Wednesday, 17 July 2019

The Summer Runs

   Not feeling 100% today - runny tummy and loss of appetite. I just had yogurt for breakfast and a hard-boiled egg for lunch. I will eat a normal (but light) dinner and see how I feel tomorrow.

    I did manage to go to my exercise class as I was getting a bit of cabin fever, and stayed to work in the kitchen, serving coffee. The hot pies we sell made me a bit nauseous but I managed to make it through my 3-hour shift. Came home and had a nap followed by a swim - it's terribly hot and humid today and will be more of the same for the next few days - supposed to get up to 34C on Saturday!

    Forgot to say I did have a coffee and cookie after my exercise class as they are free when I work a shift - can't pass up a freebie!

Monday, 15 July 2019

Friday, 12 July 2019

Tennis at Wimbledon

   Thought I had better get a post in today or my followers (such as you are, not too many I think) in case you think I have "shaken off this mortal coil".

   It's been a busy week with the family here and my own usual activities. I won't go over everything but today I was out extremely early to help set up the "Wimbledon Brunch" at the tennis club. It was a great spread (all pot luck) ranging from home baked scones, muffins, croissants and cake to strawberries and cream. Also crackers, cheese, watermelon, cherries, soft drinks and, of course, lots of coffee on tap all morning. We played tennis, watched the Men's semifinal matches, played more tennis and chatted. We had a huge turnout, close to 60 people (as we usually do when there is free food on offer) and tons of food left over. People were going home with almost as much as they brought! 

   I was home by 12:30, had a swim, a nap and then spent almost an hour getting a new gas tank for the BBQ - several false starts before I finally found the best deal. Tonight I plan to barbecue some chicken souvlaki that I found in the freezer (probably Judy's) and will have it with salad and sweet potato. Then an early night, methinks!

Friday, 5 July 2019

The Heat Continues

   My computer has just told me it is 32C here today and I don't dispute that. It was fearfully hot at tennis this morning although we started at 8:00 a.m. People were dropping like flies (not literally which was fortunate as we have several 80- and 90-year olds) and most had drifted off by 10:30. I went home then too for a nice cool swim but grandson had turned on the pool heater, so not as refreshing as usual!

    The family are off to the trailer this afternoon so it's just me, Holly and Stripey. The latter has been brought downstairs to the office as the bedroom was just too hot for her. Judy was busy jam making this morning (I did mine yesterday) so we are both now well stocked for the coming year. The strawberries were so large and luscious that it took no time at all to pick them. In fact it took me longer to drive to the strawberry field than it did to fill my bucket! I have quite a few left to snack on or freeze.

My well-stocked cupboard.

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Summer With a Vengeance

   Terribly hot today - I think I may be sleeping in the basement tonight. I walked to and back from the senior's centre and, although it is air conditioned, I came home quite exhausted after my exercise class and kitchen duty. I had a swim when I got home and again after doing some errands. The car was like an oven!

     The thermometer in the upper floor of my house is off the scale which means it is over 30C. Downstairs is set to 24C but feels much hotter. It must be the humidity, plus I have the oven on. Maybe not the smartest thing to be cooking today but I had defrosted some chicken thighs.

   The lizard is enjoying the heat. I checked with grandson and it is a Leopard Gecko. He gobbled up his meal worm this morning and actually took a stroll around the tank. But Holly and I, not so much. She is sprawled out on a cool surface by the air vent.


Saturday, 29 June 2019

Another House Guest

   Another guest arrived today.

A Lizard. She is hiding under the large rock and doesn't seem to do anything. She eats live meal worms and crickets but I have yet to see her eat anything. Maybe she is more active at night.

   The family have gone to their trailer for the long weekend so it's just me, Holly and the lizard.

Thursday, 27 June 2019

Heating Up

   Things muddle along with my houseful of guests. This was the grandkids last day of school before the summer break. They all got reasonably good report cards. It was a half day for them and a friend invited them for an afternoon at her pool (unlike me she keeps it well heated), and they got home around 5:30.

    Tomorrow they have no school but Judy has to go in for the morning to tidy her room. Then it will truly be vacation time!

    I had just over an hour of tennis this morning but it was blisteringly hot and I came home very red in the face and just a bit nauseated. We had a very tight match - played a tiebreak at 5-5 (we were all just too hot by then) and Kathy and Paul won 7-5. I was just relieved I was able to walk off the court!

    I had a nice cooling swim when I got home - the pool is in the mid 70'sF but still refreshing. Then I met some Probus friends for lunch, vegetable quesadillas, then home for a nap. Since then I have been reading my new book which I think I will thoroughly enjoy.

Monday, 24 June 2019

Fun With Friends

    Cat is using my new furniture as a scratching post. Scream!! We have a spray bottle handy to discourage her but it isn't really working. 

   I had a quiet weekend as the family were at their trailer. Now it's all steam ahead until Friday when they depart again for the weekend. The kids are still in school this week so I don't really see too much of them.

   My Bridge group was here for "Afternoon Tea" today as the Senior's Centre where we usually play is closed this week. We played two rubbers of Bridge then stopped for tea and treats, then back to the cards again. It was after 3:00 p.m. when we finally stopped. I am still stuffed as I overindulged as usual. Not much supper tonight.

Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Having Company

   One of my house guests. Her name is Holly and she is just under one year old. She is the perfect guest - very undemanding as long as you feed her and play with her occasionally!

I managed to distract her with one of her favourite toys.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Weekend chores

   Did my good deed today. I had a very full grocery cart this morning (family coming to stay tomorrow while their house is being renovated) so I let the next two people in line go in front of me. They only had a couple of items. The lineups at my grocery store, even on the weekends, are never very long so I don't mind waiting a bit.

   Gardening chores this afternoon. Trimmed the bushes by the front walk as all this rain has made them flourish unreasonably. I still need to buy some more veggies, perennials and plants to put in my hanging baskets but will wait until Monday as the Garden Centres are usually very busy on the weekends. 

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Dinner on a Shoestring

   As suggested earlier, I sat on my hands and didn't volunteer for anything new at the RTO meeting today. It was decided that each member of the Executive would take a turn of recording the Minutes - we'll see how that works out!

    It has rained pretty well all day today with a brief thunder storm this afternoon. I did manage a walk between showers and it was nice and fresh. It's stopped now and, if it stays dry overnight, I should get to play tennis tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

   Here's tonight's dinner - just a light one as I stuffed myself with muffins at the meeting this morning - they were fresh out of the Cedarbrook oven and quite yummy. Dinner started with this rather unappetizing bacon from the freezer,

…….but ended up looking like this. I will have it with a salad.

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

First BBQ of the Season

   Spent the morning at the tennis club and cut the front grass this afternoon - that's about it for me today. I am reading a really good book at the moment so that filled in the rest of the afternoon - "The Death of Mrs. Westaway" by Ruth Ware. She also wrote "The Woman in Cabin 10" which I read and enjoyed last year.

   I got my little table top BBQ set up on my front porch later in the afternoon and will cook some chicken legs on it for dinner tonight. They are marinating in a spicy and sticky sauce and should be very tasty! On the porch it is handy for the kitchen and doesn't take up much room - perfect when cooking for one.

The chicken on the grill - can't wait to grab one and munch!

Saturday, 8 June 2019

A Couple of New Finds

   Last week, on garbage pickup day, one of my neighbours had this lamp sitting at her curb. I wandered by and asked her if it worked - she was working in her garden - so now it is mine! It is perfect for when I am reading in my new chair.

     I had some books to donate to Value Village last week and received a 20% off coupon so bought a new (to me) toaster oven to replace my rather battered but well used one. It is so useful when cooking small meals. Tonight I will use it to broil a piece of fish for dinner.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

An Indoor Day

   Miserable day, cold and rainy, but as I was at the Senior's Centre most of it, I wasn't too put out. I gave in and turned the heating back on this afternoon as I was just so chilled. Tomorrow is supposed to be more summery.

   I spent an hour this afternoon sorting through the bins of books from the RWTO used book sale. Some I am keeping to start us off in September, some will go to the Senior's Centre and the rest will go to Value Village. I will get a coupon to spend there so I will have a mooch around and see what's new. I am meeting Donna for lunch at "Rosemary and Thyme" on Friday and it's in the same plaza, so will kill two birds with one stone!

   Next week is the RTO meeting and I have agreed to make the arrangements as my (truly) last act as Secretary. No one else has volunteered to take over but, as the next meeting isn't until September, perhaps someone will be found over the summer to take on the job!

   I have been working hard in the garden this week and almost have a bed ready to plant the potatoes that Judy gave me. The soil is pure clay which made it such hard work, but I will add some compost and lighter soil to make it more manageable. It's where my raspberry bushes used to be - no wonder they didn't thrive! I have moved them closer to the fence so hope they like that location better.

Sunday, 2 June 2019

The End of the Chicken

     Yesterday's dinner. I have finally finished the whole chicken I cooked last Sunday. Two nights eating the legs and wings, one meal of the breast in gravy, one chicken salad and two meals when I made chicken rissoles from the rest of the breast meat. Phew!

    I also made a pot of barley soup using the carcass and it is still on the go, so several more lunches. That's pretty good for an $8 chicken!

I usually buy the Halal birds as they are quite a bit less expensive than the regular birds and taste just as good. In fact, I think they are juicier.

   Having said all that, I don't think I will be cooking chicken again for a while!

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Not What I'd Planned to Do!

    "Sound of Music" last night with Judy - what fun! It was a marvellous production and the cast (especially the von Trapp children) were so good. We both enjoyed it very much. There was a reception afterwards to meet the cast but we didn't stay long as we had a long drive home - Judy especially.

    Today I had a good game of tennis with Soo, Paul and Washington. It was very close (7-5 in the tiebreak) but I put the last shot in the net so Soo and Paul came out on top this time. Maybe we will have a rematch next week.

   This afternoon I buckled down and finished the Minutes for last week's AGM. That should be my last act as Secretary but they haven't been able to find a replacement so who knows? I would have liked to have been out gardening but I had to stay indoors to wait for the person coming to spray protection on my new furniture. She was to come between 1:00  and 5:00 - Sod's law, she arrived at 4:35! The couch and chair are still wet so I'll be sitting on the floor to watch TV tonight. At least I have the Minutes out of the way.


