shape despite playing tennis all summer. I really must be using different muscle groups. I made it in time and stayed for half an hour after class to have a coffee and chat.

    Home to do a bit of gardening before lunch - I am tackling the lilac tree and the mint at the moment - then lunch and a nap for half-an-hour. I watched some tennis later in the afternoon then walked up to the mall to return a library book. It seems wasteful to take the car for such a short distance. I found a pair of loafers on sale for my holiday walking and wore them home to break them in.

   Nothing more on the agenda except a couple of my favourite shows later this evening. Lots of leftovers to eat up. I already had some bruschetta with one of the tomatoes I brought in from the garden the other day. It ripened up really quickly once I brought it indoors. Then I will treat myself with a mincemeat tart!

Thursday 13 October 2016

Bounty of the Garden

   More frost forecast so I cleaned out the vegetable patch this morning. I managed to salvage a few tomatoes, peppers and kale but they may have to ripen a bit more indoors before they are fit to eat.

I roasted the red peppers for tonight's dinner and used some of the kale as well.
    Although it was a chilly morning I went over to the tennis courts but no one else came. It was very windy so I just stayed long enough to finish my coffee before coming home to work in the garden. I still have a few more tasks to complete, especially to get some compost on the roses and the tender perennials, but I'm not going to bother raking leaves - they can just blow around the neighbourhood!

   I walked over to the Senior's Centre this afternoon, just for a chat, and stopped in at the drug store for a prescription on the way home. The trees are really beginning to turn and I found some colourful leaves. It didn't get much above 13C today but the sun was shining so it felt quite pleasant out of the wind. I picked up a new (to me) jigsaw puzzle while I was there which will keep me occupied if the weather remains cool.

Maple leaves  
    I have made a vegetable quiche for tonight's dinner with the peppers, kale, cheese and some olives. I'm trying to empty the fridge before I leave next Thursday and won't be buying much on Saturday. With the leftover pastry I made a couple of mincemeat tarts which will be a nice change for dessert. I have been overdoing the chocolate recently. This is a good night for television, first "Miss Marples" and then "A Place To Call Home", both on PBS so no commercials!

Tuesday 11 October 2016

Frost on the Pumpkin

     Another frosty morning but thankfully it was sunny and warmed up considerably as the day progressed. I had dressed in kayers but managed to get out of most of them after playing two sets. It managed to get up to 15C and made our special tennis/lunch quite spectacular. Lots of people showed up and brought a ton of food, all varieties. We played until 11:30, then feasted until we were stuffed. Then there was a major clean up as the courts had to be made ready for the winter tennis bubble which goes up in a day or two.

   I think half the reason for this end-of-season bash is to round up enough people to take down and store the nets and windscreens, clear the club house and lock up all the supplies until next year. When I left many people were still working but I felt I had done my bit as I had co-ordinated the lunch and done most of the dish washing.

   I started a new book later today - A Wallender detective story by Henning Mankell. It's called "The Fifth Woman" and is turning out to be quite gripping. So after my tiring morning I spent most of the afternoon in bed, napping and reading. I didn't need much to eat this evening, just a bowl of soup, a hard boiled egg and a few crackers and cheese. Maybe a little (chocolate) snack before bed!

Monday 10 October 2016

Thanksgiving Day

    There was frost on the pumpkin this morning so thank goodness I brought in all the fragile plants last night. Sunny skies but only 3C, going up to 13C later on.

    After a slow start I got my act together and made both roasted and mashed potatoes, my contribution to the Thanksgiving lunch at Judy and Dave's. The traffic was light, the kids were in fine fettle, the turkey was tasty and moist and all the fixings (stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce) were on tap. Finally there were mini tarts, both cheesecake and pumpkin, with whipped cream. Yum! James made me a decaf coffee and Natalie sold me some Girl Guide cookies so I was well looked after!

Natalie, 8, James ,6, Elliot, 10
    I stayed until 4:00 p.m. and, after a fast drive home, had a nap. Up by 5:00 and made some sausage rolls for the Pot Luck lunch at the tennis courts. This is our farewell to the courts at Don Mills but the Bridlewood courts will be open for another couple of weeks.

   I didn't need much dinner tonight but I had some leftovers, including the mashed potatoes I brought home. I haven't eaten potatoes all week so this is a nice treat!

Sunday 9 October 2016

Change in the Weather

   Boy, it was chilly this morning! I was well wrapped up in layers when I headed out to tennis but managed to warm up, hitting with Susan for half-an-hour then a rather one-sided set against Kathy and her daughter Victoria. They won 5-2 but our excuse was that we were already tired before we even started playing in earnest. I came home quite chilled and made some cauliflower soup for lunch; that warmed me up.

    The temperature only got up to 13C this afternoon and the wind was from the north. There is a frost warning for tonight so the rest of my day was spent bringing in my indoors plants that have been out on the porch and patio enjoying the summer sun. They all look great but certainly would not withstand any freezing. I even brought in half-a-dozen green tomatoes which I hope will ripen indoors. I also put away the barbecue as I won't use it again this year.

