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Saturday, 29 December 2018

A Good Read

   I am reading a riveting book today, "Educated" by Tara Westover. It's a memoir of an unbelievably hard childhood, in fact, parts I had to skip over, it was so gruesome! Nevertheless, I highly recommend it.

   The cats have gone back home. I picked up their "parents" (my son and DIL) from the airport this afternoon, we returned to my place, and got the cats and all their paraphernalia packed up and loaded in their car. Not sorry to see them go (pets are a lot of work) but I will miss them greeting me each time I arrived home.

    Scary thing on the highway coming home from the airport - I was nearly side-swiped by a humongous tractor-trailer which decided to change lanes and obviously didn't see me. Luckily there was a paved shoulder for me to escape on to until he was past but I was quite shaken. All this at 100 kpm!

   Colder today after yesterday's mild temperatures but still no snow. I plan to binge-watch my newest DVD of "Line of Duty". It's a great series!

Thursday, 27 December 2018

A Busy Thursday

   Got some exercise today - tennis with the usual group and more of the same tomorrow. We shared holiday experiences between sets but managed three. I wasn't out at all yesterday so it was nice to do some socializing. A long nap this afternoon as the cats have been getting me up while it is still dark in the mornings. Still no snow to speak of and quite mild for this time of year.

   I dropped by Value Village with some kids books to donate and got a 20% off coupon. I found a nearly new maroon velvet shirt that was just my size, with the coupon just $8! Can't wait to wear it once my usual activities start up again in January. It will go nicely with my favourite black yoga pants.

   Still eating leftovers, the lamb will be a type of stew today with some curry powder thrown in. At least all the vegetables are gone so something fresh will show up in the meal. Last of the shrimp were consumed half an hour ago and I will have the final slice of plum pudding for dessert. Finally, a clementine and a couple of chocs (or maybe three) from the box Judy brought me while I watch TV. That should see me through until morning!

   

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Leftovers

   Everything went well for yesterday's Christmas lunch (except the soup, but that's another story). Today, once I had tackled all the washing up, it was time to start on the leftovers. I actually really like leftovers, not just because there's no actual cooking required, but because they taste really good!

   For lunch today I had the aforementioned soup - it was really insipid and I don't think I will keep it - some smoked mackeral, onion cheddar and olives, all from the appetizer I served yesterday. For dinner there's lamb, gravy, two veg. (no roast potatoes, they all got eaten) and, of course, plum pudding and custard! There was also some wine left so I will have that too.

   I will get another couple of meals from the leg of lamb but will serve it different ways. Tonight it will just be heated in the gravy. So good!

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Preparations

   Cats have settled in and made themselves at home. My only problem is that the one on a diet keeps stealing the other one's food. He will have put on weight by the end of their stay here.

    My only chore today (other than grocery shopping and laundry) was to bake a couple of French bread loaves to have with Christmas dinner. That is now done and dusted and they turned out really well. I took the leg of lamb out of the freezer and it will defrost in the fridge for the next few days. Everything seems to be under control and as there will just be 6 of us on the 25th, it should be quite stress free.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Holiday Visitors

   Guests arrived today - my son`s two cats. He and daughter-in-law are off to her parents in Victoria B.C for Christmas. I drove them to the airport, 40 minutes each way in bumper to bumper traffic at rush hour! 

    I swear one of the cats can tell time - it is meowing for its 9:00 snack (it`s 8:50) Unbelievable! Well, better go and feed it.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

My Christmas Tree

   A few favourite ornaments:

Jolly Old St. Nick!

A Partridge in a Pear tree!

Old fashioned but festive.

So cute! This one needed to be repaired - the cat had fallen out of the box!

Monday, 17 December 2018

Overindulging again!

   What a disaster!    Decided to treat myself to a Caramel Brule Latte at Starbucks at Chapters today (plus a double chocolate brownie) only to find when I got to my Bridge game that the staff at the Senior's Centre were serving free coffee and pastries this week! They like to surprise us but I could have done without the extra treats.

   In addition, two of my Bridge friends brought treats as well - Diane had home made fruit cake and chocolate bundles, and Karen had brought gingerbread cookies and it seemed rude to say "no thanks". Needless to say I couldn't eat my lunch but will have it for dinner. Of course I could have passed on all the treats but I have zero will power.

Friday, 14 December 2018

An Accident

   Luckily it wasn't me... but there was a serious accident at Pickle Ball this afternoon. One player had a nasty fall and didn't get right back up. Turned out she had broken her arm as she landed rather heavily on it. Ambulance called and the paramedics got her strapped up, on the stretcher and off to the Emergency department. Hope she is well looked after but that will really put a damper on her Christmas! We all played very carefully after that.

   My window cleaner was hoping to be here today to do my outside windows and clear the eavestroughs as the weather has been a bit milder. Unfortunately he didn't make it as yesterday we had snow and today it rained pretty steadily until 2:00 p.m. The up side is that I spent Tuesday and yesterday cleaning all the indoor side of the window so, even if he doesn't come, I will have that job done.

