Tuesday 29 January 2019

A Wintery Scene

   I was out early with the snowblower this morning to tackle the drifts but ran out of power before I was even half way through. I will plug in the battery tonight and finish it tomorrow. 

My trusty machine - the snow was actually deeper than the snowblower so It didn't do a very efficient job. Better than shovelling, though!

The path up to the front door. I will have to widen it tomorrow.

I had to step over this barrier to get into the garage. The snow was over the top of my knee high boots!

   I managed to clear enough of the driveway to get the car onto the road which had been plowed. However, the snowblower couldn't handle the windrow across the street end so that had to be shovelled by hand. I was sweating when I came back inside for a rest.

   The dance demo was cancelled, thank goodness, as the main roads were still a bit iffy. Instead I went to Bridge which wasn't as far - we only had 8 tables filled. Tonight my bones are aching so I will soak in the tub before bed.

Monday 28 January 2019

Snowed In!

    A humungous snow storm started up while I was at Bridge this afternoon and by the time we headed home the roads were already clogged and slippery. I phoned about tonight's dance group and the teacher was reluctant to cancel. However, clearer heads prevailed (his wife!) and we phoned around and made sure everyone knew to stay home. I think they were all planning to do so anyway.

    I have a demo tomorrow afternoon and I am hoping it will be cancelled too as the roads will still be bad. If not I will have to try to get there. Fingers crossed!

   This morning was Hava Java (our coffee social) and a surprising number of people showed up despite the dire weather forecast. Now that the evening has set in I have got out my Twiddlemuff and am determined to finish it before next week's Craft club. They are becoming very popular and we have several orders pending which we can't fulfill. 

  Nice warming stew for dinner tonight so must go and warm it up. Then it will be an evening in front of the fire with my knitting and a movie on TV.

Saturday 26 January 2019

Food For the Cold Weather

   A sunny day today with no wind and I was out without a hat and still no boots - quite unheard of here in January. It felt a lot warmer than -9C. However we have another chilly week coming up.

     As you can see from this snap from today's newspaper, we will have no positive values at all!  The warmest day will be Tuesday but it will bring snow....and just look at those overnight numbers! I wish I could stay home on Wednesday as it will be fiercely cold to go outdoors but that's my day in the kitchen at the Senior's Centre. There will be a few hardy types who will be there expecting their coffee. 

    The furnace will be chugging away non stop this week and my heating bill will be on the rise again. Luckily I changed the filter on the furnace today so it will be working more efficiently.

    I had a productive day in the kitchen today - a pot of carrot lentil soup on before I went grocery shopping, just a small shop for some fresh fruit and vegetables, but I did find a piece of blade roast marked down 30% so made a stew this afternoon. Not a great deal of meat but loads of veggies - carrots, onion, brussell sprouts (I love them in a stew), tomatoes and half an eggplant. It should be yummy and will do me several days. Normally I would have put in some red wine but I am having a dry spell so used apple juice instead and a splash of apple cider vinegar.

   I am still eating mincemeat tarts left over from Christmas so that, with a clementine, will be dessert. I can't think of anything nicer!

Tuesday 22 January 2019

Keeping Warm

   I got my heating bill the other day and for the last month it was $220. Yikes!! And that was before the current extreme cold spell. Heaven knows what the next one will be. This is just for keeping the house ticking over at a very low temperature, heating the water tank and, in the evenings, the gas fire in the family room. I think I will have to wear a few more heavy sweaters for the rest of the winter or I will be bankrupt before Spring (Just kidding).

   The cold spell has finally broken - it was just minus 1C when I came home from tonight's meeting. It was the first planning session for the tennis club and rather long and tedious but it got me in the mood for getting out on the courts. That's still a long way off. It will be the end of April before the winter bubble comes down and the nets go up.

Monday 21 January 2019

Another Frosty Day

   The bitter cold continues - this is what greeted me this morning.

Yes, that's minus 21C or minus 4F! 