   Also this afternoon I made some lavender shortbread cookies to replace those I took to dance group last week. Having the oven on warmed up the house a bit but I may have the heat on overnight. They turned out well but I will keep them in the freezer so I'm not tempted to gobble them indiscriminately.

   I went to see "Tristan Und Isolde" yesterday at the local Cineplex - not my usual fare! It's an opera by Wagner and a bit dark and morose and was 5 hours long. It was too late to make supper last night  when I got home so I just fried up a couple of sausages with a tomato and had them in a sandwich. Tonight I am baking a piece of fish with kale and red peppers. I will have it with peas, a light meal, as I will probably be overeating tomorrow at Judy's for Thanksgiving.

Friday 7 October 2016

Lunch on the Patio

   What an amazing day for October - wall-to-wall sun, a high of 23C and a very gentle breeze. I could take this kind of weather right through until November! Unfortunately the weekend is forecast to be quite a bit cooler but still pleasant.

   I am so happy that I left my patio furniture out for another few days as I was able to have lunch outdoors today.

    There may not be too many more days when I can do this but I certainly enjoyed being out there.

   Predictably, it was very busy at the tennis courts today - we checked in about 40 people, quite different from yesterday's turnout at the other courts. Of course, the offer of free coffee and cake was a big part of the attraction!

   A quiet afternoon - I went up the lab to see if I could get some tests done but it transpired that I had to fast for 14 hours beforehand so I will have an early dinner tonight and go back tomorrow morning before I have any breakfast.

   I did a little gardening but have mostly been reading this afternoon. I am almost finished an excellent tale of the German occupation of France during WW11. After reading of the persecution of the French during that time I don't know how any Frenchman can possibly tolerate a German, even though they are of a different generation. I have a hard time with that myself (though those of German descent I know are perfectly nice people) but the UK wasn't occupied in this brutal manner. The book is called "The Nightingale" (the code name for a girl in the French resistance, the heroine of the book) and it's by Kristin Hannah. If you have a strong stomach, I highly recommend it.

    I will leave you with a photo of the last blooming Cone flowers in my garden. I hope they come back next year. Enjoy!


Thursday 6 October 2016

Electrical Problem

   Just a wonderful Fall day today and I was out to the tennis courts before 9:00. Susan and Kathy came too and we were the only ones until after 10:00 when Tamara and Washington arrived. It was perfect tennis weather (20C and no wind) so I have no ideas where everyone else was. They sure missed a great day and there won't be many more. I had a doctor's appointment later so left at 10:15 but by then I had had enough anyway.

   Big scare half-an-hour ago. I plugged in the computer and it wasn't charging. Everything seemed to be attached but then I tried it in other outlets in the family room - nothing! Soon I realized that none of the outlets were working. It finally dawned on me - it was a blown fuse! Now the problem was to find the correct fuse and a new one with which to replace it. By trial and error I was finally able to make the replacement and get back on line. Reminder to self: buy some more fuses.

   Since I didn't get into the Thursday Zumba Gold class I was available to fill in at Sheila's Bridge table this afternoon. I had a couple of great hands and Sheila had a small slam but Pinkie and Mary-Lee still came out ahead! Perhaps they will invite me to play with them again.

   I came home and sat in the sun for a while then cut the back grass - it was overdue for a clipping and the garden looks much tidier. Just leftover chicken for dinner but I found two rather over ripe tomatoes in the vegetable patch (one with some mushy spots) so I will see how much of them I can use and make a tomato sauce for the chicken. I am starting to use up stuff in the fridge in preparation for my trip so it will be carrots tonight.

   No afternoon nap today so I should sleep well tonight.

Wednesday 5 October 2016


   The nasturtiums have done really well this year but I must make a note to myself to plant the seeds indoors before winter is over in order to have them flower earlier. Usually I plant the seeds directly into the garden as soon as the soil warms up but I was a little late this year. They are just now at the height of their blooming and it won't be long until I have to pull them up. I wonder if they will last until I get home from my trip on November 4th? It depends on whether we have frost. I will take a chance and leave them until then.

This is the display by my front door - quite spectacular!

Climbing the front steps. They really are gorgeous!
    First fitness class this morning, followed by coffee and a chat with the other fitness addicts as we hashed over the problems of the world (mostly the upcoming election in the States). I am happy to say I also got enrolled in the Friday class but am on the waitlist for Zumba Gold. It is very popular.

   Don Mills AGM this evening and I have to give a report on the Kaffeeklatsch socials. I have a couple of questions for the Executive regarding the program as I would like to make some improvements next year ( if they ask me to run it again!). I feel it has been one of the more successful programs run by the club, but that's my biased opinion!