   More sensible eating today - a light breakfast and lunch, and dinner tonight will be poached fish, broccoli and a cauliflower pancake. That and fitness class this morning may have helped keep my weight from inching upwards!

Thursday, 13 December 2018

More Food!

     …… but the end is in sight! Today was the Probus Club lunch. We had a choice of turkey or salmon and, as I am cooking a leg of lamb on Christmas Day, I opted for turkey. It was excellent, a nice salad first, then two slices of turkey breast, asparagus and carrots, roast potatoes, stuffing, gravy and cranberry sauce. In other words, the works! Dessert was chocolate coated ice cream and coffee to finish - a delicious meal with good friends. There was even musical entertainment. Tonight I will just have a bowl of soup for dinner.

   This week was our final dancing nights before Christmas so we had parties on Monday and Wednesday with lots of goodies (mostly sweet things). I made sausage rolls which were popular - no leftovers. They are so easy to make with bought puff pastry that they are my standby for pot luck parties. One more batch to make next week for the Bridge party. Then it will be the countdown to the big day - hope everything turns out well!

    

Sunday, 9 December 2018

Festive Meals

    I see I haven't blogged for a week but it has been a busy one. Next week will be more of the same.

   As well as my usual bridge, exercise classes and tennis game, I was out for lunch three times. On Wednesday it was the Retired Teachers Christmas lunch and wonderful it was as usual - a gigantic buffet at the local Golf and Country Club (very posh!). Every kind of dish imaginable but my favourite was smoked salmon....and the desserts were to die for!

   On Friday I picked up the grandkids after school for a sleepover as the parents were entertaining friends. We had a rotisserie chicken from Metro with corn, stuffing and salad. After dinner they put up my Christmas tree and decorated it, then we watched "Elf", a very silly movie but they liked it. Next morning it was a mountain of pancakes and sausages - these kids can really pack it away!

   I met friends for lunch on Saturday at Markham Station but I was very good and only had a Greek salad (no Caesar Salad unfortunately). In fact I brought half of it home to have for dinner with leftovers. Today was the Festive Special at Swiss Chalet with the whole family - this is the complete Christmas meal with 1/4 chicken, stuffing and cranberries. I ordered salad instead of fries - again no Caesar salad because of the problems with Romaine lettuce - so at least it was a little bit healthy. No dinner tonight as I am still stuffed (just like the chicken!).

Sunday, 2 December 2018

Two Nights Out

    Things are getting busy now that we are into December - I was out dancing two nights in a row and my feet have still not recovered!

    On Friday I reluctantly drove to Port Perry (in the dark on country roads, only got lost once) for a St. Andrew's Day Ceilidh. It was held at the local Legion Hall and was a great night - a huge turnout with people from all over the GTA, lots of fun dances and a nice spread after. Then the real fun started - driving home. 

   Google told me it was a 45 minute drive home but it took me almost an hour and a half. First I spent 20 minutes going in a circle and ended back in Port Perry. Once I got on the right road I made good time as there wasn't much traffic. However, not far from home, on Hwy.401, the traffic slowed and came  almost to a stop. I found out later there had been a pretty serious accident just at my exit. Luckily I was close to another exit so took that and finally arrived home safely at 11:00 p.m.

   Last night the weather was the problem on the way to the monthly dance - teeming rain made driving rather tricky but at least it wasn't snow! It was another night of live music, fun dances and a good turnout despite the weather. Tonight I get to stay home by the fire, my preferred place to be when the nights close in and the weather turns foul. However, if I force myself to go out I usually have a good time with all my dancing friends and am happy I made the effort.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Indoor Tennis

    Tennis at Carol's condo this morning but only three of us were present. We played Australian singles (server on one side and the other two receiving)  but at one point Carol declared that we mustn't try to win points as it was so one sided. So we just hit to each other - not so much fun but still exercise. We didn't play close to our normal 2 hours.

   The condo is right opposite a Garden Centre so I went in on the way home and picked up a dozen tulip bulbs which were 50% off. Their Christmas displays were gorgeous and I was sorely tempted but they were also expensive. I will pick up something Christmassy later next month at the local shop.

   Planted the bulbs this afternoon. I put them down pretty deep to try to foil the squirrels. We'll see what comes up next Spring!

Some photos from our day trip to Epidaurus:

The Lion's Gate - this is where, supposedly, Clytemnestra greeted (and later murdered) Agamemnon, her husband, after he returned from rescuing Helen from Troy. She was later murdered by her son.


This is purported to be the mask of Agamemnon but there are doubts as to its authenticity.

Some ancient artifacts in the Museum at the site.

Tuesday, 27 November 2018

An Island Adventure

     A tasty pre-preprandial snack while I type tonight - blue cheese on crackers with my home made red pepper jelly. Unfortunately it is the batch that didn't set very well so it is dripping everywhere. Despite frequent finger-licking, the computer keyboard has become rather sticky!

   Cold today with the threat of snow. Yesterday we had torrential rain pretty much all day but at least it wasn't the white stuff! I am so tired of the dull grey days we have had this month but that is typical of November.

