Thursday 30 November 2017

The Mandarin

    This is our local Chinese buffet restaurant and we were there for lunch today (at the princely price of $12) along with 100 others from the Senior's Centre. It was our Christmas lunch and what a feed we had! I usually try to avoid buffets as I always want to try everything (and usually do!) and there is such a great selection of salads, entrees, desserts etc.

   I had rather a long nap when I got home so may have trouble sleeping tonight. Now I am still stuffed so no dinner for me - maybe a little snack later - but I am very thirsty. Something must have been rather too salty so I will just drink lots of water. The TV is on the blink so it may be a long evening!

Wednesday 29 November 2017

A Blustery Day

   Much cooler today but still some sun - only up to 5C. I walked over to the mall from the senior's centre between the fitness classes (the first is 9-10, the next, 11:15 - 12:00) and on the way back the wind was in my face and very cold and strong, but I survived.

   Usual group for coffee after class and then another coffee while I was behind the counter of the coffee bar. I also brought the leftovers home for tomorrow, having made a half pot of decaf towards the end of my shift which didn't get finished. No point in pouring it down the drain, I say!

   I have managed to renew the library book I need for next week's book club but I doubt I will have finished it by then. I took a quick read with me today and got quite a bit read in between serving the coffee, but I must get back to the other one!

   Fish in a cheese sauce with mushrooms and green beans tonight. I forgot to take the fish out of the freezer before I went out this morning but it will thaw and cook in the cheese sauce. 

Tuesday 28 November 2017

Nice for November

    So pleasant today! It was sunny again and reached 15C this afternoon. I walked over to the senior's centre for Bridge class around 11:00 but on the way back at 3:00 it was getting very windy indeed. Earlier I had taken the car in for rust proofing and they also lubricated the hatchback release lever and filled up the windshield washer fluid reservoir, so I am all set for whatever road conditions winter brings.

   A short nap then I left for Cineplex to see "Murder on the Orient Express", excellent with a star studded cast and the cinematography was impressive. A funny event - they started to show the wrong movie. By the time this was communicated to management we had lost about 15 minutes and had to watch the commercials and trailers all over again! So the movie was late finishing and I didn't get home until well after 7:30. I stopped on the way home at McDonald's for a crispy chicken and bacon wrap. I was so hungry by then I fairly gobbled it down.

   Since then I have been relaxing in front of the TV while I check my e-mails etc. It won't be long before I head for bed.

Monday 27 November 2017

Battling My Introvert Nature

   Still very cold but at least it was sunny. I woke early and tried to get back to sleep but with no luck. The newspaper was late arriving so I had nothing to read with my breakfast. Usually I have the Sudoku and Jumble done before I get up from the table. It eventually arrived just before 8:00 a.m., just as I finished washing up.  

    I did my step video first thing as I had no exercise whatsoever all weekend. Then a soak in the tub for my aching muscles and I was ready to face the day. It was Hava Java morning at Calabria CafĂ© - lots of people to socialize with and a chocolate doughnut with my two cups of coffee - then Bridge at noon, so I have been very sociable today to make up for my solitary weekend. Soon I will be going out to dance group so another opportunity to chat between dances and during the tea break. I would as soon stay home where it is warm and cozy, but this is the only night this week that I will be out.

   Just soup and a sandwich for dinner as I have been overdoing the sweet stuff today.
Some pretty flowers on one of my indoor plants.

Sunday 26 November 2017

A Quiet Sunday

     Another chilly day - it didn't budge from 1C all day - and still overcast. I barely crossed the doorstep all day and didn't accomplish much. I am not getting on very well with my current book so it will be TV and knitting tonight. Hope it warms up a bit before December hits us.

Saturday 25 November 2017

Books and Bargains

   Back to the dismal grey weather but at least it isn't cold, 9C when I got up this morning. Just my usual Saturday chores but I was late getting up so was behind the bandwagon all day. I put a loaf in the bread machine before lunch and it turned out well so that will do for the rest of the week. 

   I have made a start on the book for the next Book Club meeting in two weeks. It's a non-fiction, "Quiet" by Susan Cain, not my preference, and is about the world of introverts. So far the author has dealt mainly with extroverts so I am a bit confused as to where she's going with her theme. She has some funny anecdotes to share so I will keep reading. Luckily I have no more books on the go to distract me!

   Dinner tonight is pork souvlaki which was 30% off at the store today. I also got stewing beef similarly reduced and it has gone in the freezer. Love saving money. I am a real cheapskate!

   The fire is taking the chill off things tonight so I am cozy and comfortable.

