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Friday, 30 June 2017

Finally Summer!

   Although it started out rainy, the day improved immensely and we had a sunny, warm afternoon, up to 27C. The grandkids were over for the morning (they are on summer vacation but Judy had to attend a meeting) and James got into the pool up to his waist - I had bet him a quarter he couldn't, it was only 72F, but he did it!

    After they went home I did some gardening and then had a dip myself. It was very refreshing. and not nearly as chilly as I expected. I only did four lengths but it's early days yet. I will soon work up to more. I sat out in the sun to dry off for nearly an hour and finished my current library book. It was one I had read before, "The Fruit of the Lemon" by Andrea Levy, but an easy enjoyable read for a summer afternoon. Next book will be more of a struggle - a rather dark mystery which has been on the best seller list for several weeks - but I will persevere with it. It's called "Into the Water" and is by Paula Hawkins who wrote "The Girl On the Train" which I thoroughly enjoyed.

   I picked some rhubarb yesterday and made a rhubarb loaf this afternoon. It turned out very well - nice and moist and not too sweet - I kept a slice to have with my tea tonight but sliced the rest and put it in the freezer for next time I need a treat. I also stewed some rhubarb to have with ice cream for dessert tonight.  Yum!!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Getting Caught Up on Chores

   A mixture of sunny periods and thunderstorms on Tuesday but a better day today although still in the low 20's. At least it has been dry and given the garden a chance to dry out.

   Yesterday Hendrina and I were in charge at the tennis courts but managed some tennis in between stints on the board. Unfortunately my wrist is bothering me - I gave it a twist on Sunday and it is still hampering my game. I won't play again until Saturday to give it a chance to heal. Lunch with Alison and Louise at Waterfront Restaurant. This time I had the crab cakes! Louise goes back to Victoria on Monday and it was nice to catch up with her.

   Today I spent a while working in the garden in the morning, digging up some overgrown mint - it was beginning to take over my vegetable patch! Now I have room for a few more plants, if I can find them. My usual garden centre had very little left (except hot peppers) so I will have to try elsewhere. I'd like to get some more kale, a couple of sweet pepper plants and maybe radishes.

   At the senior's centre by noon - it was very quiet  and I only sold a couple of pies and half a dozen cups of coffee - then over to the community centre for the RTO book club. This my last time with the current group as I am going over to the new Thursday group in September as that day suits me better. There will be 24 in the original group and 14 in the new group. The club continues to grow. I cleaned the inside of the car when I got home as it is going in for an oil change tomorrow. It was embarrassingly grubby from the messy winter!

Monday, 26 June 2017

Not Like June At All

   We have had very unsettled weather for the last few days - thunderstorms and lots of rain with cooler than normal temperatures, low 20's. I think today's high was just 19C. I did manage some tennis yesterday morning (Susan and I beat Cathy and Iona) but two thunderstorms rolled through in the afternoon. Later I went out to Steve and Alison's for a BBQ but it was a rather cool, soggy affair. We finally retired indoors to complete the meal.

   Today was more of the same but luckily I was busy with indoors activities. An appointment at the lab for tests first thing, Hava Java at Calabria Bakery (met some new acquaintances) then Bridge with my usual group at noon. I only had one good hand and my partner had the same. Now the sun is trying to come out so that may dry things up a bit.

   I did manage to get the grass cut yesterday before the rain with a jerry rigged extension system (not recommended!) but Steve has fixed the damaged extension chord so I will be able to use it safely in the future.  

   I got the bill for the pool startup today and it was considerably more than I expected. Seemingly there were replacement parts for both the circulation system and the heater, plus all the chemicals required for the summer. It came to close to $1000 but I had already paid a deposit of $400 which was deducted. Still, a big chunk out of this month's budget! It had better warm up soon so I can get some use out of it.

Friday, 23 June 2017

One Careless Moment

     A huge thunderstorm last night and heavy rain which continued through the morning. It abated enough at one point for me to decide to walk up to the library but it soon started up again and I got a bit of a soaking. Not cold though, just damp! That was my exercise for the day.

    The only other excitement today came when I was trimming some of the evergreens in front of the porch later in the afternoon. I inadvertently cut through the extension cord powering the trimmer - I've done that before and am usually very careful to keep the cord out of the way of the blades. However, that wasn't the worst part - I found I had blown a fuse and the power to the garage was gone. I tried to find the blown fuse on the electrical panel to no avail. Now what to do?

    I gave Steve a call and he agreed to come over. Luckily he lives fairly close by and was there within half-an-hour. He was able to locate the blown fuse with a gadget he uses at work and it was replaced lickety split. Now I just have to buy a new extension cord so I can finish the trimming and cut the grass. You can be sure I will be extra careful this time!

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Out With the Ladies Who Lunch

    Out with the Probus Ladies for lunch today. It's a once-a-month get-together and today we went to the Waterside Restaurant in Pickering. It's a very picturesque spot right on the lake and I went for a walk  along the boardwalk after the meal. I had ordered fish and chips but it was so filling (and starch-filled)  that I regretted it afterwards. I should have had the crab cakes!