Saturday, 25 May 2019

Expensive Replacements

   We are currently experiencing our first thunder storm of the season - it has rained off and on all day but I did manage a few garden chores during a dry interval this afternoon.

   The pool guy was in early this morning to start up the system and I did manage to catch him and ask him to replace the chlorinator. I can't open it to add pucks and it is over 20 years old so due for replacement. He is also going to look into a variable speed pump which will be quieter and use less power, all good, but an expense I didn't plan on. I would also like to replace the shed that the pool equipment is kept in, as it is very shabby, but that may have to wait until next year.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Finally Spring Has Sprung!

   Some flowers in my garden:

A double-headed tulip.

I think this is a type of low growing phlox.

Magnolia - not in my garden and a bit past its best. I will try to catch it earlier next year.

Self-seeding forget-me-nots. They are in almost every border.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Indulging Myself

   Lunch out twice this week can't have been good for my slimming (or maintaining) attempts - I daren't weigh myself for a few days of abstinence. Ironically it was almost the exact same meal both times and very good it was too.

    Tuesday was the final monthly lunch with the retired women teachers group I belong to and today it was the AGM and lunch with the other teachers group (RTO). Why, oh why did they choose the same week and the same location? The desserts were different but it was salad and a rather a good roast beef main course both days. I hardly ever eat beef so it was quite a treat - and they remembered the horseradish sauce!

   The pool is open but not quite filled or running, that will happen next week. I have the hose filling it at the moment but it will be a week or two before it is warm enough for swimming. By then it will be June and probably much hotter. Then I will be glad of a cooling dip!

Monday, 20 May 2019

Victoria Day

   It's been a good long weekend for me - finally out on the tennis courts both yesterday and today, Dim Sum with the family (a late Mother's Day party) and today Steve came over to fix my back gate and fence. It took him well over an hour in a very brisk wind so I rewarded him with lunch.

   The weather has been rather mixed - yesterday beautifully warm and sunny (we sat outside at Judy's) but today starting off nice but cooling off in the afternoon as the wind picked up. Presently just 14C. I spent some time in the garden today, tidying it for the pool guys coming this week to uncover the pool.

   My new family room furniture came on Saturday and I am very pleased with it - this will do me until I kick the bucket!

Thursday, 16 May 2019

A Day Out

   Yesterday the grass could not be left another minute as it was already a bit on the long side. I cut and raked it after my stint at the Senior's Centre kitchen but didn't do a very good job as it was still wet from the morning's rain. It will have to be cut again before the pool guys come in next week (not sure which day) to open the pool.

   I was running an RTO trip to the theatre in Cambridge today so it was an early start with the bus loaded and off by 8:30. The traffic was very heavy so we were rather late for our first stop at a pewter studio in the village of St. George for a tour of the workshop (very interesting) then a chance to buy in their showroom.

I bought this rather lovely lapel pin but there was an overwhelming amount of items to choose from. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.

Next stop was The Old Schoolhouse Restaurant in Brantford for lunch. I had salad with warm crusty bread, Dover sole and three veg with lemon and an interesting spinach butter sauce, and a huge slice of cream covered cake with raspberry coulis and coffee. Unfortunately I was so full by the end of the meal that sitting through the theatre performance was an endurance test of my ability to stay awake! The theatre was new and quite beautiful but the show was just OK ('nuff said!)

   We had quite a fast trip back to the city as we were largely going against the traffic (people heading out of town for home) so I was home by 6:30 for a light dinner (yes, I did manage to eat again) and some TV before I head for bed. Up early again tomorrow for tennis - if it stays dry for once!

Sunday, 12 May 2019


   Just back from a few days with the grandkids while their parents were on a trip. We got on fairly well but it was a relief to hand them back. Luckily they were in school two of the days so I was able to carry on with my usual daily activities. The weather is still very mixed. Both of my tennis days (Tuesday and Friday) started off wet and it was later in the morning until the courts were dry enough to use. Not too many participants! Thursday was dry but the wind was bitter so I was back to my winter coat again!

   It's Mother's Day today but I had to bow out of the celebrations as I had an upset stomach. Perhaps we will do it again next weekend. I slept almost all day and still can't eat too much and have a bit of a headache. So I will just take it easy for a day or two.

Saturday, 4 May 2019


    I have been so lazy, not posting for a week but, in my defense, it has been a busy one. Only one night at home since last Tuesday!

   Monday and Wednesday were dance groups, Thursday I was an usher at Markham Little Theatre's production of "Skin Flicks", and Friday was a marathon session at the tennis club to  prepare for today's Opening Social. It was and wasn't a great success, mainly because of the inclement weather, but it dried up enough by noon for people to get on the courts, and there's always a good turnout when free food is on offer!

   Despite going out last night, I stirred myself sufficiently to make a chicken pot pie. Last Sunday's roast bird was still lingering in the fridge so it didn't take much imagination and effort to turn it into this:

I had it with my homemade pickled beetroot. It was delicious!