   Bridge this afternoon but I had terrible cards and hardly got to play any hands. At least I didn't disgrace myself and get the booby prize (the lowest scorer). I shopped this morning for a few things at the bulk food store including mincemeat for tarts which I will make later this week.

Some more photos from my Greece trip:

The Harbour at Hydra. We got there by hydrofoil and returned on a catamaran.

There are no cars on Hydra. Everything is moved by donkey.

At a museum up above the town - a wonderful view! As you can see the weather was gorgeous.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

More Photos

      Not too cold today - after my morning chores -kitchen clean-up, ironing etc., I made a pot of carrot and lentil soup. Then out to rake some more, ready for the last garden rubbish pickup of the year. I now have four bins filled.

   Before lunch I got a loaf in the bread machine and it turned out perfectly. I used a little less yeast which seemed to do the trick. After lunch and a nap another bin was filled with leaves and a load went in the composter. The outdoor air-conditioning unit is now covered for the winter and compost is piled on the rose bushes. I am ready for the snow to fly!

View from the ferry as we arrive at the island of Poros, our home base.

Our hotel on Poros and the jetty where we got the water taxis to the port.


Friday, 23 November 2018

Black Friday

    I'm not much for bargain shopping at the Malls so I stayed home and did my usual Friday routine. The temperature got above zero this morning and the sun was out so I raked up two bins of fallen leaves after I got home from Fitness class. 

   After lunch I was out again to try Pickle Ball with my new paddle. It worked a treat and I played for nearly two hours - 12 minutes on and 12 minutes off. There weren't so many people there today, probably shopping for bargains. Although I have a few things coming up on Fridays soon, I will try to get down to the community centre as much as possible. It is really good exercise.

   I have finally managed to locate where I saved my photos from my trip to Greece so here are a couple taken on our first day in Athens.

Climbing up to the Acropolis - it was very windy up there!
A side view of the Parthenon. It's hard to get an idea of how large it is when up close.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Another Weekend Over

   Finally got up-to-date on all the blogs I follow - I was out last night babysitting (I don't know why I call it that as the grandkids are 12, 10 and 8, hardly babies) and didn't get home until after11:00 p.m. so didn't have a chance to check them yesterday.

   Today has just whizzed by which is good on the weekend as I don't usually have much to do. I slept in so was still eating breakfast at 9:30. Made soup, did laundry and read the Sunday newspaper. Then it was time for lunch and the finals of the ATP tournament from London. I didn't get to watch the whole match as I had dance practice at 2:00 p.m. We learned three new dances for the Burns' demos in January, quite easy dances but fun to do.

   I had an errand to do on the way home so it was almost 5:00 p.m. before I settled with my drink and snack. Dinner is leftover Shepherd's Pie I brought home from Judy's last night. I love when someone else does the cooking!

Friday, 16 November 2018

First Snowfall

Yesterday evening I had a rather slippery drive up to Markham to see Judy performing in her amateur theatre production of "Calendar Girls". It was hilarious but I spent the evening wondering what the drive home would be like as the snow was falling thick and fast. I did get home safely and there wasn't much traffic on the road at that late hour.  

   We have already had a few flurries but here's what greeted me when I got up this morning. It was pretty wet snow as you can see from the puddles on top of the pool cover. It was like cement when I tried to shovel it so I will just wait for it to melt. The weekend is supposed to be a bit milder.


Thursday, 15 November 2018

'Flu Shot

    This has been a very depressing month with very few sunny days. I can't remember such a bleak November. Today was -4C when I went out but I still had my fall jacket on so I was freezing! I think I will have to bite the bullet and get my winter coat out. Once I start wearing it, it is on until April and I am so sick of it by then. That's why I am delaying.

    Interesting conversation with the pharmacist this morning. I went for my 'flu shot and seemingly there is a super version, but you have to get it from your doctor. I declined to have it (had to sign a waiver) and related to her that a friend was told by her doctor that the new version is untested. She (the doctor) refused to administer it as she said her patient would be a test guinea pig! Just saying, take that as you like.

   Probus meeting this morning (a very interesting speaker) and then lunch at Boston Pizza with friends. I had chicken quesidellia (sp) and Caesar salad, all for $10. A pretty good deal in my books!

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Paperwork

  Fire on again as it is very cold out - flirting with negative temperatures for the next few days (and probably longer!)

    I haven't been out all day and spent the afternoon working on the Minutes from last week's RTO meeting. They are running to 4 pages which is very much frowned on but it was a very long, contentious meeting. I will try to weed out any extraneous facts once I am finished. Everyone complains if they are too long but also complains if their report is edited too much! We have 15 committees plus the President's report, the Treasurer's report etc., etc. This is my last year as Secretary so the end is in sight. Next year I will take over the Craft Club position which is much less stressful. 

   Having a glass of wine with an avocado and salsa dip to dial down the stress and it's working. Salmon and broccoli for dinner, Yum! Second episode of "Outlander: Series 4" this evening. Can't wait!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

On the Injured List

   I reluctantly went to a trivia event this afternoon but it turned out to be quite fun. Our team did rather badly but we had lots of laughs..... and there was a free glass of wine and all you can eat pizza! What's not to like?

