Friday 31 March 2017

End of March

   The snow has gone but not much of an improvement in the weather - raining on and off all day and only 5C for a while this afternoon. An indoor day today.

   Tried my step class video this morning and barely made it through to the end. Haven't done much else all day and had a long nap this afternoon. I think I may still be recuperating from the stomach flu although it doesn't usually take me so long to bounce back. I am desperate to get outside and be doing things in the garden. I think that would do the trick. Surely April will bring us some nicer weather!

   I made a batch of sugar cookies this afternoon to replenish the cookie stash in the freezer. I daren't keep them in a cupboard or they would be gone in no time. It was almost a disaster as they weren't quite done when the timer went off and I meant to give them 5 more minutes, then got distracted. They are a little too brown and crisper than I like, but still edible. Phew!

   Fish for dinner tonight and now I feel bloated which is another reason I don't think I am back to normal. Hope it stays down!

Thursday 30 March 2017

It's Snowing!

   We're not done with winter yet! Only a few millimetres is forecast to fall and this will be followed by freezing rain and rain later tonight. March certainly seems to be going out like a lion!

   The nets are scheduled to go up at the tennis courts on Saturday but it will be a cold, uncomfortable job and I doubt anyone will have their raquets out - certainly I won't - maybe next week.

   Mahjong this morning ( I won twice) followed by Bridge. so I was quite brain dead when I got home at 3:00 p.m. Nothing else on the agenda and I plan to just have soup and the rest of my lunch sandwich for dinner. It's a night to stay by the fire and relax with a good book, of which I have several. Stay warm!

Wednesday 29 March 2017

Under the Weather

   I haven`t been posting for a few days as I have spent my days in bed with stomach flu - vomiting continuously for 24 hours until I was dry heaving, very unpleasant! Feeling a bit better now and managing to keep down a little food, just not overdoing it. I think I picked it up from the grandkids as I babysat them on Saturday, the boys were throwing up on Sunday and I started it Sunday night/Monday morning. Luckily I have a good book to read, `The Thirteenth Tale` by Dianna Setterfield. I can`t wait to see how it ends!

   I managed out this afternoon for the first time since Sunday  and found I was missing my wallet. The last time I used it was Saturday at the grocery store so I headed over there and, lo and behold, that`s where I had left it. How careless! Luckily, it was intact so I dodged a bullet there. People in our community are so honest.

    I phoned in sick for my shift at the coffee bar (didn`t want to spread any lingering germs to the seniors) but did go to Book Club. Interesting discussions but I was a bit pooped when I got home so won`t go out to dance group tonight. Just something light for dinner. I had a bowl of cauliflower soup and a hard-boiled egg for lunch and that has stayed with me until now.

Sunday 26 March 2017

A Busy Weekend

    Spring still seems to elude us but at least the temperatures are in the positive numbers. There was quite heavy rain yesterday morning but it was dry by noon. The skies remained overcast today and I still haven't got out of my winter coat!

   I was out to Markham to babysit the grandkids yesterday evening and didn't get home until after 1:00 a.m. Result - I slept until 9:15 and seem to have been behind the eight ball all day. I almost missed getting out to my dance group this afternoon in time - had to eat a piece of quiche in the car. I haven't had a nap today so should sleep well tonight.

Friday 24 March 2017

Dull and Rainy

    Quite a change in the weather since Wednesday. Today it reached 12C although not sunny. I had trouble getting to sleep last night and, as a result, it was almost 8:00 a.m. until I surfaced. I just had toast and coffee while my hair dried then left at 9:30 for tennis. We played from 10:00 to 11:40 and I was back on the road by noon. A couple of errands on the way home, a quick lunch (I was starving!) and then into bed for a nap. Next thing I knew it was 3:45! I will probably have trouble getting to sleep again tonight.

