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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.