Saturday 30 September 2017

Three Quarters of a Century

   Today is my birthday, quite a milestone, so I have been lazy and spoiled. Steve came over this morning and took me out for brunch - I had Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon, delicious! Then he did a few chores around the house, checked the tire pressure in my car, brought in my outdoor furniture and disposed of my old desktop computer - what a relic that is! I much prefer my laptop.

   In the afternoon I had a big long nap, finished my current book (must remember to go to the library tomorrow as there are now two books waiting for me), and tidied up a bit of the garden. I am still picking tomatoes although they are taking longer to ripen with the shorter hours of sun. I also picked up some groceries and drove down to see if the farmer was still selling corn. He said he will be there for another couple of weeks so I will stop off again. His corn is the freshest - just picked yesterday. I don't know why anyone buys it at the grocery store.

      There's not much growing in the garden except this one rose.

The last rose - isn't it a beauty!

Friday 29 September 2017

Busy in the Kitchen

   Very chilly this morning and it only got up to 12C. We managed a couple of sets of tennis before the rain started around 9:45. As there were quite a few of us and lots of coffee, we stayed around chatting until 10:30. Eva had brought pastries and home made plum cake which was very good. Home by 11:00 and it was still raining so I made a pot of minestrone soup for lunch. 

    By the time I had finished reading the newspaper it was lunch time and the soup was ready. I followed that with a nap then set out for the mall to have my hair cut. Just as I left there was a clap of thunder and the heavens opened. It was torrential but the gardens really needed it. I had to wait in the car until it eased up a bit before I could sprint to the entrance, luckily it's an indoor mall. By the time I was ready to come home, the sun was out.

   Before I left for the hair appointment I got the bread machine started and wound up with a funny, squat loaf. I have been experimenting with the yeast as the last two loaves have hit the roof of the breadmaker and then collapsed. So less yeast today. But, unlike today, it was very hot on the other days so I think that was part of the problem. Next time I will try to find a happy medium.

    Roast chicken for dinner with corn and broccoli. All in all, a very productive and busy day!
The loaf, easy to slice but rather dense.

The soup, that should do quite a few lunches!

Thursday 28 September 2017

Two Treats

   Much cooler today - only got up to 18C - with a north wind. I walked to the mall (about 20 mins.) to get my library book - it's good! - and cashed in $10 worth of Air Miles at Metro. I love free food! That is the only time I shop at Metro as it is more expensive than No Frills.

   Speaking of free food - I had a trip to Bulk Barn yesterday to use a $3 off coupon and, of course, spent more than I needed to use the coupon, probably the strategy behind the offer! But cashews were on special so that's my treat.

   My new library book is "Harbour Street" by Ann Cleves (I wonder if she is a descendant of the wife of Henry VIII with the same name) and this book and others have been made into a TV series which I have enjoyed in the past. The main character is DI Vera Stanhope, an unprepossessing but astute policewoman who is very good at solving murders.

   Lunch with the Probus ladies today. We went to Watt's Restaurant and I had a very good bacon and tomato quiche with salad. So just soup and a tomato sandwich for dinner (and the aforementioned cashews!).

Wednesday 27 September 2017

A Break From the Heat

     Another record set yesterday but today is considerably cooler. It got up to 27C this afternoon but by the time I was walking home from the senior's centre it was clouding over and there were a few spits of rain. I still had to water the garden but it is now down to 21C. I have all the windows open and the house is quite comfortable. No need for air conditioning tonight!

   I finished my current book this afternoon but there is one waiting for me at the library so that will be my first port of call tomorrow. Meanwhile I will start to reread a book we will be discussing at Book Club next month.

   Pottered in the garden for a while but it's not looking great. The hot weather plus my lack of enthusiasm in the heat have meant it has got somewhat out-of-hand. I have basically only been keeping the grass cut and that hasn't been necessary recently. It was very quiet at the coffee bar this afternoon - I only sold 8 cups of coffee and one pie! Hardly worth my while to be there. However, I had no other place I had to be and at least I got to chat with some of the regulars.

    Something with broccoli for dinner tonight as I need some fibre in my diet!