   I had played tennis in the morning and had a bit of a rush to be back out again by 12:30. Now my knee is very stiff and sore - I should really have stayed home with ice on it. I think I will have to skip Pickle Ball tomorrow afternoon but I will see how it feels after Fitness class in the morning.

   Judy decided she didn't need me to babysit this evening so I am cosyed up by the fire with some good shows on TV. I was quite happy to stay home after such a busy day. I will see them next week.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Glass vs Plastic

     I read a scary article in the newspaper recently about the dangers of reheating food in plastic containers. Seemingly, that's a no-no! So tonight I am reheating dinner in a pyrex dish which dates back to before microwaves. It is taking forever! Already 9 minutes and the food is barely warm. What's a person to do?

   Still dreary and miserable but not cold. The tree on my front boulevard has yet to drop its leaves so raking will have to wait until next week, at least. Craft club followed by Bridge so I have had a busy day.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Last Grass Cut

   I hope I can put the lawn mower away until Spring - both areas cut and the fallen leaves mulched in the process. I will have to rake later in the month but the big tree out front is hanging on to its leaves.

   That was the morning plus some other tidy up jobs in the garden. This afternoon I put a loaf in the bread machine and it turned out well. Since then I have been tackling secretarial jobs for the RTO committee of which I am Secretary. It was sunny this morning; in fact I had my jacket off for a while when I was working outside. By 2:00 p.m. it had clouded over and the temperature dropped. We had "frost on the pumpkin" last night.

Friday, 2 November 2018

Pickle Ball

   I have just found out that you can play Pickle ball at my local community centre (not the Senior's Centre) for free 4 days a week. I tried it today for the first time and found that my tennis skills transferred quite well to the pickle ball court. In fact I had to work harder than I do at tennis.

   It is very popular and only the first 24 to sign up get to play. There are three courts and you play for 12 minutes before switching with the next group. So, in theory, it's 12 minutes on and 12 minutes off although I had to sit out two sessions as there were some extra players allowed in.

   The coach let me borrow his raquet and gave me a brief lesson but I will have to buy my own if I plan to be a regular. They are not as expensive as tennis raquets. The scoring is tricky but I won't have to worry about that until I improve somewhat. I will probably only play once a week as I am going to fitness class on two days and playing tennis (indoors now) occasionally as well.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Fall Colours

      Have not been feeling great since returning from my trip. First the jet lag, then developing a cough and cold (probably caught on the plane - get dizzy when I cough). That has almost cleared up but now I have an "upset tummy". 

   I was out for lunch yesterday (which I had already paid for or I wouldn't have gone). I didn't feel much like eating but managed most of it. Then lunch with Judy today, to celebrate her birthday and I almost couldn't finish it - had to excuse myself half way through! I will eat lightly for the next day or two.

   I had a walk round the neighbourhood this afternoon to check out the Fall foliage, got some decent shots but it is past its best.

Brilliant bush in my back yard.

Sad to see the kale go - but it is now in the composter.

Two brilliant trees.

Almost time to start raking - not my property thankfully!

A couple of colourful verandahs.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Spoiling Myself

   My treat to myself, purchased at the Duty Free store at Athens airport. It won't last long!

Amarula Cream Liquor

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Jet Lag

    Having a slow day as I adjust to the 7 hour time difference between Athens and here. I got home around 8:00 p.m. last night and, after a soak in the tub,  went straight to bed. I had been up for 20 hours although I did manage to sleep for an hour or so on the plane. Today I have just been unpacking and doing laundry although I had to bring in some plants and a few green tomatoes as we are expecting frost in the next day or two.

   The flight was "bare bones" - no entertainment, no wine with meals and a very basic meal at that. I finished my book about an hour before we touched down but by then I was quite happy to just close my eyes and rest.

   All in all, it was a great trip - lovely hotel, excellent and interesting meals and several outstanding outings by bus and by sea. Photos to follow!

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Getting Excited!

    Just a tidy-up day today - I`m off on vacation tomorrow so won`t be posting for a couple of weeks. I did go into the Senior`s Centre to work in the kitchen this afternoon but it is still very quiet. The main room is being used as an advance polling station so no classes until next week, but there was a surprising number of voters. Bonus was that I got my voting done without an extra drive!

   So up early tomorrow to finish packing, garbage out and bathrooms cleaned. I will leave the house at 11:30 to be at the airport for 1:40 (I`m taking TTC) Then the flight (10 hours) leaves at 4:40, and arrives in Athens the next morning at 9:30 their time. I will be exhausted but should recover quickly. I`m really excited as I have never visited Greece and don`t know how many more overseas trips I still have in me. Hope it goes well!

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

End of Outdoor Tennis

   Currently highly frustrated with the space bar (is it still called that?) on my computer sticking. It will work fine for a while then requires lots of fiddling to get it to respond. Makes me want to throw the machine across the room. It is worst on Facebook which requires using it a lot. I hope I don't have to replace the computer!