    Later this afternoon I made some cheese scones, a perfect activity for a rainy afternoon. They turned out really well and, of course, I had to try one. It was delicious spread with cream cheese for an extra cheesy kick. I omitted the sugar from the recipe and added just a sprinkle of onion powder and half a cup of grated cheddar. Quite pleased with myself for the good results but they will have to go in the freezer or I will gobble them up in no time!

Thursday 23 March 2017

Nordic Pole Walking

    Yesterday was so cold! And it was the day for me to join the Pole Walking group. It was -12C in the morning (-20 wind chill) and barely warmed up all day. We were all bundled up in ski suits (or in one case a fur coat), hats scarves and thermal mittens. I managed the hour walk no bother but was still cold when we finished - no chance of me working up a sweat in those temperatures. I will try it again before investing in the poles, hopefully on a warmer day.

   Today is a bit warmer, in fact got up to 5C this afternoon. I went to the Probus meeting this morning for the coffee and the conviviality. The presentation was on dental implants which I hope I never have to get. The speaker managed to make the topic fairly interesting. He was quite funny.

   This afternoon I did a bit of garden cleanup and now have three bins ready to get picked up next garbage day. Then I sat outside in the sun with my book for half-an-hour. So nice to feel the sun on your face!

   Time to fix dinner. I have bacon and spinach defrosting for a quiche and will also put onion, mushrooms, roasted red peppers, eggs and lots of cheese in it. Doesn't that sound yummy? There will be pickled beetroot on the side.

   Still can't load pictures so you will just have to visualize it.

Tuesday 21 March 2017

Fashion Show

   I thought I had loads of time to get to the RWTO lunch today and set off just before 10:30. I was there in quick sticks but was met by a bunch of restless old dames desperate for me to lay out the name tags so they could get to their tables! Unbelievable. Once I had placated them I ducked out to Tim Horton's for a coffee and stayed there until the dust had cleared and I had calmed down. Seemingly (no one told me this), there is a mad rush to get seats at the tables with all their friends on the day of the Fashion Show lunch. There were 140 for lunch as many members bring guests.

   Lunch was not great - a Caesar salad followed by a very mediocre lasagna and, thankfully, lots of properly cooked vegetables. A lot of the lasagna went back to the kitchen uneaten. I left about 1/3 of mine. Dessert and coffee were fine.

   The fashion show was well done - some of the members were the models. It was mostly Spring and Summer outfits in gorgeous fabrics and colours, all Canadian made. I particularly liked one outfit, a jacket and top, and decided to buy both. They will do nicely for my vacation in June but I will have to buy a pair of pants to wear with them (and maybe some jewellery). If I can figure out why I can't load photos any more, I will post a picture of my new outfit.

   Won't need much dinner, just soup and a sandwich probably.

Monday 20 March 2017

Still Above Zero

    The temperature has stayed in positive numbers all day and is still 4C at 10p.m. Maybe we have turned the corner. I am starting to think about buying some pansies from my porch planter. They are pretty hardy and could survive a light frost.

  I walked to and back from the senior's centre for Bridge and it was quite pleasant although not sunny. I started off with great cards and made a slew of contracts before the luck turned.


Sunday 19 March 2017

Out in the Garden

     Gorgeous day today, I think Spring is very close. It was full on sun and definitely well above zero. The snow went quite quickly, especially in sunny spots. After the morning chores I pottered in the garden for a bit then sat enjoying the sun. After lunch and a nap I went for quite a long walk and sat outside reading the paper for almost an hour.

    There was tennis on TV this afternoon - the Final from Indian Wells. It was 34C there! My favourite, Roger Federer, won. It's been a while since he had such a good tournament.

    Funny thing - I found some garlic cloves which I had left hanging in the garage to dry last fall - they had survived the winter and were sprouting! Into the ground quick sticks and I will be watching their progress closely.

    I had a very healthy dinner tonight - fish with a mustard and chutney topping and broccoli casserole, all done in the oven in half-an-hour. Very easy and tasty!