Tuesday 26 September 2017

Still Hot But No Record

   You would have been surprised how many people were at the tennis courts (and actually playing!) this morning as it was still very hot and humid. At least 30 showed up and most were still there when I left. I tried to get there early but the traffic was very heavy and it was already hot when I arrived. I managed two sets but by 10:30 I was done! I sat chatting with a coffee for a bit but was home by 11:00 for a cold shower.

   I had slept badly last night so had a long nap this afternoon. I'm still a bit beat so I think it will be an early night. I spent the afternoon reading my current book, "The Secret Supper" - a medieval murder mystery (how's that for an alliteration?). It's quite good and holding my attention. It's about Leonardo da Vinci and his painting of The Last Supper which is supposed to be full of symbolism and cryptic messages.

   Fish and a corn cob for dinner. I had a lovely lunch of cauliflower soup, a hard boiled egg, crackers, cheese and tomatoes, quite nutritious but not too filling.

Monday 25 September 2017

A New Record

   Yesterday's temperature set a record for September 24 with a high of 32.3C. Today may also be a record - a scorcher at noon so I was only out for a few minutes, running to and from the car and watering the tomatoes.

    Hava Java Social this morning - Donna has asked me to run next month's meeting -  and I managed to recruit a new member for my other group, RWTO. Then off to Bridge despite feeling dizzy and having a headache. Luckily both locations were air conditioned! Hope I'm not coming down with something as the rest of the week is quite busy.

   No dinner tonight as I am also feeling squeamish. I'll eat when I get home from dance group if I'm hungry. There will be cake there and punch!

Sunday 24 September 2017


   Still hot! 31C at 6:00 p.m. and the humidex makes it feel like 41C. Unbelievable!

   I had arranged to meet the ladies at the tennis courts at 9:00 a.m. but it was already hot. We only played for an hour (and it was Australian Singles again which is more tiring) so I was home just after 10:00 and haven't been outdoors since except to water the tomatoes. Spent the rest of the morning reading the newspaper over a cup of coffee. The air conditioning is ticking over and keeping things comfortable indoors.

   Prepared a batch of pickled beets this morning and made some lavender cookies this afternoon so the day was not a total waste. Leftover chicken for dinner with some green beans for dinner so that's an easy meal. Looking forward to another episode of "Outlander" at 9:00 p.m. then off to bed.

   Forgot to say I had to run (not literally, I took the car) to the store this morning to pick up a cake for tomorrow. We are having a party for the retirement of our dance teacher. I was sure the cake was going to start to melt on the way home, the car was so hot, but I got it in the fridge in time!

Store bought was much easier than making it myself - and I'm not paying for it!

Saturday 23 September 2017

Staying Indoors

     An inside day - too hot to work in the garden, I was hot just driving to the grocery store and back! Having said that, I did go out around 4:00 p.m. to cut the back grass but it was a very rushed job and I was back indoors in 10 minutes. The air conditioning is switched on but I haven't heard it cut in so indoors is still pretty cool. Very unusual for this time of year, just as we are about to turn to Autumn.

    I have noticed the trees are beginning to drop their leaves but I think it's mostly because it's been so dry. The leaves haven't really started to turn.

   Chicken in a tomato sauce for dinner. I made a batch of cauliflower soup for lunch and had it with crackers and some cherry tomatoes from the garden There are still loads to come. It has been a very good year for them.


Friday 22 September 2017

We Need Rain!

   Still hot and dry and the weekend is supposed to continue that way. The lawns are looking rather scorched but no point watering them. I am just keeping the tomato plants wet.

   Tennis this morning (two sets, that was enough for me) then a couple of errands on the way home - first, gassed up the car ($30) then picked up a prescription ($34, but I will get some of that back), an expensive morning. While I was in the drug store the pharmacist went through a very detailed questionnaire with me to ascertain that my prescriptions were not conflicting in any way. It took about 15 minutes and was very thorough but I think I passed. Only suggestion - I should be eating oatmeal! I can do that.