   I did a bad thing today! We had a pot luck lunch for our last day of Kaffeeklatsch and I was helping to clear up afterwards. The food had been sitting out for a couple of hours and most people had left so I started dumping the leftover food in the bin so I could wash the last of the dishes. However, unbeknownst to me, someone who was still on the courts, playing, wanted her contribution saved and was quite upset with me no matter how I apologised. So now I am in her bad books!

    It was a gorgeously warm day and we had lots of fun playing our last few sets. Tomorrow the bubble goes up but my other club will have the nets up until the end of the month. Then we start playing indoors, just not as often.

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Thanksgiving in Canada

   Thanksgiving lunch at Judy's with turkey and all the trimmings, including a yummy pumpkin mousse that Elliot made. Too stuffed to eat again but will probably have a snack before bed.

   I came home and promptly slept for an hour (must have been the wine with lunch) so may have trouble sleeping tonight. Tomorrow is the Thanksgiving social at the tennis club and I have a big pot of baked beans to contribute. The weather is supposed to improve; it has been very wet and dreary for the last few days, but not cold. The pool was covered yesterday and now it's just a matter of preparing the garden for winter.


The last roses.

Thursday, 4 October 2018

Scary!

    Yesterday, while at the Senior's Centre, there was a shooting just down the street - someone killed. We were on "lockdown" for a couple of hours but I managed to get home by leaving by the back of the building. The roads were closed off causing traffic chaos but, luckily, I had walked there. All the schools in the area were also on lockdown so it was a very traumatic situation for everyone concerned. That is just a bit too close for comfort!

   A very peculiar day weatherwise today. I woke up to all my windows heavily misted over and the outdoor temperature a good 8 degrees warmer than inside the house. Gradually the house warmed up but then the wind turned around to come from the north and the temperature began to drop. We had a high of 22C but tomorrow it is back to the low 'teens, currently 15C. No tennis today but I went down to the rather wet courts and hit against the backboard for half an hour. That was my exercise for the day.

    Book Club this afternoon and we had a very lively discussion. Everyone enjoyed the book, "The Boys on the Boat" by Dan Brown, and we had several new members who, I think, will fit right in. Good times!

Tuesday, 2 October 2018

Another night out

   Early dinner tonight as it is the AGM of the tennis club. I have to give two reports ( Clubhouse and Kaffeeklatsch)  and am also in charge of refreshments. Dinner will just be leftovers but I will probably have a snack when I get home. This is the third night in a row that I have had somewhere to be so am looking forward to a night at home tomorrow. Wish me luck with my reports!

Monday, 1 October 2018

E-mail's Back

   Got my Hotmail account back yesterday, thanks to Steve and Dave. Lots of catching up to do! I think I'll keep the gmail account as a backup in case it happens again. It was a horrible feeling to be cut off from all my contacts.

   Judy had invited me for a birthday dinner last night so I was spoiled with a delicious steak meal and lots of presents. Every time I see the grandkids they seem to have grown a foot! Judy took a photo of me with the cake and the kids so hopefully she will send it on for me to publish.

    Today has been drizzly and quite cold but I was out and about anyway - Craft group this morning then lunch at The Mandarin with the Senior's group. Ate too much and not hungry for dinner but I will have to eat before I go to dance group or I won't make it through the evening. Maybe some bruschetta will fill the gap as I still have tomatoes galore from the garden. It has been a fruitful year.

Monday, 24 September 2018

Updating my Contacts List

   Feeling decidedly autumnal today but I am still picking tomatoes and kale from the vegetable garden. Coffee social this morning followed by my usual Monday Bridge game (I had terrible cards, only played one hand and went down badly). Tonight is dance group which should cheer me up!

   I have updated some of my contacts as to my new e-mail address. Unfortunately, I had relied too heavily on my contacts list which is now gone with the demise of my Hotmail account. I am still trying to figure out how to notify these people of my new gmail address. Some I will see in person and others I can contact by phone. The rest will think I have died!

Saturday, 22 September 2018

Traffic Woes

   Those of you who don't live in big cities, be thankful, very thankful!

   I don't normally venture too far from my neck of the woods but, yesterday, I had to go across town twice and both times got stuck in traffic jams.

   The first time it was from the tennis club to the banquet hall where we were holding the end-of-year party. No highway driving, just incessant stops at traffic lights, 30 minutes. Coming home I decided to take the highway - just getting on took ages and then it was like a parking lot, not moving more that 5kph. It took me an hour and a half (should have been 30 minutes, tops). This was to set up and decorate. So I had time for lunch (at 3:30), a nap and time to get gussied up. Then back again - another traffic jam on the highway so I bailed and took side streets that were marginally better, just an hour this time!

    Finally, coming home another slow drive just to get on the highway but once on a pretty fast drive home, about 45 minutes. So, in total, I spent  3 and a half hours on the road all told. I don't know how people do this day in and day out!

   However, the party was good - a nice dinner, dancing and I won a raffle prize, a massage. I could do with a good massage after sitting in the car so long!