There's enough left over for tonight and possibly tomorrow's dinner.


Saturday, 27 April 2019

So Cold!

   On my way out to the last monthly dance of the season and our AGM. We probably won't get too much dancing, depending on how long the meeting takes. So just a short post today.

   After my morning shopping I went over to the tennis club to help with the Juniors' opening social. It was freezing! Only 2C when I went out and there was a very strong north wind. However, quite a few kids (and their parents) showed up and got pizza and snacks for their efforts. They did a few drills with the coach so I guess that kept them warm. We had some sun this afternoon but it never really warmed up. Still waiting for Spring to put in an appearance!

Friday, 26 April 2019

Still Dodgy Weather

    Yesterday was like Spring but today was cold, damp and miserable. Luckily there was nothing I wanted to do that required me to be outside for long.

   This morning my fitness class was cancelled and I also had to miss pickleball as I attended the annual meeting at the Seniors' Centre. It was long and rather tedious (every member of the executive giving an account of their duties and what they had achieved this year) but the actual election of the new executive went smoothly as they all agreed to stand for re-election and no opponents. Those of us in attendance were rewarded with rather a nice lunch so went home satisfied.

   I will only need leftovers tonight and will have a quiet evening watching a couple of my favourite TVO shows. Last night's TV was disturbed by a constantly repeated "Amber Alert" but I eventually figured out how to turn it off. Hope the child was found safely - nothing on the radio or in the newspaper about it today.

Thursday, 25 April 2019

Getting things done

  I'm having a stuffed red pepper for dinner tonight - some leftover chicken, a cremini mushroom and some chopped tomatoes. The red pepper was a little past its most firm but still edible, so baking it seemed like a good idea.

   Worked my little butt off at the tennis club today but now the clubhouse (my responsibility) is spic and span and ready for opening day. I have yet to play outdoors this year but today would have been a perfect start if I hadn't been so busy. I did have some help and we were done by noon so not too stressful.

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Huge Embarrasment

  I arrived at dance class last night in plenty of time, only to realize I had left my CD player at home! Luckily one of the dancers plays for our monthly dances so he kindly accompanied the first few dances on a rather out-of-tune piano. While the rest had their tea break (rather a lengthy one) I scurried home for my CD player so we had the last few dances with the proper music and Don got to dance as well. Other than that the evening went off quite well and we did manage 7 new (to some) dances.

   Today was cleanup day at the tennis club. Shiyan and I worked from 9:00 to 12:00 with a few other members dropping in for an hour or so. Things are beginning to look better in the lounge and the kitchen (especially the windows) but we will be back on Thursday to do the change rooms. After that I went to play Bridge but had awful cards and didn't play very well.

   We had very heavy rain this afternoon but now the sun is breaking through to dry things off. Tomorrow should be nicer.

Monday, 22 April 2019


  Busy morning - had to check what we needed to clean up the tennis clubhouse. We are having a cleaning blitz tomorrow - all hands to the pump and get rid of all the cobwebs, dust bunnies and (probably) ants and mice droppings. So, after hitting Dollarama and Walmart this afternoon,  I will be there bright and early tomorrow with the cleaning supplies and coffee!

   Tonight I have to teach the dances at Scottish Country dance group - not by choice, the teacher is away and I was coerced into taking his place. He left me music and instructions so it can't be that hard, can it?

Sunday, 21 April 2019


   Our family lunch went well - James brought some sausage rolls for appetizers (he is getting to be quite the expert), Judy made a lo-cal cheesecake and served it with fruit and cream for dessert (seriously yummy) and the other family came loaded with wine . The leg of lamb was completely demolished - we all got plenty but the three hefty males in the company ate most of it along with a huge amount of roast potatoes. There were plenty of other veg besides. I made green beans, broccoli, asparagus and I threw some parsnips in with the roast to get nicely caramelized. I even made some gravy!

   Now I am completely done in even with a nap after they all left. I will be early to bed tonight, for sure. I had a bit of a scare - after loading the dishwasher to the gunnels, it refused to start. It needed a couple of restarts to get it going but everything came out nice and clean. This is the original machine that came with the house twenty years ago so it owes me nothing, as they say. But I would be very reluctant to replace it as I only use it when there is a big crowd for a meal.

   Now it will be a quiet evening in front of the TV. I will try not to nod off!

Saturday, 20 April 2019

Usual Saturday Chores Plus Some

    It has rained off and on all day but the sun has just come out so I will go out and pick some daffodils for tomorrow's Easter lunch table. I had to shop between showers (used some PC points so not too expensive) but have everything I need now and can relax this evening. A few bits and bobs to do tomorrow before the family arrive then, let the festivities begin!

   The garden is very waterlogged but it is lovely to see things starting to grow!

Friday, 19 April 2019

A Food Experiment

   I was out again for lunch yesterday after our Probus club meeting. Marilyn, Donna, June and I went to Remizzio's, one of our favourite spots, and I had minestrone soup and crab cakes. Very filling but I was hungry again by dinner time and had the rest of the previous day's fish stew with broccoli. 