   Gardening for a while this afternoon until my hands got too sore. I was still pruning and sawing the bush. Then just reading. I made cauliflower croquettes for dinner last night and will have that again tonight with corn and pickled beetroot. No dessert but I may have some almonds and dried fruit later.

Thursday 21 September 2017

Too Busy!

   It must be raining somewhere but certainly not here. It has been very dry for the last two weeks and I have had to water the garden fairly frequently. Today was another hot one - mid 20's with not a cloud in sight.

   Probus meeting this morning and it was a different location. The upside was that on my way there I passed a farmer selling corn so stopped to buy some for tonight's dinner. I ran a few errands after the meeting but that was it for today. I have been feeling rather overwhelmed by the number of commitments I have made recently and need a quiet few days. That won't happen until the weekend.

   A bit of gardening this afternoon - I am cutting back some bushes by the front walk and filling the bins for next week's pickup. This will be an ongoing project  since I can only get rid of so much of the cuttings every other week, I filled four bins today. I will just do it gradually.

   Haven't decided on tonight's dinner other than the corn - probably something with eggs. I got a good fish recipe from the Ricardo magazine so that will be for tomorrow. 

Wednesday 20 September 2017

A Couple of Treats

     Forgot to mention that yesterday I was the highest bidder on one of the items in the Silent Auction at our lunch. It was a collection of chutneys and relishes, left over from a sale at the convention, nine small jars for $13. That's just over $1.50 each, quite a bargain. Some I will use myself (especially the cranberry chutney!) and some I will give as hostess gifts.

   This morning I had three huge tomatoes and a hot pepper to use up so I made a batch of salsa. It turned out very well but I shouldn't have used the whole pepper as it is too hot for me! It will go to my son-in-law who loves things spicy. I had bought the pepper plants on sale at the garden centre but they had no label. I will know better next time not to take the chance.

    After that and a bit of gardening I cleaned up and walked over to the Senior's Centre for my shift in the coffee bar. Only made one pot of coffee and there was even some of that left as the classes are still out. But there was birthday cake for one of the ladies (chocolate) so I got a treat! I am wondering if I should bother going next week. It was very hot walking home so I have stayed indoors since. It is cooling off a bit now and I have the windows open. Thank goodness it gets fresher over night.


Tuesday 19 September 2017

Busy, Busy

   A hectic start to the day - I was down at the tennis courts by 8:15 as no one was available to open up and start the coffee. Also the coffee creamer had gone walkabout so I had to make a quick run down to the store to stock up.

   Next stop was the RWTO meeting and I made it there by 9:10 giving me time to lay out the name tags and the book sale before the meeting started. Finished the meeting by 11:00 and I sold 59 books today ($29.50), a record! Then lunch at noon, salad, roast beef with veggies and horseradish. The caterer serves rice and potatoes with the meals which seems an inordinate amount of carbs so I don't eat either but the rest was quite filling. Apple pie and ice cream with coffee for dessert. I will just have a bowl of soup for dinner tonight. 

Monday 18 September 2017

Good News

   Money problem solved with one phone call to the bank and another to the Builder. The money is back in my account and lots of apologies all round. So I should make it to the end of the month.

Sunday 17 September 2017

Money Problems

   Another scorcher today. It was 28C when I was coming home from demo practice around 4:00 p.m. Got a nasty shock at the bank machine - my chequing account was almost empty. I usually have a cushion of around $1000 but there was only $80! I immediately suspected what had happened - the post dated cheque I had written to the guys doing the path had gone through. Grrrr! I will have a talk with them and the bank tomorrow and see what they will do. Also the telecom company charged me more than the agreed upon payment I negotiated last week. Another phone call to make tomorrow.

    We only played tennis for an hour this morning - as there were just three of us we had to play Australian singles ( the server has the singles court) which is much more tiring. I was the first to bail out but I did win two of my singles games. The effort was just too much!

   The second episode of Outlander is on TV tonight so I will have a quick dinner, tidy the kitchen and settle in for good hour in front of the set. I missed the Davis Cup match this afternoon but Canada was victorious!