Friday, 21 September 2018

New e-mail

   I now have a gmail account - brambleberry21@gmail.com. Now I have to update my contacts list! 

   Very windy today and it has become extremely dark in the last half hour. I think we are in for a big storm!

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

No e-mail

To all my e-mail contacts - this is the only way to get in touch with me at the moment as my Hotmail account has been compromised. I will let you know when I get another one.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Summer Continues

   Hot again!   I checked my blog for this time last year and it was equally hot but by then I had the pool closed. Thankfully it is still up and running this year, so I was able to get in a couple of times this weekend.

   A very busy week as dance groups started up and we were busy preparing for yesterday's monthly dance. I won't be going to the October dance (I'll be in Greece) so I may cut back on the weekly groups. I went to Judy's play on Thursday night (as an usher), it was quite entertaining and well done. Also on Thursday we had a tennis morning followed by lunch at Cathy's - her mother is visiting from P.E.I. and it was lovely to meet her, having heard so much about her.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Hurting

    Sore back today. I often have a very stiff lower back, usually in the mornings or if I have been sitting too long. But this time it is my upper right back, right on my shoulder blade. No idea what caused it although I had a pretty strenuous set of tennis yesterday. Kathy and I took on a couple of team players and they had us running all over the court. Naturally, they beat us soundly but it was an excellent game.

   So today I have just taken things easy - usual Saturday chores and watching the Women's final - surprise, Serena went down in straight sets!

Friday, 7 September 2018

Update

   Thought I had better do an update as we seemed to have turned the corner on the hot humid weather and now have (almost) Fall-like temperatures. I have managed a swim the last two days but the water in the pool is definitely cooling off so there may not be too many more dips.

   Yesterday was the RTO meeting then we went for lunch at Cora's. This is an all-day Breakfast place and I had a chicken and avocado burger. It came with salad and a bowl of spicy soup so I was well filled when we left. Watched the women's semis at the U.S. Open in the evening and Serena and Naomi Osaka will be in the final tomorrow. No bets on who's going to win!

    A long morning at tennis today - I seemed to have to take on a lot of jobs, coffee making and cleanup, selling tickets for the annual party and keeping the courts filled. We had over 50 players throughout the course of the morning, not all at the same time fortunately, and the waits were rather long. I finally got a couple of sets once the crush was over. I got home at 1:40, had lunch and a rest, then went to get my hair cut. Busy day!

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Dealing with Rogers

   Another scorcher today - my outside thermometer says 34C and it certainly felt that hot. Yesterday's high was 27C but today may set some records. I walked to the Senior's Centre this morning and back again at 3:00 p.m. (plus 40 minutes of aerobics), walking in the shade as much as possible, so I have had plenty of exercise! 

   A swim when I got home but, after giving the garden a soaking, I have sheltered indoors, watching the U.S. Open - the AC is getting a workout. I may need another dip before bed.

    My Rogers bill (TV, Internet and phone) came today with a rather alarming increase of $33. This prompted me to get on the phone to find out the reason. Seems my "special deal" had run its course but they were able to offer me another promotion which was just $4 more than I have been paying. Why not just increase the bill by $4 and save me the hassle of phoning? I just have to remember that this special is only for 2 years so I don't get another shock when it runs out.

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Tomatoes

   Reminder to self - don't buy "Sweet Millions" tomatoes next year! They are not worth the trouble. Plus they are too small for cooking and there are only so many times you want a plateful of tomatoes. I try to have some with my lunch every day but they are never ending!

Yesterday's pickings.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Orr Lake

   Watching tennis from Flushing Meadow - not looking good for Shapo, he's down a break in the fifth set, hope he can hang on.

   I had a wonderful day at Orr Lake with the family yesterday, but it may be the last as the campground has been sold and will be redeveloped into cottage sights. They either have to find another location or sell the trailer - quite an agonizing decision for them. However, it was a lovely day of hiking, canoeing and visiting the farmer's market. And eating al fresco on the deck.

Time for a nap on the hammock.


Paddling back to the dock.

James tries his hand at steering the canoe.

James docking the paddleboard. He managed to stay dry!


So peaceful!

Judy and Elliot chewing the fat.

The trailer with the canoe and dinghy rack on the right.

Eating area on the deck.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

A New Fence

   My leaning, rickety fence is finally being replaced. It was arranged for last month but finally the fence guys (D.I.G. Corp.) arrived yesterday, took down the old fence and got the new fence posts installed. That part of the yard is now a big mess, trampled plants, rocks and debris everywhere, but once they are done I will redesign the rockery and borders. They should finish it tomorrow, then it will be time to "pay the Piper"!






Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Another Scorcher!

   I spent the afternoon lying on the couch watching the U.S. Open - boy, did the players look hot! Several had to retire before the end of their matches. I had the AC running so I was quite comfortable. But, once the sun went down I gardened for a while, worked up a sweat and had a refreshing plunge in the pool. Now I will go and barbecue dinner - too hot to turn on the stove!

Hot here too! 35C, 96F this afternoon.