Saturday 18 March 2017

Another Dump of Snow

   We had heavy wet snow for most of the morning - I had hoped it wouldn't lie but, no such luck! It has stayed above freezing all day but overcast and very dreich.  I am praying Spring will show up soon.

   I got some chores done today as there was nothing on the agenda - laundry, shopping, and chasing dust bunnies under my bed, a much needed cleanup.  I found two $20 bills under my dresser so it really does pay to keep things tidy! Salmon, peas and hash browns for dinner. I went to Burger King again for my breakfast and saved some of the hash browns for dinner.

   Just a quiet evening at home - hope there's something decent on TV.


Friday 17 March 2017

Lunch Out

   It managed to get up to 6C today but still too cool to sit outside for long. Lots of sunny skies and not much wind so things are looking up, weatherwise.

   Last Friday fitness class as I am not signed up for the Spring and Summer sessions. I am on the waiting list for the Wednesday class but, come May, I will be playing tennis at Don Mills on Fridays. I am on the hunt for more monitors to fill the courts on Tuesdays and Fridays as I had another person bow out of the team. Very unfortunate for the remaining five of us! Hope some other members come on board.

   I was out with the "Ladies Who Lunch" today - 16 of the ladies from the  fitness classes. We went to "Rosemary and Thyme" at Van Horne Plaza. My first visit but I was a bit disappointed. I don't think I will be joining them there again. There are too many other and better places to go for lunch and it wasn't particularly cheap. My French onion soup and tuna wrap (which was actually chicken) came in just below $20. I should have sent the wrap back but I had already taken a bite of it. Only up side - I brought home half of the wrap, improved it and had it for dinner. Now I'm stuffed so that should cut down on late night nibbling!

Thursday 16 March 2017

Praying for Spring

    Paid off my upcoming holiday today so am now in the poor house! But I'm sure it will be well worth it. Unfortunately,  it was in US funds and the exchange rate wasn't in my favour.

    Still wintery today but the sun was out. I sat outside for a while this afternoon but it was still quite chilly. And the sun felt good on my face, the only part of me exposed.  The snow is almost gone, without any shovelling I'm happy to say, and there are daffodils and tulips coming out on the south side of the house, just about an inch of shoots so far.

   I was Queen of the Mahjong Board today! There were only three of us but I had three wins, more than either of the others. Bridge was cancelled (two players down) so I filled in at the kitchen for a couple of hours before heading home at 2:00. It was quite busy even though most of the classes are finished until April. It will be a quiet couple of weeks.

Tuesday 14 March 2017

Windy and Snowy

    Quite the blizzard out there right now so I am glad to be inside where it's nice and warm. Not too much fell overnight but it has hardly stopped all day. -10C this morning and only up to -7C earlier.

   I managed to get to tennis this morning, the roads were a bit slippery but had been salted. The ploughs will be out if we get 5cms. of snow but we're not there yet. One of our foursome didn't show up for tennis - too much snow where she was, seemingly (tongue in cheek). She is closer to the lake than the rest of us so it probably was snowier there.

   A lazy afternoon - I went for a nap at 1:30 and didn't get up until 4:00 but I was reading for some of that. Hope I can sleep tonight. I think my sleep schedule is out of whack with the time change. It doesn't usually affect me like that.

   I have a pot of cabbage soup on the boil right now in acknowledgement of St. Patrick's Day. I have been eating cabbage at almost every meal for a week now and there's still some cabbage left. It was humungous. Chicken legs will go in the oven shortly so that will be a healthy meal.

Monday 13 March 2017

More Snow Coming

   Cloudy with snow flurries this morning and only marginally warmer. Still wearing winter clothes! I was feeling very stiff and sore this morning for some reason so skipped my usual Monday step class. Just pottered until noon when I went for Bridge. Home again by 3:00 and that is me in for the night as dance class tonight has been cancelled. A heavy snowfall is forecast although no sign of it yet. But I am quite happy to stay home where I will be warm and cozy in front of the fire.