Saturday 16 September 2017

The Weekend

   Another lovely day - 27C at 5:00 p.m. - but I wasn't out much. Laundry done and dusted by 10:00 a.m. and off for a grocery/library/ bulk food shop. Now I have just $28 to last me to the end of the month but this is last month's money so I have done pretty well. I'll use my credit card for food buys.

   Finished the RTO minutes this afternoon and will send it off to Gary tonight - hope he doesn't want any corrections. It came in at just under three pages which is my goal - no room for additional comments.

   Canada is playing India in Davis Cup this weekend and they need the doubles match to stay ahead. It's down to the last set but they are up 5-2. Surely they won't go down!

   I couldn't decide what to have for dinner (I made soup for lunch and don't feel like any more cooking) so grabbed some shrimp out of the freezer. I really should have made a vegetarian meal - I have lots of veggies, beans, lentils etc., but no imagination!

   The doubles team has won their match so now Canada goes up 2-1. They will just need to win one of the reverse singles matches tomorrow. I'll be watching!

Friday 15 September 2017

Secretarial Duties

    Super summer weather continues - it was actually quite humid on the tennis courts this morning and we were all sweating a bit. I had three good sets but was not quite as on my game as Tuesday. Isn't that the way?

   I actually slept for quite a while this afternoon, must have been all the fresh air. I hope I can still sleep tonight. I finished my book and it will go back to the library tomorrow but, luckily, I still have something else to read from the stockpile I keep in the garage. This will go to sell at the RWTO lunch next Tuesday but I should have the book finished by then.

   Still working on the RTO Minutes! Why does it take me so long, you may be asking? It's not that they are complicated, it's just my lack of motivation. I work on them for a while, then reward myself with a treat (snack, TV or checking my e-mail and blogs). The problem is if I wait too long my notes no longer make sense so I am left to puzzle over the entries and try to make something coherent of it! Gary will check it before it goes out to the rest of the Executive and he is quite picky (not like Bill, the last President).

   A nice little piece of trout for dinner but I may have to cook it half frozen as I forgot to take it out of the freezer in time. I will finally finish the broccoli tonight, am getting very sick of it. I will douse it in cheese sauce for a nice change. My lunch was an egg salad sandwich as there were eggs to use up and very delicious it was in a croissant with some roasted red pepper.

Thursday 14 September 2017

Technical Problems

   Still hot - it was 26C at 5:00 p.m. today but will cool off considerably overnight. I was having an indoor day as I had the RTO Minutes to type up (still not finished) and the printer went offline again! I did another install so hope it takes this time. I decided not to go to the tennis courts (hip painful) or Mah Jong this morning, just had a walk down to the drug store for a few errands.

   I picked the last four sorry stalks of rhubarb and made some rhubarb and ginger jam this afternoon. I only got half a jar but it will be tasty on toast or on a bagel with cream cheese as a special treat. I got another tomato from the garden for my lunch and there are still quite a few that are still green or just beginning to turn red so I hope they are ready to eat before I go on holiday next month.

   Spent the rest of the day reading and will watch some TV tonight. Leftovers for dinner!

Wednesday 13 September 2017

A Changing of the Seasons

   Only have time for a few sentences as I have spent the last hour (at least!) reconnecting my printer. It all started when I had to get a new modem but it's all sorted now and the printer is back online.

   Another beautiful day and I got my 4,000 steps walking to the Senior's Centre. I didn't even need a jacket! When I got home the pool guys had been and the pool is now covered until Spring. Despite being still summery it feels like the year is winding down, the nights are decidedly cool and  I noticed some of the trees have started to turn - more about that later.

   Here are the before and after photos, as promised, taken from my bedroom window. The guys did a great job.

Early morning.

Late afternoon.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

Still Feels Like Summer

   Gorgeous day - mild and sunny. In fact I had to sit in the shade with my book this afternoon as it was too hot in the sun. A horrendous drive to the tennis courts today - I left about half an hour later than usual and it took me 45 minutes (usual is 15-20). I won't be doing that (leaving later) again!

   I had one of my best days on court today. Nearly all my shots were close to or on the line so earned me some cheap points. I was quite chuffed with myself. As a result of the late start I stayed until noon and had an errand to do on the way home. So straight into lunch followed by a nap.