   Today, being Good Friday, was a home day for me as all my usual Friday activities were cancelled. I got a start on sprucing up the house for guests (just family) for Easter lunch on Sunday. It wasn't really a spring cleaning but I did get rid of a few cobwebs and gave the carpets a thorough vacuuming. More of the same tomorrow as well as shopping for the meal. I have saved up some PC points so it won't be too much of a drain on my budget.

   I tried out a new recipe today - it was for vegan brownies, no eggs or dairy, and it turned out well. The base of the recipe was a pureed sweet potato which I needed to use up, and peanut butter, I just had to buy chocolate chips which I got yesterday. Nice and easy and good for healthy snacks.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Trying To Be Careful

   Lunch out today - it was very nice, poached salmon and lots of vegetables. I benefitted by having at my table several people who don't like roasted red peppers. I love them so they were passed over! There were also carrots and green beans so quite healthy. No bread and only a couple of baby potatoes, so I was very good. 

    We had a fashion show after the lunch (outfits from Lady Sophisticate) and I was one of the models. Lots of fun picking out the ensembles last week and lots of compliments on all of mine. However, they were rather expensive so, much as I would have liked to purchase one in particular, I had to settle for a rather fancy T-shirt. I know several people bought outfits so the store owner did quite well.

   I have taken a few shrimp from the freezer for dinner as I won't need a big meal. I will cook then in garlic butter with a spritz of lemon and have them in a salad with avocado. Should be delicious!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Busy in the Kitchen

   It has been miserable and cold all day - what we called a "dreich" day in Scotland. So, except for a quick run up to the grocery store, I stayed in my toasty warm kitchen!

   First a loaf in the bread machine, it turned out well and I will slice it for the freezer, then a batch of sausage rolls, also for the freezer. They are destined for the Probus club lunch next month and I have promised to make 9 dozen - six more to go! I made a batch yesterday too. Lastly, I have a tasty chicken casserole in the oven for dinner tonight - it will do me several days.

   The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the Masters Golf Tournament from Augusta, Georgia. Although they had some rain, it was lovely to see the green vegetation there. Tiger Woods won in an exciting finish and a well deserved comeback from all his health and other troubles. He looked so relieved to win.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Work in the Garden

   I did find some pansies yesterday so they are planted in a pot and at the front door to welcome visitors. I finished raking the grass and will fertilize it when Home Depot opens their garden centre, hopefully next week. No sign of the Bleeding Heart plant which usually is showing signs of life by now. It got badly trampled when the new fence was installed.

   I had a great workout at pickleball yesterday, good partners and opponents and I think I acquitted myself quite well considering I just took it up a few months ago. I will just be playing there until the end of the month as tennis starts on Tuesdays and Fridays in May. However, it was a good way to stay in shape over the winter when the outdoor courts are closed.

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

So Lazy!

    I haven't posted in almost a week, mainly because nothing of import has happened. Having said that, yesterday my partner at Bridge got a small slam although we didn't come out on top due to mostly terrible cards.

   The nets are up at the outdoor tennis courts but we are still playing indoors this week - it's just too chilly! Today got up to 10C (indoors 16C) but it was very windy and I have felt cold all day. I still need a blanket over my knees when I am sitting watching TV in the evenings. Right now I am sitting right by the fire and finally feeling a bit warmer. 

   Over the weekend I got some more cleanup done in the garden and today I bought Nasturtium seeds to start indoors. I also wanted some pansies to add a splash of colour by the front door but it is still too early to find them in the garden centre. I will try again next week.

Thursday, 4 April 2019

Helping Out

   Busy day today. Tennis this morning - I felt I played much better than recently and won one, lost one. Home just after noon and lunch before heading out again for book club. We had a very lively discussion as the book, "Bellevue Square" by Michael Redhill, was rather confusing and resulted in much controversy. 

   I had a short nap before going out again to help out at a retirement workshop for currently working teachers. There were well over 300 there! I hope some decide to join RTO. Lots of discussion, mostly around the medical coverage they can sign up for and also travel insurance. You can see where their interests lie once they retire. I'm certainly glad I joined RTO.


Wednesday, 3 April 2019

A Long Walk

   Almost a disaster today. I decided to join the Nordic Pole Walkers this morning as my Wednesday fitness class doesn't start until next week. They meet at 10:00 a.m. at the ravine system and I set off with them. However, at one point I was on my own and took a wrong turn.

    In actual fact I followed the wrong branch of the river and ended on a dead end trail that led out of the ravine. It took me an additional 40 minutes to find my way back to where I had parked. In all, almost a two hour walk! Needless to say, I am now aching all over. It was a sunny morning but very windy. We had a couple of short rain/hail showers but I was quite overheated by the time I finished the walk. No problem keeping warm!

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Say It Isn't So!

   This is what greeted me when I got up this morning. It certainly looks like March is going out like a lion!

    Fortunately, as the day progressed it did get a little milder and there were a few blinks of sun, so the snowy stuff has largely disappeared. But it was rather a shock to the system to have to be out cleaning off the car and driving on snowy roads. I had hoped that was a thing of the past for this year at least. Back to boots and gloves!

Friday, 29 March 2019

Disappointing News

   First really Spring-like day with the house warming up nicely. No need for the furnace until the sun goes down. I took the cover off the A/C unit although we won't need it for a few weeks yet. 