Friday 24 November 2017

Finally, Sun!

   Gorgeous day today - sunny and mild - so spent quite a bit of time outdoors pottering in the garden. I even had the sun lounger out for half an hour! I am busy cutting back bushes and removing ivy from the side of the house. Everything seems to have grown like crazy this year.

   Despite the nice weather I was also busy in the kitchen. First a pot of soup for lunches, carrot and lentil (the carrots were humungous - you have to wonder what the farmer is using to make them so big)  and then this afternoon a fruit cake. This is not something I make very often but I had dried fruit and mixed peel left over from the day I made the ill fated plum pudding. Hope the cake turns out better.

Thursday 23 November 2017

Too Much Exercise

   Still cold and grey but no rain or snow. I think it got to 4C this afternoon. We could do with some sun. 

   I had a tennis game arranged for this morning with Angela, Eva and Carol. The first set went to a tie break and Eva and I came out on top. After that I was playing at half strength but we still managed to keep it fairly even , 6-4 for the other guys.

   I got home around 12:15, had a quick lunch and headed out for Zumba. I started out OK but ran out of steam after half an hour so packed it in and went for a swim. The best part was soaking in the hot tub afterwards. Now I feel very relaxed and gratifyingly tired. Surely I lost a few pounds today! I will sleep well tonight.

   Jumbo shrimp for dinner -  I will cook them in garlic butter and fry some mushrooms in the same pan, a nice easy dinner. I have already had some crackers, cream cheese and grapes with a glass of wine so am not starving.



Tuesday 21 November 2017

A Big Lunch

   No need for dinner tonight as I had a very filling lunch. It was the RWTO Christmas event at The Estates, our usual venue. They served Greek salad followed by three slices of turkey with gravy, cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes. There were lots of nicely cooked vegetables as well and I ate almost everything. A slice of pumpkin pie and coffee followed for dessert. This was followed by a musical interlude, a duo singing folk songs. We knew them all and sang along. Lots of fun!

   So the day has passed and I will be vegging on the couch until bed time. Tomorrow I will have to work it all off with some strenuous exercise!

Monday 20 November 2017

Winter, Bring it On!

   Not much to write about today - I walked to my Bridge game at the Senior's Centre at noon (it was freezing!) and back again at 3:00 p.m. Then raked leaves for half an hour. I also secured some plastic over the air conditioning unit which is outside. Hope it stays on. Last year it blew away in a gale.

   So everything is pretty well done in preparation for Winter. All gardening equipment put away, outside taps turned off and drained. I have sealed all the windows and other places draughts creep in, in an effort to keep the heating bills down. My window cleaner called last week to say he would come one more time this year, but I think it is now too cold for him to show up. The water would freeze in his bucket! I will just have to live with grubby windows until Spring.

Sunday 19 November 2017

That Was the Weekend

   Cold today, in the minus numbers, and a smattering of the white stuff. I had little time outside but did walk up to the mall yesterday afternoon for a few groceries. I did a huge shopping in the morning at No Frills as my freezer was very empty, but I cashed in $20 worth of PC Points so the bill wasn't too horrendous.

   Today I made a batch of sausage rolls to take to Judy's as it was the multiple birthday celebration we have every November. Alison's birthday is the 14th, Steve's the 18th and Natalie's the 21st. I just had a light breakfast as we ate at 11:00 (all of us had things to do later). It was lovely to get together - I hadn't seen most of them since I got back from my holiday.

   Demo practice this afternoon - we learned a new dance called "Brisk Young Lad" and it was a very "brisk" tempo that had us gasping for breath. Most of us are no longer Spring chickens!

   That's it for today, just a light supper as lunch was so filling. I didn't have a nap this afternoon so should sleep well tonight.

Friday 17 November 2017

Year End in the Garden

   Finally a night at home! Well, I did skip my dance group on Wednesday but it feels like I have been out every night this week.

   Frost overnight and it only got up to 3 or 4C today. I stayed quite a long time at the Senior's Centre after Fitness class as it was nice and warm and lots of people to chat with. Home by 11:00 and spent an hour raking leaves. Despite wearing a pair of gloves under my gardening ones, my hands were frozen by the time I had got all the leaves in the composter. The rest will get done on the weekend (unless it rains or snows) and will have to go to the curb as the composter is now full. Before I did that I dug out some of the well decomposed stuff from the bottom to put on the roses so that's another chore done.