   After that I cleaned the pool (only the third time this summer) as the pool guys are coming tomorrow to close it up. I hate to see it being put to rest dirty! I will try to get a "before" and  "after " photo in the morning. Then they will send me the bill! I think I have spent less on it this year what with not heating it so much, opening it later due to my trip and closing it earlier. Next year I will be replacing the pump so must start saving for that.

   Tuscan chicken tonight - chicken thighs, artichoke hearts and chickpeas - and there will be some left for tomorrow. I made a tasty dip with the leftover artichokes and had it with some veggies and pita bread with a glass of wine - tasty!

Monday 11 September 2017

A Change For the Better

    First night of my dance group and we have a new teacher. It's one of our members so hope it works out for us (and him!). Our old teacher decided to retire as she is well on in years and was finding it hard to keep up so felt it was time to go. We are sorry to see her leave but, truth be told, it was time.

   I attended a new craft club this morning run by RTO (so free coffee!). We are making, either knit or crochet, "Twiddle Muffs". These are for Alzhiemers or dementia patients who need something to fiddle with. I will post photos when we have made some. It doesn't look hard and we saw several different styles which we will try to emulate.

   I went from there to Bridge group and had a few good hands, then home for a nap. Later I walked up to the library and back (4,000 steps) to pick up a new Liane Moriarty book. I have been on the hunt for something decent to read (i.e. something that will hold my attention for more than a few pages!) and I think I have finally found it. I enjoyed her last book "Big Little Lies". This one is called "Truly, Madly Guilty".

   A quick dinner of leftovers as I have to be out by 6:30, but there will be tea and cookies at break time!

Sunday 10 September 2017

Saturday 9 September 2017

Catching Up With News

  PBS is showing "Wuthering Heights" tonight so I am engrossed in that. I've been out the last two evenings so am enjoying a restful night at home. I have been sleeping badly (too much on my mind, I think) but last night I had a really good sleep and woke up fully rested. 

   The pathway is finished and I will post a photo shortly. The guys worked so hard relaying the heavy flagstones but, luckily it wasn't too hot a day. Just one problem, it ended up higher than the driveway and they had to smooth the difference out with some asphalt - not too aesthetically pleasing. However, I can live with it and it's certainly better than before.

   Very cool overnight for the last few days and I have stopped running the pump on the pool. This is the earliest I have ever stopped using it. This afternoon I spent some time removing a couple of birds' nests from above the awning in the back yard - what a mess! Every year they come back and rebuild in the same spot and it's impossible to discourage them.

   A nice piece of fish tonight along with a big helping of broccoli. I have done quite well on the reduced carbs front today, just a piece of toast with my breakfast coffee!

Thursday 7 September 2017

Dressing For the Weather

   Very cool and overcast today with a little bit of rain this afternoon. It only got up to 19C so I was into Fall clothes. RTO meeting this morning - very tedious and long with a lot of unnecessary discussion but I'm secretary so have to stay to take down the Minutes. It didn't finish until almost noon but Marilyn, Donna and I went for a nice relaxing lunch after and I had minestrone soup and crab cakes, two of my favourites. I'm going out later so I'll just have a little piece of quiche for dinner.

   Tonight I am ushering at Judy's theatre production. It's an easy job and then we get to watch the play. She tried out for one of the parts but was not quite what they needed age wise. It's in a new location so I hope I can find my way there.

   The last blooms on the hibiscus plant before it comes inside for the winter.


Wednesday 6 September 2017

The New Path

   The pathway reconstruction is underway and is proceeding at a slow pace. I'm not worried how long it takes as I won't have to "pay the piper" until it is done. Today the gang (4 of them, now I know why it is so expensive) lifted the old flagstones and laid them out in order in the garage. They were extremely heavy, some are huge, definitely a two-or three-man job to mover each one. They then prepared the forms for laying the concrete base which will be done on Friday, weather permitting, and levelled the ground. It is an interesting process.