Thursday, 23 August 2018

Time Running Out

   As expected, the pool had cooled off overnight (a chilly 72F this morning) and, although running the heater until nearly noon, it was declared too cold for swimming. Natalie did get immersed but only stayed in for 5 minutes. I had a dip later after working on the garden and found it quite refreshing (the sun had warmed it up a bit more by then) but didn't hang around too long in my wet swimsuit as the breeze was cool.

   Probus Club this morning but I didn't stay for the speaker again as I had promised to pick up the grandkids while Judy sorted out her classroom. They stayed for lunch but were gone by 1:00 p.m. for dentist visits. That may be their last visit of the summer as there is only one more week until school starts.

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

A Change in the Seasons

    After the storm yesterday it has really cooled off - it's only 21C at 7:00 p.m. and probably going to drop further, the coolest evening since early in June. The grandkids are coming for a swim tomorrow and I will definitely need to turn on the pool heater! If it's sunny they will still want to swim.

   My usual day at the Senior's Centre except that this week they have been offering a lunch time barbecue. On Monday when I went there for Bridge I had a hamburger and today I had hot dogs - both at very reasonable prices. The coffee bar was quite busy although I didn't sell many pies, but more people had coffee to go with their BBQ lunches. I walked both there and back so my foot is finally on the mend - and I did a 40 minute cardio workout before lunch. I picked another bucket of weeds when I got home and spread some grass seed on bare spots in the lawn. That's it for today.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

A Stormy Day

  Torrential rain all morning and now the back garden is awash. Luckily I cut the grass yesterday and did some other tidying bits. I have bins full of weeds already but things are looking tidier.

   The rain stopped just after noon and there was time to clean the pool. It's only the second cleaning of this year and I probably won't do it again. Only another month until it is closed for winter. We had more heavy rain and thunder thios afternoon but it seems to have finally stopped. 

   This afternoon I baked a batch of sugar cookies and, unless the grandkids wolf them all down, there should be enough to take to the tennis social on Friday. Also made soup while it was raining and will cook a chicken breast to have with a quinoa salad for dinner. So, despite staying at home all day, the day has gone in quite quickly and it is evening already!

After the storm, a couple of soggy visitors in my yard - raccoons!

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Eating Out

     After tennis on Thursday with the two Cathies (we had to play Australian singles which is quite exhausting) I was persuaded to join them for brunch at "Rosemary and Thyme" our local diner. I had eaten breakfast, although only a banana, yogurt, toast and coffee, so decided I could eat again!

   They went straight there but I sneaked home, jumped in the pool to cool off and got on some fresh clothes. The diner has an all day breakfast so I ordered a western sandwich which is basically an omelette between two slices of toast. I should have left off the top slice but ate everything! Kathie had the full breakfast and Cathy had a fried egg sandwich. All had lots of coffee and no need for lunch when we got home. This could become a regular occurrence as it was fun to prolong the morning's activities with lots of chats and gossip.

   After we parted ways I dropped in to Value Village (charity store) in the same plaza and found an almost new pair of moccasins and a jigsaw puzzle. Time and money well spent!

Friday, 17 August 2018

The Season for Fresh Fruit

     We have had a huge amount of rain today - my pool is filled up almost to the top of the skimmer - but we did have a dry period this morning, long enough to dry the tennis courts and play a couple of sets. The sun broke through for a while and it became very humid but since then dark clouds, thunder, and heavy rain.

  I spent the afternoon reading, feeling very lazy, but I had a book that needed to be finished today as it was due back at the library - made it!

   Judy brought me the most delicious and juicy peaches this week so I am off to have one. I don't even bother to peel them, just take huge bites and let the juice run down my chin! I should really eat them in the bath tub.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

A Hot One!

     Hiding out in the (air conditioned) house again today as it got up to 33C this afternoon. I did make it to my exercise class at the (also air conditioned) Senior's Centre this morning and stayed to work in the coffee bar, but almost died driving home after, the car was so hot having sat in the sun all day. Straight in the pool for a nice cool swim, although it is getting pretty warm too, then indoors ever since.

   Huge glut of tomatoes - bruschetta with parmesan on my home baked baguette is my favourite tomato treat but I will have to cook some up tonight as they are getting over ripe. Judy took a couple home with her yesterday but there are more waiting to be picked. Ironically (or maybe inevitably) the very time I have so many on the vines is when they are cheapest in the stores! Mine taste much better though.

Gone down a degree - 32C at 7:00 p.m.

The grandkids in the pool yesterday - it wasn't quite as hot so Judy and I just sat in the shade.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Weather Problems

   Watching tennis and catching up on the blogs I follow. It's been a busy few days and still more to come. Unfortunately, the tennis here has been somewhat spoiled by frequent rain storms. Today, for instance, while I was working at the main gate at the tennis centre, it absolutely poured for at least an hour and there's not much shelter. We are in a covered area but the water was coursing down the street, so wet feet again! There's been massive flooding downtown and in the suburbs people have got water in their basements. Mine is still dry, fortunately.