   A long nap this afternoon as I didn't sleep well last night despite all the tips from the expert on Thursday. I was working on my jigsaw puzzle until 12:45 a.m. and then read for a while - his advice to get up and do something if you don't fall asleep within 20 minutes of going to bed. That did seem to work but I was awake by 6:30 so just 5 hours of sleep. It will be an early night tonight.

Thursday 16 November 2017

On the Go Again

   I have an early meeting of the tennis club executive this evening (6:30) so won't bother with dinner until I get back. Just to tide me over I made a bean and artichoke dip from stuff left over from last night's chicken casserole. As well as the above mentioned ingredients it had some roasted red pepper, green onions, mayonnaise and sour cream. I grated some parmesan on top and heated it through. I had it with pita bread wedges, red pepper and broccoli for dipping. It was quite filling so I may not eat again.

   Not too chilly today but quite windy. I think a new weather front is coming through overnight so who knows what tomorrow will bring. Probus club this morning - the speaker's topic was sleep disorders and he had many helpful tips for getting a good night's sleep. There were tons of questions and it seems most of the members had some sort of sleeping issue or another.

   Zumba class this afternoon and after working up a bit of a sweat I went for a swim at the indoor pool. The best part was relaxing in the hot tub after. I must have stayed in for at least half an hour!

Wednesday 15 November 2017

My Usual Wednesday

   Not too cold today (started off at 6C) but still dull and dreary, typical November skies. I was out late last night at Markham Theatre, ushering for "Jitters", a very funny play about a theatre company just like the one performing the play. Quite an original scenario. So I had a slow start this morning but made it out to my Stretch and Strength class by 8:45. The second class at 11:15 is more aerobic and gives me quite a workout. 

    I managed to fit in a couple of errands (library, liquor store) between Fitness classes and was in the coffee bar by noon. It was a fairly quiet afternoon and I was home by 3:15. I went into the drug store on the way home to pick up a prescription and decided to get my 'flu shot. It is so easy to do at the drug store, no phoning for an appointment or waiting in the doctor's office, just in and out quick sticks!

   I have a new library book, "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware - I read her previous book, "The Woman in Cabin 10" and enjoyed it - and a new jigsaw puzzle lent to me by one of my Bridge friends so I am a happy camper today with lots to do! Just as well as there never seems to be much on TV these days.

    Chicken casserole is in the oven and smells good. Better go check it. I will have it with some brussell sprouts. I managed to scorch the Christmas plum pudding the other day by letting it boil dry, so I don't want any other cooking disasters!

Monday 13 November 2017

A Bit of Exercise

   Just a quick entry - off to dance group in half an hour. I slept late and pottered around until 9:30 when I fired up my step video, I had been very inactive all weekend. Finished by 10:45 then a shower, hair wash and prepared my lunch to take to Bridge. I walked there for a bit more exercise and had a small slam on one of my hands. That felt good!

    Home by 3:30, had a nap then went out to dig up some rubbish in the garden. It wasn't too cold today but dull again. Next garden chore is to put compost on the rose bushes but that will have to wait for another day.

Sunday 12 November 2017

A Treat to Eat and a Treat for Later

   Lamb chops for dinner tonight - one of my faves! They are marinating in lemon juice and soy sauce ready to cook in half an hour. I'll have them with butternut squash and Brussel sprouts. 

    Not quite so cold today but no sun. I think it got up to 7C. It was a stay-at-home day for me. I didn't get out of my P.J.'s until 11: a.m. This morning I made the Christmas plum pudding and had it steaming by noon. It looks really tasty but will be even better after it has matured for a few weeks with occasional brandy soakings. 

   That was about all I did today - have just been reading ever since. Now I'm off to cook the lamb chops!

Friday 10 November 2017

A New Venue

   Minus 9C when I got up this morning with a dusting of snow, Ugh! The sun was shining most of the day but it didn't budge much from there.

   Fitness class, haircut and the library this morning then finished the RTO meeting minutes after a nap. Since then I have been reading my new book "City of Friends" by Joanna Trollope. It's quite an interesting read. I am going out with Donna tonight to visit a new banquet place and I think we will be fed and watered for free. Despite the cold I wouldn't want to miss that. Verdict on the place tomorrow!

Thursday 9 November 2017

New Activities

   6C this morning but just up to 8C for the rest of the day. Now the temperature is dropping and it is supposed to be very cold overnight and tomorrow. Raining now and it may turn into snow!

   I made a pot of soup for lunch this morning then sat at the computer for over an hour preparing the Minutes from last week's RTO meeting. I will need to work on it again tomorrow but that should be it and I can send it out to the rest of the executive. I daren't leave it too long or my notes stop making sense. I already had to phone Les for clarification of something he reported on!