   Just my usual Wednesday at the senior's centre although I was late getting there and took the later fitness class. Very quiet in the kitchen so I left at 2:30 and came home to watch Rafa demolishing his Russian opponent. It is raining in New York so the matches are having to be played indoors. There are two more this evening.

   I took a piece of fish out the freezer but is still half frozen so I will save it for tomorrow. I'll make a quiche instead.

Tuesday 5 September 2017

Getting Things Done

   Another beautiful day - still quite summery but the pool is too cold for swimming. We had a good amount of rain yesterday so I put in some Shock to keep it blue. The guys aren't doing the weekly chemical check any more.

   I had a call today from the contractor who is to repair my front walk. He is coming tomorrow to start on it which isn't exactly convenient for me but I want to be here to make sure he lifts the flagstones and stores them so they can be replaced when the base is finished. It will probably take them at least a couple of days. Keeping my fingers crossed that it gets done successfully and to my liking.

   Tennis this morning and I had two good sets then helped Hendrina on the board. The drive to the courts took a bit longer but not as bad as I expected. We finished just before noon so I came home for lunch, a nap and some more US Open. I have defrosted some lamb chops for dinner, one of the few red meats I enjoy and quite a treat. Will grill them and just cook some peas to go with them. Mint sauce on the side.

Monday 4 September 2017

Labour Day

  The last of the holidays... and easy driving in the city. Tomorrow's drive to the tennis club will be considerably longer than usual. A beautiful day - we were in summer mode at the tennis social today. However, I was praying for the promised thunderstorm to materialize this afternoon as I need the pool filled up. So far just a sprinkle but there is thunder hovering around. It may still come as it is getting very dark.

   A bit of tennis (it was very busy so we only had 20 minutes on the court at a time) and a nice lunch of chicken skewers, potato salad, pasta and greens. Also cake and cookies and as much coffee as you wanted. Not a bad deal and it was FREE!

    I left around 1:30 and have been watching the US Open since then. A couple of exciting matches and the sublime Roger (Federer) is playing this evening. Can't miss that!

   Just some shrimp and the rest of the mashed cauliflower from yesterday. It was very good with lots of cheese, much nicer than mashed potatoes.

Sunday 3 September 2017

A Quiet Sunday

   A very lazy day - it was almost noon until I got myself dressed. Rain overnight so no tennis, and it stayed overcast until mid afternoon. Not warm either until the sun finally came out but the cold north wind seems to have subsided.

   A bit of gardening between US Open matches. The lone Canadian is finally out and my least favourite in the women's singles. There is one more match I want to see this evening then I will switch to something else.

   That's it for today. A piece of rainbow trout and some mashed cauliflower for dinner.

Saturday 2 September 2017

Feeling Like Fall

   A pretty rose in the garden.....

..........and some home baking, sugar cookies.

   A quiet day at home with just a trip to the grocery store this morning. I washed all the "pool" towels, dried them outside and stored them away until next year. It was sunny but cool this morning - only got up to low 20's - and now it has clouded over.

   Overdosed on US Open matches this afternoon so will have a change of pace this evening with a movie. Then off to bed with my current library book. It's called "The Witches of New York" and is turning out to be more enjoyable than my last one.

Friday 1 September 2017

End of Summer is Coming

   Another cool but sunny day. It was only 8C this morning and just managed to struggle up to 19C by the afternoon. At least it is nice in the sun. I had a long morning at the tennis club (8:30 to 12:30) and, after, lunch at Metro (sushi) with Jasmin, Dick and Martin - a working lunch as we were discussing our strategy for the tennis club AGM later this month. We're not happy with the current management.

   I have just finished the sushi with a glass of wine but will have dinner later. I got bored with watching tennis yesterday and watched "The Danish Girl", a video from my friend Cathy. I think I may resort to another movie tonight but this afternoon watched the lone Canadian still playing at the US Open. He won when his opponent withdrew due to injury. However, a win's a win!

   The sun is going down and the temperature is dropping. I have on warmer pants, a sweater and socks. My days of daily swims in the pool are well and truly over and the guys will come to close it up in a couple of weeks. It is always rather bitter sweet when the pool gets its winter cover on.