    I have been limping about for the last few days -something amiss in my ankle. It's quite puffy tonight so I am resting it as much as possible. Luckily we are sitting through most of the shift at the tennis centre. Praying for dry weather for the rest of the week.

Monday, 6 August 2018

A Summer Storm

   Very wild weather this afternoon. High winds, driving rain, thunder and lightning, and rivers of water where they are not supposed to be! It lasted for a couple of hours but now the skies have cleared and the sun is up there somewhere, raising the humidity again.

   Unfortunately I (along with about a thousand other people) was at the tennis centre when this occurred and my shoes are absolutely ruined wading through the deluge to get to the car to come home. Obviously, the rest of the day's matches have been cancelled but the night matches might be able to proceed. It is still quite hot and sticky but we have been promised some fresher air tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

The Heat Returns

   Up in the 30's again so I stayed inside most of the day, watching tennis on TV. It was the semi-finals from Washington. On Monday the Toronto tournament starts and I will be there most days as a volunteer. So, probably no posts until later in the week, if at all. It will be pretty uncomfortable there if the heat continues. I will pray for cooler air but no rain!

   I did go for a swim at one point today (just too hot even with the AC) and picked a bucket of weeds in a shady spot while I was cool from my swim. But, other than that, a thoroughly lazy day!

Friday, 3 August 2018

A Major Booboo

   Very embarrassed! I forgot to show up at Anne's for lunch this afternoon. I was an hour late and had already eaten some lunch but I managed to nibble a few sandwiches, a cup of tea, and a slice of lemon cheesecake (which was delicious). 

   Anne had invited four other friends which made it doubly embarrassing as they all got there on time. However, we chatted for the next couple of hours so I didn't miss out on too much of the gossip. This is an annual event and she had arranged it some time ago (that's my excuse for forgetting), and it's tricky to find a day and time that suits everyone. Maybe I won't be invited next year!

Monday, 30 July 2018

Garden Bounty

   Tomatoes doing well this year. I have been getting lots of the cherry variety for a couple of weeks now, and picked the first of the beefsteak variety today.

This was today's haul. Isn't that a beauty!

Kale also doing well. I put a couple of leaves in yesterday's soup.

Lots more to come - and that's just one plant!

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Easy Summer Living.

    Humongous downpour this afternoon but we had already enjoyed the day - tennis first thing then swimming with the grandkids until noon. They brought balloons and had great fun filling them with water then exploding them. They were back in the pool after lunch so it was well used today. Camera battery needs recharging so no photos again.

   Everything is now well watered and I may have to step up the grass cutting. It's been an easy summer so far. 

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

So Sad

   Difficult post to write today - we had a shooting in town on Sunday with two random casualties. One, a 10 year old girl, was in my granddaughter's class at school. So everyone grieving and terribly sad for the family. The other victim, a young lady who had just finished high school, was only 19. What a waste, so senseless! It is impossible to make sense of it.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Hectic Day!

   Out of the house by 8:00 a.m. and got the coffee going at the tennis club by 8:30. Worked the board until 10:15 then played a couple of sets. It was very hot and humid.

   Home by 12:30 for a swim, lunch and a nap. Cut the grass in my swimsuit, had another swim and, while still damp, made some sugar cookies to take to tennis on Friday (the grandkids will get some on Thursday first). Finally, still in my swimsuit, cleaned the pool and yet another swim to cool off. Exhausted!!

   P.S. After a day of temperatures in the 30's, the sky has got very dark and I just heard a rumble of thunder. A downpour might be in the offing!

Sunday, 22 July 2018

A Recent Trip

    I was out of town on Thursday for the day to visit Judy and grandkids at their trailer. It's in a trailer park on Orr Lake, just north of Barrie and we had a nice day together - touring the park, canoeing on the water and eating al fresco on their covered porch, cottage living at its best! The lake is big but quite shallow, so warm enough for swimming, although Natalie was the only one to venture in. Elliot was into a good book in his favourite spot, the hammock, and James had several little projects on the go. Unfortunately I forgot my camera again!

    Rain today, just a steady downpour until about 3:00 p.m. so I did some indoor chores and worked on my puzzle. After that I got out the gardening tools and filled another bucket with weeds. I also trimmed a couple of bushes while it was cool.

Luckily I took this photo yesterday as the flower didn't survive today's rain.



Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Thoroughly Refreshed

   Everyone breathed a huge sigh of relief this morning - it was so fresh and cool after our recent heat wave. I enjoyed my walk to fitness class and had so much more energy after a good night's sleep. Spent the rest of the afternoon with my nose in a book, my favourite pastime.

   
Lined up on my bedside table - the one's on the right are from the library and MUST be read from top to bottom, although I am dying to get to the Diana Gabaldon book, she of the "Outlander" series. The others are for next year's book club and will be left until closer to the meeting.


My echinacea plants are doing well this year, and the insects love them.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Hawaiian Lunch

   Special event at the Senior's Centre - the food was more Chinese than Hawaiian but we were entertained by the dance group after. Then we got to try it!

About 80 people attended.