   Salmon for dinner and I think I will try poaching it in wine and lemon juice. That will be a first for me. Unfortunately, being at home has meant I have been nibbling (in this case chocolate biscuits left over from Saturday's dance) so I will have to watch my food intake for the next few days.

   Tennis on TV from somewhere in the States where it is very hot - how I envy them! A Canadian, Vasek Pospicil, is playing at the moment and he has just taken the first set in a tie break. Hope he can sustain this level of play!

Sunday 12 March 2017

Spring Forward

    The clocks changed last night so we have an extra hour of lovely sunlight today - and it is sunny, has been all day. Too cold to sit outside, though. It was -12C this morning and managed to get up to -7C by the afternoon.

   Very busy here and there yesterday, finishing off with the monthly dance in the evening. I came home pretty exhausted with very sore feet, soaked in the tub for a while and felt very relaxed, then couldn't seem to drop off to sleep. I think I managed about 6 hours.

   No breakfast this morning (other than some yogurt) as I was expected at Judy's by 11:00 a.m. for brunch. I took some home made hummus and veggies, some smoked salmon and a bowl of berries to supplement the usual brunch dishes. It was to celebrate Elliot's 11th birthday but no cake today as we are watching our weight! I won't need much dinner, maybe just the leftovers I brought home plus some of the French toast and egg mcmuffin Judy made.

   An early night tonight I think!

Friday 10 March 2017

Still Winter

   A quieter, less hectic day today. Woke up to snow flurries but nothing on the ground. It was -5C this morning (-12C wind chill) and never really changed all day despite some sunny periods.

   Out by 8:45 for fitness class then hung around at the seniors centre until almost 11:00 a.m. Next week is the last week of fitness classes for this session so we plan to go out for lunch after. Then we have a couple of weeks off until the next session in which I am still hoping to get a spot.

   Lunch, a nap, then read for most of the afternoon. I am currently reading a P.D. James book and, although rather dated, it is quite a thriller so I am enjoying it. Karen came over to pick up the kit for the 50-50 draw at the monthly dance tomorrow. She is about 20 minutes from me on foot and dropped in while walking her dog. They stayed to warm up for a while as it was very cold and windy. Saved me a chilly walk anyway!

   I finally got started on my next painting project - the shelf where I keep my plants at the bay window. It gets quite stained from accidental water overflows and needs to be painted every couple of years. I also cleaned the wooden shutters which will keep for another time. They are still in pretty good shape.

   Not much on TV tonight and I just have to heat up leftovers for dinner so probably an early night. The  stewed beans turned out quite well, almost like chili without the meat. It's grocery shopping day tomorrow so I am trying to use up all the perishables. My list has gotten quite long so I hope I have some PC points to cash in!

Thursday 9 March 2017

A New Recipe

   Here`s my day for today. Left for tennis at 9:30, played until 11:45 then a quick change of clothes. Arrived at the senior`s centre at 12:15 for Bridge (played better today, had good hands and made quite a few contracts). Finished at 2:45.

   Picked up a bunch of bananas on the way home so they will be ripe by the weekend. Started dinner and had it cooking by 3:15. It`s a bit of an experiment. I soaked some navy beans overnight and got them simmering for an hour while I had a nap, cooked up some bacon bits , onions and mushrooms, added this and half a can of tomatoes. Flavoured with garlic, mustard, maple syrup, vinegar and brown sugar (it called for molasses but I had run out). In the oven for 2 hours at 275 degrees F. Added the bean water from the simmering and baked for another two hours.

   It`s not going to be ready for a while but when the beans are tender I`ll cook some cabbage as a side dish. It does smell good. Hope it`s palatable.

   The weather was cooler but still pleasant today. I indulged in a hot cross bun when I got home from Bridge. It`s never too early to start celebrating Easter. I like them with butter and loads of honey. Definitely not part of my diet!