I never did get my driveway totally cleared - only lasted 15 minutes before my fingers were frozen. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer and we will get above zero by the middle of the week. Nevertheless, I ventured out with some other hardy folks to do another Burns demo and we have our Burns supper at my social dance class this evening. I wonder how many will turn up to hear the "Address to the Haggis"? The turnip is cooking as I type.

Sunday 20 January 2019

Sunday with the Family

  Oh, so cold today and a ton of snow to shovel! I had decided I wouldn't use the snowblower so didn't plug in the battery, but regretted it later. The driveway is half done and I cleared a path on the sidewalk for any intrepid walkers to get by. 

   The drive up to Markham for James' birthday was a bit harrowing as the roads were still slippery. But it was worth it to be with family. We had a lovely brunch and I brought a haggis to celebrate Rabbie Burns birthday as well as James.  Natalie interviewed me for a school project on immigration. Her dad is also an immigrant but came here at quite a young age.

   When I got home I worked on the driveway again for a bit but the wind was too strong so I only lasted 15 minutes. I will do the rest tomorrow, hopefully.

Saturday 19 January 2019

Another Burn's Lunch

   The storm held off until the drive home but made for a rather slippery ride. I think it has stopped now but I will wait until tomorrow to shovel the driveway.  

   You can probably tell that in my neck of the woods we take Rabbie Burn's birthday seriously. Today a local church put on a lovely lunch to which we were invited to "dance for our dinner" (and it was a tasty one!). It came complete with the Piping in of the haggis, the Selkirk Grace, Toast to the lassies, followed by the toast to the laddies and, after the dancing, a Scottish sing-a-long. I will leave you with the Selkirk Grace.

"Some hae meat but canna eat
Some wad eat that want it
But we hae meat and we can eat
Sae may the Lord be thankit."

Thursday 17 January 2019

A Bit of Excitement

   As I was dropping off a prescription at my local drug store this morning everyone at the plaza coffee shop was agog at the sight of 5 police cars parked any which way in the parking lot. They seemed to be interested in an abandoned car which they were emptying and searching. Perhaps we will find out more when tomorrow's newspaper arrives.

   Another good find, bookwise, this time at this morning's Probus Club book table. This is strictly a book exchange so you drop off any books you are done with and take as many as you want. I always take my hard cover books there as we only take paperbacks at the other book sale.

Although looking like biographies, they are actually fiction. They are both around 900 pages in length so will require quite a bit of uninterrupted spare time. I am particularly interested in reading the Mary, Queen of Scots book as I missed the movie on her life that came out this past Fall. I won't be starting either book for some time as I have so many books lined up already. Just keeping up with my Book Club books is a challenge! 

   Another day of dashing from the house to the car and back again - it was minus 10C again this morning. I had a dentist appointment first thing and the car barely got warmed up during the drive there. However, I was just glad I didn't have to take a bus!

Wednesday 16 January 2019

A Lucky Find

   At our monthly lunches we have a used book table at which people donate books and we sell them (50 cents) to raise money for a Women's Shelter. Mostly they are fiction but at this Tuesday's lunch I found this:

Although I am not a "Weight Watcher", it has quite a few interesting recipes and, for 50 cents, is quite a bargain. 

   Pretty cold today, especially the strong wind. Another demo under our belts (it went well) so only 4 more to go. I think I will survive!

Sunday 13 January 2019

A Day at Home

   Still cold (-11C when I got up this morning) but no snow so, still not wearing boots! At least it was sunny so the house warmed up a bit.

    A rather quiet morning - just some housework - then a couple of hours at demo practice in the afternoon. We have three demos coming up this week and by next weekend we will really know the dances perfectly. I think this will be my last year as a member of the demo team as I am finding it increasingly difficult to do a full program of dances. I am puffing and wheezing before we are half way through the program.

    Coverage of the Australian Open has started on TV today so I watched one of the early round matches this evening. It's daytime in Australia and extremely hot. I hope the players can survive in the heat.