   After the walk I felt better but had a rather long nap when I got home so hope I can sleep tonight. Just a light dinner tonight - and no snacking! I made a big salad with avocado and very tasty it was.

   Cooler again today and some rain this morning. I finished potting up my hanging baskets this afternoon and gave all my new plants a drink. The rest of the garden took care of itself.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Still on European Time.

Busy day - tennis 9:00 to 11:00 with Hendrina, Carol and Jasmine, home to check that the pool guy had got the pump and heater working (he had), over to the kitchen at the Senior's Centre for 12:00 - it was very quiet there again this afternoon so I closed at 2:00. Liquor store (stocking up as they are threatening to go on strike) then the garden centre and finally home by 3:15 for a nap. Phew!!

   It has been a beautiful day, not too hot, around 25C, and just a few clouds floating around. I went out around 4:00 to plant my purchases from the garden centre, two cherry tomatoes and a new climbing rose. I am very frustrated that I can't post photos but I will keep trying. I also bought three dragon wing begonias for the hanging baskets on the front porch but I will wait until it has cooled down before I tackle them.

  Chicken thighs for dinner. I think I will cook them in a spicy sauce from the "Looney Spoons" cookbook, that should keep them nice and juicy. Broccoli on the side. I will be having an early night again tonight as I can't seem to sleep past 6:00 a.m. so am yawning by 9:00p.m. It is taking for ever to get my sleep back on schedule.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

A Techno Scare

   I had a very strange message on my computer yesterday, purportedly from Microsoft, telling me to phone them as my computer was in the process of being hacked! Also warning me of a complete shutdown if I didn't comply. Seemed a bit fishy to me so I closed all the programs and turned everything off as a precaution. It all seems fine today and nothing seems to be missing, thank goodness!

   That's by way of explaining why no blog yesterday. Today I will try to catch up. Yesterday I had a quiet morning watching the guys get the pool open. I walked over for Bridge around noon and had fun catching up on all the news with the Bridge ladies. Then home for the evening.

   It has been considerably cooler today with intermittent rain. We got in a bit of tennis in between showers before the final cloud burst around 10:30 a.m. We had all gone early due to the threatening skies. Once the courts were too wet to play we sat around chatting and drinking coffee (there was lots of that!) William found a tennis match on TV so I stayed to watch the first set then went home. It has been a great afternoon for gardening so I gave it a go for an hour or two. Now my bins are full of weeds and overgrown bushes and will be picked up tomorrow. Still lots to do so I will start filling them again right away.

   The pool is filled and the guys will come tomorrow to start up the system. So far so good - it is looking almost ready for a swim but still a little chilly for me! Fish in a curry sauce with peas for dinner tonight. I am having some veggies and dip for my pre-prandial snack so, all in all, a balanced meal!

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hot and Humid

  I am having a hard time writing my blog recently. By the time I have read all the other blogs I follow I have lost any interest in recording my thoughts, although sometimes one of them will provide inspiration. So today I am writing it first before I get to the others.

   I have been working like blazes for the last couple of days to tidy up the back yard ready for the pool guys tomorrow. Everywhere was very overgrown since I was away, and encroaching on the pool deck. Reminder to self - don`t take a vacation in Spring - too much to do in the garden!

   Today started off overcast and, after a few chores and despite a rather dark sky, I headed to the tennis courts. I was almost there when the heavens opened and I had to scurry home in a heavy downpour. That was it for tennis today! I made soup for lunch and a loaf in the bread machine. The rest of the day has been in the garden and it is looking considerably better.

   Leftovers for dinner tonight - mandarin chicken and a salad with the rest of the can of mandarin oranges with cream for dessert. Then just a quiet night in front of the TV.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Rising Temperatures.

   Very hot today, up in the 30's, but the house has stayed quite cool - only 21C downstairs although the bedrooms are hotter. The air conditioning didn't come on (I have it set to 24C) and if I open the windows overnight I might be able to get it down to the 'teens.

    I was "on the desk" at tennis today and was quite happy to stay in the shade while setting up the matches. I did play a couple of sets once my shift was over but that was enough. I drank a whole flask of water on the drive home. Must keep hydrated.

   I worked in the garden (mostly in the shade) this afternoon and needed a shower when I was done. I would have loved a swim but the pool guys won't be here until Monday to open the pool. Even then it will be a couple of days until the pool is filled and the chemicals are balanced - so end of next week probably.

   I took a chicken breast out of the freezer today but it wasn't defrosted by dinner time so, back in the fridge for tomorrow. Instead I had quite a delicious salad, just a mix of things I had in the fridge and cupboard plus a sardine. I toasted some walnuts and added a dried apricot, a sun dried tomato and a handful of dried cranberries. It was quite filling. Some nice cold ice cream for dessert!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

My Trip

   Back from two weeks on a river cruise. We started in Budapest and sailed up the Danube, then the Main River Canal to the Rhine, ending in Amsterdam. We stopped in Bratislava, Vienna and several small, quaint German towns and Cologne. Weather was mixed but no rain and the food on the boat was seriously good. Find me on Facebook if you want to see some photos.