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Watching My Weight

   Still pretty mild and sunny this morning so I walked to fitness class. It stayed sunny most of the day but was clouding over when I walked home at 3:00 p.m. It's still 10C but the temperature is supposed to drop overnight and we may get some snow flurries. It was extremely windy as I walked home but it seems to have died down now.

   Nattering with the ladies after class I found out that we are to be restricted to one class per day at our centre as there are huge waiting lists for the next session. Since I didn't get into any of my favourite classes anyway this is purely theoretical for me. However, it may mean I will move up the waitlist. The supervisor promised to look and see if she can find me a spot since I volunteer at the centre. That would be great but it may mean jumping the queue. I hope no one finds out!

   I have some backup plans in place in case I am at a loss for activities. I plan to try the RTO Nordic Pole Walking group which is becoming very popular, and I have heard that some of the other community centres (which are not free like ours) still have some places in their fitness classes. Who knew we seniors were such an active lot?

   Salmon and peas for dinner tonight. I weighed myself this morning and was a pound lighter, despite my binging on junk food twice in the past week. That is quite heartening. I would love to get below 140 lbs. but as long as I don't go back to 150 lbs. I am quite satisfied.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

Bridge and a Movie

   Very much milder today (12C) but rain for most of the day. This morning I visited Fairview Mall where my oldest grandson told me there was a Lego store. He has asked for Lego for his birthday this weekend. There was such a choice and I have no idea what sets he has - he has lots - that I settled for a gift card. Now he can go and choose his own or put it towards a bigger set. At least he will get something he likes.

   While I was at the Mall I stopped at a bakery cafĂ© and bought two whole wheat croissants and a delicious spinach and feta pastry for my lunch. I had the pastry before I went to Bridge class (I only had some banana and yogurt for breakfast), really brunch rather than lunch, then had a coffee when I got to the seniors` centre.  

   For once I was on time for Bridge lessons as I didn`t have tennis, and I learned a lot. The session is over until April and I have signed up for the next one. After the lesson we played a few hands. Margaret was my partner and we were mostly successful.

   I took in a movie later in the afternoon - `Hidden Figures`, very good - and was hungry again when it was over so used another of my Burger King coupons, `Buy One, Get One Free` for $5.50. I had a whopper and a veggie burger and certainly won`t be nibbling for the rest of the evening!

Monday 6 March 2017

Eating My Veggies

   Fancied some cabbage recently and went looking for a small one - all were humungous and the smallest was over 5lbs. I'll be eating cabbage until the cows come home. Yesterday I had it braised with nutmeg and some parmesan - it was delicious - and today it is to be boiled with lots of butter and pepper. If anyone has a great cabbage recipe, please let me know!

   The morning went by quickly today - oat bran for breakfast, my step exercise program followed by a soak in the tub, a few light chores (just polishing all the glass surfaces with Windex), then set off to walk to the senior's centre for Bridge. It was milder today but still chilly (4C) and I forgot to wear a hat so I was ready for a coffee when I arrived. The coffee there is really good so I have to ration myself. I ate my lunch a bit later and managed to get to 5:00 p.m. without nibbling.

   Marie and I had terrible cards today and half way through demanded to change seats with the other pair. It didn't help much but we did make a couple of contracts after that. Still, not our best day. 

Sunday 5 March 2017

Checking Out the Housing Market

   Nothing much happening here. I went out for a brisk (as in cold) walk this morning and saw that a house on my street, which is up for sale, was holding an open house this afternoon. Being nosy, I went to have a look and was quite surprised, given its dilapidated condition, that the asking price was almost $1 million! It really needed a coat of paint throughout. They will probably get their price, if not more, given the current state of the housing sector - more demand than supply. Another house on my street went for $1.28 million recently.

   I read an article in the newspaper yesterday that claimed the housing bubble is about to burst and we homeowners should all sell up and rent. I think not! I plan to hang on here until I can no longer look after the house. Rents in a half decent building here are exorbitant, anywhere from $2 to $4 thousand a month! The mind boggles.