   I also tidied up some borders although there are still patches of stubborn ice in shaded places. Here is the last snow bank to melt - another day or two like this should do it.

    This isn't the biggest one on my street but fairly substantial for the end of March.

  The disappointing news is that the Pool Maintenance company I have used for most of my 20 years with a pool, are cutting back on their clients and will no longer be servicing in my area. I am very sad as I have got to know and trust the main guys for all my pool problems (and there have been many). The good news is they are passing me on to another trusted company and have promised the service will be of similar quality and price. Fingers crossed! 

Thursday, 28 March 2019

Still no grass to cut

   Still waiting for all the snow to melt but the upside is I won't have to cut the grass for a few weeks yet.

   Long boring RTO meeting this morning - we didn't finish until 12:30. But this is my last as Secretary so my last set of Minutes. I do have to prepare the File of Reports for the AGM in May but will only have to write my own reports. The others will be sent to me to incorporate in the document. Then my time as Secretary will be over. No one has stepped up to take on the job but I am adamant it won't be me!

   After sitting all morning I had a nice long walk this afternoon, ostensibly to deposit a cheque for my RTO expenses. It was quite a sizable sum so that will help my bank account. I like to have a purpose for my walks and that certainly was a good use of my time and effort.

Monday, 25 March 2019

An Eventful Monday

   Currently watching the "maestro" (Roger Federer) demolish his opponent on the tennis courts at Miami. The first set was close but he is now in full flow and taking no prisoners.  A joy to be seen!

   I had two large cups of full strength coffee at this morning's Hava Java social  and have been feeling jittery ever since. Note to self: stick to Decaf! We had a huge turnout and were close to running out of treats and parking spots. We may have outgrown this location (Calabria Bakery) and might need to look for an alternative spot. Next month's meeting will tell if this is just a glitch or the way of the future. We all like Calabria as it is central and easily accessible by public transit.

   My partner and I had a successful run at Bridge this afternoon with good cards and successful contracts. We will be back for more of the same next week.

Sunday, 24 March 2019

A New Vintage

    The weekend has just sped past and not much to show for it. I had two really good walks and my tricky knee is all the better for the exercise. Nice enough days - sunny yesterday and milder today so, no complaints.

    Today I made a pot of soup to do me this week and a loaf in the bread machine. Both turned out well. More tennis on TV, one Canadian out but two more into the round of 16. A busy week coming up so it was good to have a couple of days of just pottering.

   Finally found this wine at the LCBO yesterday -  it's Spanish, look for it in the Southern European section. It was highly recommended and cheap but sold out quickly. So yesterday I took two bottles. It is very tasty if you like Merlot.

Toro Bravo 2017

Friday, 22 March 2019

What Season Is It?

   A chilly day and very strong winds this afternoon. The trees are bending fearsomely! But we now have some sun after flurries earlier in the day. Mother Nature just can't seem to decide if winter is over or not!

   Not much on today but I did some banking in the morning then went to Pickleball. It wasn't very busy so I got to play lots. I was done by 1:30 and home for a nap. More tennis from Miami. The Canadian is still in the mix and played well this afternoon. 

   The fire is on but I can hear the wind whistling in the chimney. Hope it dies down overnight and I don't lose any shingles!

Thursday, 21 March 2019

A Meeting, Lunch and a Movie

   Probus meeting this morning and I managed to postpone breakfast until 9:30. The speaker today was `ho-hum` (how to deal with stress and depression) and I know any stress I experience is self-induced. I just have to say `no` to stressful work!

   After the meeting we went to Boston Pizza for lunch. I had a chicken quesadilla. The Caesar salad was a bit insipid and I`m not sure there was much chicken in the quesadilla, but it was tasty and only $10. So what`s to complain about. Still stuffed so just soup for dinner again, my home made carrot and lentil.

   Tonight I am watching a DVD, `Light Between Oceans`. I have read the book, a very moving and lyrical story, so I am sure I will enjoy the movie. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Finally Spring!

   Pleasant weather for the first day of Spring - ice on the puddles this morning but sunny all day. I walked to and from the senior's centre but it was very quiet there as the winter classes are done and the Spring classes don't start for a couple of weeks. I didn't sell much coffee and only one meat pie!

   I have been watching tennis from Miami today - early rounds - but a Canadian  man did get through quite convincingly. We don't get to see many women's matches and were especially disappointed not to see a Canadian woman winning the tournament at Indian Wells last week. 

   Dance group this evening and for once I am not reluctant to go out in the evening as it will still be light. Better get on with dinner.


Tuesday, 19 March 2019

A Change of Diet

   I read a newspaper article on the weekend suggesting that delaying breakfast a couple of days a week resulted in your body burning fat. The theory is that you are extending your overnight fast until you body tells you it is really hungry. Nothing daunted I decided to try it this week so waited until 10:30 to have anything, in this case half a banana, a granola bar and a coffee. 