   No dinner tonight as they sometimes have refreshments after the meeting. If not I will have a chicken sandwich when I get home.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Busy Tuesday

I had a terrible night's sleep - it felt like I hardly slept at all although I may have dozed off a couple of times. I had to be up and out by 7:45 so I think that was weighing on my mind. In fact I woke at 7:15 and managed to be out by 8:00 so not too bad. It was my turn (last time this year) to open up at the tennis courts, start the coffee and generally get things ready for "Kaffeeklatsch".

  I had arranged to have someone else close up for me as I wanted to leave around 11:00. William did offer but, in the end it was Martin who stepped in. I had tidied up in the kitchen before I left so he didn't have too much to do.

    My reason for leaving early was to make it to the Thanksgiving lunch at the Senior's Centre by noon. I just made it having gone home to change first, but lunch wasn't served until 12:20 anyway. It wasn't a great lunch (I had been hoping for turkey but what can you expect for $12?). First some salad, then chicken, roast potatoes (they were good) and mixed vegetables, mostly rather stringy green beans. Just as well I'm not too fussy! The dessert was nice - pumpkin pie and ice cream - and I had some interesting eating companions.

   I went straight from the lunch room to my Bridge class (conveniently in the same building) and played until 2:45. Then home for a nap and, finally, cut the front grass. I hope I won't have to do that too many more times this year.
   I wasn't too hungry for dinner so just had a small piece of fish left from another day and a cob of corn. I will probably have something sweet before I go to bed. Hope I sleep well tonight. Nothing special happening tomorrow so my brain should be able to relax.

Monday 3 October 2016

Busy Monday

   A quick run up to the library this morning to print a couple of documents - a notice about the Pot luck lunch next week at the tennis club which I will post tomorrow, and my report on this year's Kaffeeklatsch which I have to present at the AGM on Wednesday. Reminder to myself: tell Pat I won't be at Petronella that night.

    I walked over to, and back from, the Senior's Centre this afternoon. Bridge today was fun but we stopped a little early as Pinkie wasn't feeling too well. Sheila asked me to play on Thursday which I will do.

    Just leftovers tonight but I made a few additions to the dip I bought yesterday and I think it was really improved. I added some roasted red pepper and chopped up steamed kale.

   Off to dancing in half an hour - hope there's a good turnout as we have to pay the rent for October.

Sunday 2 October 2016

Not Winter Yet!

   Strange morning - misty and damp but it got up to 20C once the mist burned off. A few showers passed through but didn't amount to much.

    I was stuck at home this morning while the technician tried to get me a signal on my digital box. He has got it temporarily fixed so I can watch TV tonight but another techie has to come tomorrow to repair the box outside. Seemingly it's not part of his job and the other guys don't work on the weekends.

    I walked up to Metro this afternoon to cash in some Air Miles.  I don't usually shop at Metro as it is more expensive than No Frills, especially the produce, but  I have collected 95 Air Miles and that will get me $10 off my purchases. I bought ginger marmalade, some olives, a piece of Borgonzola cheese and Artichoke and Asiago dip. With the Air Miles, a $1 coupon for the dip, and the cheese half price, my bill was $2.50! Not too shabby and I am feeling better for having had the walk.

   I started dinner tonight with bruschetta on a pita. I still have a few tomatoes from the garden. Now I am baking a piece of fish on a kale base and more tomato on top and I will have it with peas. Then it's back to the couch for "Poldark" on TV.

Saturday 1 October 2016

Preparing For Winter

    One of the bloggers I follow, Elsa Peters, declared in her blog today that "October is the month for preparing for winter". I don't know if I entirely agree with her but the weather has certainly changed in the last week and I have made a start on clearing the garden. The composter is almost full and the borders are becoming empty, ready for the winter snow. Also, it seems it's time to plant next summer's garlic according to our local gardening guru!

    Although not cold today, it was rather damp and miserable - I just managed to avoid a soaking while shopping but I cashed in $20 of my PC points which is always good news. I love free groceries! Dinner tonight was a new recipe for chicken thighs which turned out rather well. It had onions and mushrooms in a curry and sour cream sauce and I had it with a cob of corn. Lots left for later in the week

   I baked a loaf in the bread machine this afternoon although I have seriously cut back on carbs. This loaf is just for emergencies, one of which may occur later this evening while I am slicing it for the freezer. The top sank a bit so I may have to eat the partial slices! I have somewhat fallen off my good intentions in the last few days, buns at Red Lobster on Thursday, mashed potatoes at Marlowe's yesterday and, of course, the bacon sandwich from Starbucks. Time to get back on track.

    No signal on my TV today despite two calls to Rogers. They finally agreed to send a technician but not until tomorrow so tonight I am watching "Julie and Julia" on DVD. Julie writes a blog about cooking all Julia Childs' recipes. It's very funny and has some interesting recipes. Right now she's cooking beouf bourgignon and lobster thermidor. I might try them some day (Not!!)