   Made carrot and lentil soup for lunch today but it didn't hold me and I started nibbling - nuts, dried apricots, tortilla chips - not good! Maybe I need to have a more substantial lunch. Dinner is chicken stew and cabbage which I will have around 7:00 p.m.

   I finished my current Ruth Rendell book this afternoon - excellent ending! It would have made a great movie but now I am on to a P.D. James book and gradually reducing the pile of books by my bed. Once the weather warms up I will be busy outdoors and only reading at bedtime.

Saturday 4 March 2017

A Tasty Treat

   Some snow overnight and this morning`s temperature a bone-chilling -12C. Another cold day tomorrow then it should warm up somewhat. No need for boots but I was well wrapped up when I did go out.

   I didn`t eat any breakfast when I got up as I was going out for brunch later. I had coupons for `Burger King` and decided it was a good opportunity to check it out. I hardly ever eat junk food and only eat out once every two weeks or so and this week not at all. The coupon was for a croissant sandwich, hash browns and a coffee, all for the princely sum of $3.49. Considering that`s what I pay for a decaf tall latte at Starbucks, it sounded like a good deal. The sandwich had eggs, sausage and bacon bits and was seriously yummy but after eating half of it I was quite stuffed so wrapped it up to bring home and just finished the coffee. It doesn`t take much to make me happy!

   So the sandwich got heated up to have with soup for lunch and the hash browns will be toasted to go with my dinner. I will definitely try it again although I hate to think of the calories, fat and sodium it contains. Luckily the coupons are good until April so I will spread them out over the next few weeks.

This is what it looked like outside my front door this morning. It was sunny all day but the temperature only rose a couple of degrees.

Friday 3 March 2017

Even Chillier!

   March has definitely come in like  lion! It was -6C this morning with a snow flurry or two (wind chill -12C ) and barely moved all day. The wind was from the north and bitterly cold.

    I had a few errands to run after Fitness class and was really glad to get back to my cozy home. One stop was the hairdresser for a cut and I came out with a very cold neck. Time to dig out the scarf until my hair grows again. I also indulged in a free coffee from McDonald`s - only two more free days left but I probably won`t be at the Mall again before then.

    I got a disappointing letter today - I had applied to mpac to have the assessment of the value of my house reduced. In my opinion it was quite a bit too high, resulting in higher property tax. No go - it will remain the same. At least they didn`t increase it!  Thank goodness for small mercies.

   I forgot to take anything out of the freezer until late this afternoon so dinner will be very late tonight and I will be very hungry!


Thursday 2 March 2017


    In the minus numbers this morning - back to winter clothes! I had planned to walk over to the senior's centre for Mah Jong this morning but it was just too cold so it was into the car. Hope it's warmer tomorrow!

   However, I was successful twice at Mah Jong and Bridge today so it was a day well spent. The cards seem to go my way quite often. The group has decided to continue Mah Jong on Thursdays which suits me better than the plan to switch to Wednesdays. I will continue with Bridge in the afternoon until Diane gets back from Florida in mid April. By then the outdoor tennis courts will be open.

   A tasty dinner tonight - shrimp  and veggies in a cheese sauce with green beans. I didn't do too well in restricting the carbs - I had quite a bit of bread. That's the hardest thing to give up. I will try to do better tomorrow!

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Like a Lion.....a Lamb? Oh, What the heck!

   Hard to tell how this day, the first of March, will be classified this year. Temperature 12C, which is lamb-like, but drizzly and damp for most of the day. Certainly not wintery!

   Traffic lights flashing red at Huntingwood and Birchmount on my way to Fitness class, so cut through the back of the plaza to avoid the backup of traffic. Otherwise my usual Wednesday. Not busy at the coffee bar so I was home early for a nap and a read. Jean gave me a book she recommended, "Sarah's Key". Unfortunately I have six books sitting by my bed so I won't be getting to it any time soon.

   That's it for today. Off to dance class soon after a quick dinner.