    Unfortunately, this was "Ladies Who Lunch" day with the retired teachers so I had a rather substantial lunch - salad with Greek dressing (I skipped the roll), roast beef and veggies and a huge slice of apple pie. It was all really delicious (I very rarely have red meat) but I felt rather stuffed by the end of the meal, not a very comfortable feeling. Then I came home and promptly slept for over an hour!

   Tonight it will be just a bowl of soup around 7:00 p.m. and maybe some fruit, but I will try again tomorrow. It should be easier to implement the new regime as I will mostly be at home. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 17 March 2019

Signs of Life

  There are still piles of snow here and there but, in the warmer spots, things are starting to appear. I cleared a pile of pine cones and needles from the deck where it is south facing, so it is a little tidier out there.

Still early days but these could be daffodils.

And possibly some tulips. You can see the ground is still very wet from the melted snow.

   I had a lovely pre-prandial snack tonight - a slice of yesterday's soda bread with cream cheese and smoked salmon. I have cooked an eggplant casserole and a chicken leg for dinner but may save them for tomorrow.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Erin Go Bragh!

     A soda bread for St. Patrick's Day tomorrow. This was a first attempt for me and I have to say it turned out really well. Can't wait to take a bite out of it!

   Watching tennis from Indian Wells, California and a Canadian is in the semi-final. So far they have split the first two sets so it is nail-biting time. They are both big servers (Raonic and Theim) so there aren't too many long rallies. Both sets so far went to tie breaks.

    I was back in my winter coat today and there have been a few flurries but also some sun. It's as if Mother Nature is reluctant to let go of winter. Personally I will be glad to see the back of it.  

Friday, 15 March 2019


    Last Fitness class for 3 weeks today - don't know what I will do with myself on Wednesday and Friday mornings until they start up again. Pickleball was cancelled this afternoon as the community centre was being used for students' programs during March Break but will be back next week as will my Tuesday Bridge. Luckily I have a good book to read, "In the Midst of Winter" by Isabel Allende. It is the April selection for my book club. The March book, "Bellevue Square", I have already read and didn't enjoy - very confusing -  so, 'nuff said.

   I made some shortbread cookies this afternoon - I am on treats at dance group on Monday - and they are in the freezer to prevent nibbling! I will make one other treat on the weekend, probably brownie or some sort of squares. 

   Sad news, my favourite foodie magazine, Ricardo, is calling it quits and I received the last edition today. They will continue with a French version (it's from Quebec) but I have decided to take the offered refund. I will miss it.

The food photos are all tantalizing!


Thursday, 14 March 2019

Getting Greener

   Patches of green beginning to show here and there and the thermometer almost registered double digit numbers this afternoon - there was even a blink of sun! Tonight we have been promised rain and a thunder storm. That should clean things up considerably. I have given up wearing my winter coat and will just shiver in my Spring jacket from now on.

   Tennis this morning and I was the big winner with two sets to the good. I had good partners! Several errands to complete on my way home but by lunch time everything was done and it has been a quiet afternoon. One gripe - our sports channel has been showing tennis matches from Indian Wells all week (still a couple of Canadians playing) but I haven't been home to watch. Now that I had an afternoon at home, nothing was on! Murphy's Law! Quite appropriate I suppose as we approach St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

March Break

   Good news for the kiddies and teachers but not so much for the rest of us. Bridge was cancelled this afternoon for children's programs at the community centre and I think I may not get to Pickleball on Friday for the same reason. I will have to check that. My other programs are still on.

   I went for quite a long walk this morning as it was sunny and mild - still having to avoid icy patches. Then this afternoon I went to see "Greta" a very scary movie which I only recommend to those with a tough disposition. The movie theatre was very busy with kids off school but most had come to see other shows so I got a decent seat. 

   Not much on TV this evening but I have some DVD's from the library. Fried fish, mashed sweet potato and peas for dinner followed by a minneola. That should keep me going until breakfast tomorrow.

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Spring Forward

   We put the clocks forward an hour last night and I seem to have been behind the eight-ball all day. Usually it doesn't disturb me, not sure why this time.

   I had a really early phone call this morning about the position of Court Monitor at the tennis club that I advertised last week. I think we have a likely candidate, will just run it by the Executive for approval. That will be one thing off my plate if the new candidate actually works out. We had a terrible time last year trying to keep people in the job. It's pretty thankless (requires a lot of janitorial work) and only pays minimum wage. Fingers crossed!

   Rainy and gusty today but the snowbanks continue to shrink. No grass showing yet.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Still Waiting for Spring

   After a week of sunny days but still freezing temperatures, it finally looks as if the big melt is about to take place. I was out for quite a while this afternoon trying to break up some of the ice on the edges of the driveway to give myself a bit more room to drive in off the road. Tomorrow we should get some rain which will speed the melting but then on Monday we are getting some more snow!

   Life has been trundling along as usual with me which is why the lack of posts. I did attend a very tasty Pancake breakfast at the Senior's Centre on Shrove Tuesday (the full breakfast for just $5) and my oldest grandson's 13th Birthday dinner yesterday, our first teenager, so there were a few highlights. Oh, and yesterday I had my first ever massage, a prize I won last Fall but never got around to using. It was wonderfully relaxing but no lasting improvement in back and neck pain, hey ho!