   I went to Zumba Gold class this afternoon for the first time this Fall. I had managed to get into the class then was busy almost every Thursday since, but today I stayed for the whole class. It was lots of fun and not too difficult. Afterwards I went to the indoor community pool for a swim and a soak in the hot tub. Very relaxing and the pool wasn't too busy.

   A small piece of trout for dinner and I plan to make butternut squash mash to go with it. I used most of the squash for soup and will roast the last bit then mash it with sour cream and lots of pepper. Green beans as well then the last of the pineapple for dessert.

Some more photos from the Dubrovnik trip.

Entering the old city by the Pile (Peelay) gate.

This old fort is actually outside the city walls and was one of the sites used in "Game of Thrones".

Wednesday 8 November 2017

Home Improvements

   Another chilly day, started off at 2C and managed to get up to 8C. Cold front moving in tomorrow and Friday is expected to bring snow. Too early!

   I spent most of the day at the Senior's Centre - 9:00 a.m. fitness class, coffee and cookies with friends, another fitness class at 11:15 until I took over from Juliet in the kitchen. Luckily I had brought the newspaper and a book to read as it was not busy. They hardly need me there. Leanne brought in gigantic chocolate cookies and brownies so these went down well with the art and Euchre groups. They really lucked out. I (well, not me personally)made over $40.00!

   I made a successful transplant of shower heads the other day, swopping the one in the bathroom for the one in my ensuite shower - what a difference! I should have done it years ago but now I have a much more pleasant shower each morning. I am starting to think about other improvements I need (and can afford) to make in case I feel the notion to move. The house really is too big for me to rattle around in!

Tuesday 7 November 2017

A Bit of an Accident

   A chilly one today but it will be even colder by Thursday and may set some records. Can't wait (not!).

   Pottered around until 10:30 then got on the road to do some errands before Bridge class. I had time for a coffee before class started and caught up with some friends at the coffee bar.

   The garden refuse got picked up today (a day early) so I refilled a couple of the bins for the regular pickup tomorrow. They often do this in the Fall as there are so many bags of fallen leaves put out to the curb. However, most of the trees still have their leaves so they might have to keep coming around into December this year.

   I tripped and fell on my right hand yesterday (tripped on the computer cord, silly me) and now my fingers are tender and swollen. Luckily I am left-handed. I had a hard time shuffling and dealing the cards today and am praying the swelling will have gone down by tomorrow when I go to dance group. It's difficult to avoid hand contact in Scottish Country dancing. 


Sunday 5 November 2017

Rainy and Bleak

   I had no big plans for today but it turned out to be a busy one. It was raining when I got up this morning and continued all day, but quite mild. Up early this morning because of the clock change but was busy until lunchtime. By then I was ready for a nap and didn`t surface until 3:00 p.m.

   I tried to settle at the computer (I have the Minutes from last week's meeting to type up) but got sidetracked and finally gave up around 4:00. I needed some fresh air so walked up to the library to pick up a Donna Leon book I have been waiting for. The rain seemed to have stopped, but it started up again before I got home - not too wet. It`s been an indoor sort of day.

   Dinner is on - chicken stew - thighs with lots of vegetables. I am using up most of the tomatoes that have ripened indoors. It`s actually for tomorrow as I have some leftover fish to eat tonight. Yesterday I planted some over wintering garlic as it needs to go in before the ground freezes. I also tidied up some branches from my neighbour`s tree that he very kindly let fall over the fence when he was pruning it. He pretended he didn`t notice they landed on my side of the fence! Luckily I still had some room in my bins so it will be picked up on Wednesday.

Friday 3 November 2017


   I have been very lazy about blogging  - not sure if anyone is dropping by - but the last two days have just been my usual routine anyway. We had a really good discussion at book club on Thursday (I have switched groups). The book was "The Widow" by Fiona Barton and several of us had very conflicting views of it. However, we agreed to disagree.

   I worked hard at Fitness class this morning then came home to do an hour of gardening before lunch. It was very pleasant out - the first day with sun for ages - in fact I had my jacket off when I went out again in the afternoon. The bins are now full and ready for pickup next Wednesday. I made scones this afternoon as I wanted to use up the yogurt before I go shopping tomorrow. Other than sampling one straight out of the oven I have had very little carbs today so will have another one after dinner. They turned out really well!

I picked these tomatoes when they were still green and they have been ripening indoors for three weeks. Time to start eating them!

The fall colours have not been as brilliant as usual this year. These two trees were the only ones in my neighbourhood to have a decent display