Friday 11 January 2019

Lots Accomplished

    I'd better get down what I accomplished today before I forget - it was quite a lot.

    I was on the phone to my dentist by 8:45 this morning, not for myself but to get the name of an endodontist for a friend. She needs a root canal, so that is sorted and hopefully she can get it arranged. By 9:00 I was at my Fitness class - not too many there as it was bitterly cold and you needed to be well wrapped up before setting foot out the door. I know I said I run from the car to the building when it's this cold but today I literally ran my fastest - my hair was still wet from my shower and it's a wonder it didn't freeze!

   I had a lovely long chat with Carol over coffee after our class and got the history of how she and her six sisters came to Canada from Grenada as young girls. They have all done very well for themselves and there are dozens of nieces, nephews and even grandchildren. Quite a large tribe!

   Phoned Susan for the names of the people attending the RWTO lunch on Tuesday so that I can get their name tags ready. It doesn't take long as we reuse them but is just another chore to complete. Then it was time for lunch but I just had a bowl of soup and took a sandwich to eat during pickleball. It was very busy and I had to sit out quite a bit so just stayed until 2:00 p.m. I was tired by then anyway so had a nap when I got home. Got the car gassed up on the way home and this time I remembered to wear a hat. It had warmed up a few degrees (just -6C) but it was the wind - straight from the North Pole -  that made it so bitter.

   That's about it for today - just a quiet evening in front of the TV.

Thursday 10 January 2019

So Cold!

    Finally we have some typical winter weather. It was -7C today (-15C with the wind chill factor filtered in) and the wind was very cold and very strong. The upside was that the few flurries we have had over the last couple of days have all been blown away and I managed another day without having to wear boots!

   It is forecast to get even colder tonight but I will be staying home by the fire. Today I was just running quickly from the house to the car, to the mall and back to the house. This will continue for the next few days.

   RTO Executive meeting this morning and then Book club in the afternoon. I had packed a light lunch so didn't bother to go home in between. The meeting was pretty straightforward, finished on time and was not too tedious. We had a very lively discussion at book club - our book was "The Great Alone" by Kristin Hannah, highly recommended by all. All sorts of themes and character studies to expand on. All being retired teachers we were not at a loss for words.

   I went by the library on the way home and picked up two books and two DVDs. Unfortunately, one of the books I had ordered I had already read. But this was in fact fortunate as the books are piling up on my bedside table. Not a bad thing during this cold spell!

Tuesday 8 January 2019

A Long Break from Blogging

   Oops! Just realized it has been a week since my last post. Last week was very quiet - just a tennis game on Thursday and dance practice on Sunday afternoon, so not much to write about. I filled my time with reading and doing a jigsaw puzzle and a few (very few!) cleaning chores.

   Activities started again this Monday with craft club in the morning, Bridge in the afternoon and social dance group in the evening. That's the way I like my days to go! Today I was trekking over to the west end of the city to attend a Burn's lunch at which we were the entertainment with some Scottish dances. It's nice that they give us lunch first. I love haggis! A quiet evening ahead, I won't need any dinner other than a bowl of my homemade soup.

Tuesday 1 January 2019

A New Year

    Despite a late night (yes, I did manage to stay up until midnight!) I had an early start and spent an hour or so over coffee and the newspaper. Then it was out for a long walk - it was sunny but cold so I wrapped up well.

   Home to tidy the house since I got the tree and all the Christmas decorations put away yesterday. After lunch and a nap I worked on my current jigsaw puzzle for a while then went to see a movie. It was "The Favourite", about Queen Anne and her court - very entertaining; I highly recommend it. On the way home at 7:00 p.m. I decided I couldn't be bothered to cook a meal so stopped off at Swiss Chalet for dinner. Unfortunately they are no longer serving the Festive Special (my favourite) but I had my usual 1/4 chicken (dark meat) and a Caesar salad. Now I am nibbling on my homemade tablet while I watch the New Year's special from Vienna - all Strauss music. The tablet is so sweet my teeth are aching!