It was mild enough to hang out some laundry today but, unfortunately, the clothes line is still inaccessible.

This is where my rhubarb should be beginning to emerge but it is still under two feet of ice and snow!

Friday, 1 March 2019

In Like a Lamb

    March, that is. We have had a couple of sunny days and it almost feels as if the big thaw is ready to start, snow melt dripping off the eaves and puddles growing at the bottom of driveways. However, there is still so much snow around it will be some time before we see any green. 

   Having said that, we are still forecast to have another couple of inches of the white stuff tomorrow but I think (and sincerely hope) that the major storms are behind us.

    Just my usual Friday - Fitness class in the morning and Pickleball this afternoon - but I did manage to clear a path through the drifts to my back yard and also got a pot of soup simmering for the weekend. So quite a lot accomplished.

The snow piles are huge this year - the most we've had in a while.

Can't believe I shifted all that snow - and most of it by shovel too!

Today's sun has helped clear the ice from the sidewalks. They were quite treacherous for the last few days. Roll on Spring!

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Roll Up the Rim

   At our Probus meeting we have Tim Horton's coffee and last week I managed to find two cups with freebies under the rim. One was my own and the other was from a friend who didn't want hers. Now, I am really against disposable cups and usually take my own mug but can't say no to free stuff. 

   Today, while on my morning walk I deliberately took the route that went by my local Timmies and cashed in my winnings. I got an extra large decaf and an apple fritter. I saved some of the coffee for tomorrow as it was huge! Free stuff always seems to taste better than if you have had to pay for it.

   Bridge this afternoon and I was the lucky loser and got $3. This just means I didn't win anything from having a high score but had my name pulled from the jar. This will pay for my next three times at Bridge. After my unlucky events last week it was nice to feel my luck may have turned.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Storm Warning

   We have been warned to batten down the hatches tonight as a massive storm is approaching - up to 100kph winds and snow and ice rain. So far it has rained off and on all day and the wind is starting to pick up. I have to be out by 9:30 tomorrow morning so I hope I don't encounter any downed trees or power lines.

   An indoor day - I made some mango chutney and pickled beetroot this morning. Watched a Canadian lad in the tennis final in Rio - he's only 19 so kudos to him for getting so far in the tournament. Unfortunately he lost 6-4, 7-5. Better luck next time!

Saturday, 23 February 2019

The Dragon Meets the Poet

  This was the title of the Gala event we attended yesterday, the dragon to celebrate Chinese New Year and the poet being Robbie Burns whose birthday we celebrated last month. No haggis at this bash but 10 courses of Chinese delicacies. The food was served family style - a huge platter put in the middle of the table and everyone helped themselves (or tried to as we were using chopsticks). Then the next plate arrived and so on. Great fun!

   I nearly missed the whole thing by not reading my e-mails carefully! The venue was changed at the last minute and I must have glossed over that piece of information. The original venue was closed by the Health Inspector for some reason (hate to think what it was) but I seem to be none the worse from the meal at the new spot. There was any number of performances from singers, dancers, and gymnasts - and, of course, the dragon! Forgot to take my camera unfortunately.

   We did a shortened program but had quite a number of attendees up to do "The Gay Gordons" as well. They really seemed to enjoy it.

   Today I was helping out at a Retirement Workshop for teachers, handing out brochures and answering questions. The speaker was excellent and I have a feeling he persuaded quite a few participants to take early retirement!

Friday, 22 February 2019

On the Run

   A jam-packed day but I did manage some down time this afternoon to recharge my batteries.

   I had to make an early phone call to reserve the room at Calabrai Bakery for Hava Java on Monday. Luckily someone was there to take my call. Out to Fitness class by 8:45 and finished with coffee and cookies around 10:15. Then it was a drive up to Aurora to pick up something for the demo this evening. This would not have been necessary if my dance group hadn't been cancelled on Wednesday. The round trip took just over an hour (luckily I found the location easily - I'm not very familiar with Aurora), mostly highway, so I arrived back in time to sign up for Pickleball. As it happens, I really didn't have to be there ahead of time as we didn't have a full complement of players for once.

   Now I just have to get into my demo outfit. I will try to get a photo of the group as we do look pretty smashing! The event we are attending is called "The Dragon Meets the Poet", a combination of Chinese New Year celebrations and a Robert Burns dinner. Wonder what the food will be like?

Thursday, 21 February 2019

A Double Shock

    I got my monthly heating bill the other day - I thought last months was bad but this one was just pennies under $300! Hopefully March's won't be so bad or I will be in the poor house. I have been trying not to use the gas fire so much in the evenings but it is such a cheerful sight I am always tempted to turn it on even if the house is quite warm.

   The second shocker came this morning while I was driving to the Probus club meeting. A motorist in the lane next to me motioned that I had a flat tire - I hadn't noticed a thing. I had probably been driving on it for some time. After the meeting I called CAA and got it inflated but we could hear the air coming out.

   I went lickety split to the garage before it deflated again and, as I suspected, the whole tire had to be replaced. This took some time so I had a light lunch in the cafĂ© while I waited then went to get my hair cut. Finally home just before 5:00 P.M. What an eventful day!