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!

Wednesday 20 February 2019

A Good Read

   I have just finished a good book from the library - "Watching You" by Lisa Jewell. If you like murder mysteries, I highly recommend it. It has a very satisfying twist at the end.

My favourite photos of the family - sorry for poor shot. My camera's not at its best in artificial light.

   Snow and freezing rain forecast for tonight - dance group cancelled AGAIN!!
This is the fourth Wednesday in a row.

Tuesday 19 February 2019

A Land of Immigrants

   Not long back from a thoroughly lovely day at the retired teachers monthly lunch. I was there from about 10:00 a.m until nearly 3:00 p.m. We do spend  too much time yacking!

   Seriously though, the lunch was, as usual, very good - first a huge plate of salad (as much as I would normally eat for lunch) in a raspberry vinegar dressing. This was followed by a nicely moist chicken breast in sauce with a variety of vegetables all perfectly cooked. The meal finished with ice cream wrapped in a crepe and coffee. 

   The topic today was "The Irish in Canada" a finely researched description of the potato famine in Ireland and the mass migration of starving people to North America. Rather a depressing and quite tragic topic as many died en route or shortly after arriving, but fascinating nevertheless. The speaker has travelled extensively throughout Canada to visit memorials to the Irish and has written a book on the subject. I'm sure it would be worth a read. However, it was ironic to be hearing of the plight of these poor people after being so well fed.

   Not much supper for me tonight, just soup and a sandwich should suffice.

Monday 18 February 2019

Finally some exercise

   I managed a short walk today (40 mins.) as the sun was shining and the icy patches on the sidewalks had mostly melted. We had snow overnight, light fluffy stuff and quite easy to shovel so the driveway is clear again. Minus 10C again tonight though so winter is still hanging on.

   This was the last day of a long weekend so not much going on - stores closed as well as the senior's centre and the library, so I mostly stayed home. I baked a couple of French bread loaves for the freezer. They turned out really well. S.C Dance group was on tonight so that was the extent of my socializing today!

Thursday 14 February 2019

St. Valentine`s Day

   Valentine`s treats at the Senior`s Centre today. I don`t usually go on a Thursday but yesterday I overheard a conversation about goodies being defrosted. So I decided to go for Mah Jong and have a coffee and chocolate bars. It was fun and a nice break from shovelling. By the time I got home the sun had worked its magic on my driveway. It almost felt like Spring!

I can`t get in my back gate as my neighbour very generously shared all the snow from his path!

The sun shone for most of the day and dried up all the cleared areas. But the snowbanks are growing again.

Another pretty substantial snow pile. It will soon be too tall for me to add to.

The front path is finally free of ice for the time being. It always ices over with any moisture.

Wednesday 13 February 2019

Another Cancellation

    It has snowed on and off all day again and I have been out shovelling twice. The fist time I used the snowblower as there was a huge windrow over the end of my driveway, the second time I only needed the shovel. However, all that exercise, along with my Osteo Fit class this morning, has given me quite the workout. At least I know my heart is in good shape as it managed to survive all the cardio.

   The main roads were quite clear when I came home this afternoon but my side street not so much. My dance group this evening has been cancelled again (third week in a row) as very few were planning on going. I`m quite happy to have a night at home as I will be out tomorrow and Friday evenings. Please let that be the end of the snow for this week!

Monday 11 February 2019

More Weather Woes

   I was supposed to go to a Valentine's lunch at the community centre tomorrow but it has been postponed until next week. There is a weather warning for tomorrow - whiteouts, snow and ice. Unfortunately, I have another lunch booked and paid for next Tuesday so will have to ask for my money back. 

    Rather disappointing but I will be busy shovelling anyway. If I can get out on the roads I will go to Bridge (unless it is also cancelled). I think the idea behind all the cancellations (there were two during the last snow/ice storm that affected me) is that the fewer people out on the roads the better. Then the snow plows and salters can do their job. Of course, working people still have to make an attempt to get to work but those of us who don't need to go anywhere are definitely encouraged to stay home until the storm has passed.

Saturday 9 February 2019

Not venturing far from home

   I was planning to go for a walk this afternoon, as it was sunny, but only got as far as the side of the house. I had gone there to put the cover back on the air conditioning unit which had blown off in yesterday's strong winds. It was so slippery underfoot that I abandoned the idea of trying to walk anywhere. I nearly took a tumble a couple of times!

   Yesterday I made scones and today a big pot of vegetable and bean stew. I just put in whatever vegetables I had - onion, parsnip, eggplant, sweet potato, a few brussel sprouts and half a can of mixed beans, all covered with a can of garlic tomatoes. I picked all the chickpeas out of the beans and will make some hummus at a later date. Dinner smells yummy with the added advantage of not requiring any additional heat since the oven is warming up the house!

Thursday 7 February 2019

Winter in Canada

   Arrived for Book Club this afternoon only to find it had been cancelled! Seemingly the powers that be decided that no one would want to risk travelling with an ice rain warning in effect. I wasn't the only one (there were three of us) and we soon realized we had missed a late e-mail. We had our discussion anyway but there were no treats. Major disappointment!

    The book was "Sisters Like Us" and it wasn't particularly memorable. I was given a copy of the prequel to it, " A Million Little Things" and I kept getting the two books confused. We decided they were more like a soap opera - not our usual choice of reading material. 

   Well, the freezing rain has still not arrived but we are (supposedly) to have rain and a thunderstorm overnight followed by a drastic drop in temperature. Now that might prove to be interesting! I have just managed to remove the sheet of ice from the last storm from my driveway.


Tuesday 5 February 2019

New Skills

   Torrential rain last night so much of the snow is gone. At least now I can get in and out of my driveway without plowing through ice and slush. It's freezing up again tonight but most of the rain has drained away and I have tucked the car away in the garage in case we have freezing rain. I think it's probably too cold for that now.

   Bridge this afternoon and I had several good hands. In fact I had a small slam (six tricks over book) although my partner and I had only bid two tricks. Still, it did give us a lot of points. I am finally figuring out how to keep score.

Sunday 3 February 2019

Not So Cold

   A quiet weekend. The temperatures were above freezing for the first time in a while and should continue that way for a couple of days. I did a bit more shovelling but the snow had turned to concrete with the mild weather so I didn't last long.  Judy came by to pick up some things so I had a short chat with her and the kids. They had been to see a magic show at Markham Theatre.

   I made a loaf of bread this afternoon, got it sliced and in the freezer before cooking dinner. Now it's time to get my knitting out while I watch some TV.  Craft Club tomorrow so it will be an early start to pick up coffee at Timmy's for the group - and maybe a few Timbits!

Friday 1 February 2019

A New Month

   I am managing to get the upper hand in the battle of the snow clearing. I used the snowblower a bit yesterday and today widened the path to the front door and some more of the driveway. The sun helped. It was actually quite pleasant working outside although the temperature was still well below zero.

   Lots of exercise today as well as shovelling. Fitness class first thing this morning then pickleball at noon. I went really early to make sure I didn't end up on the waiting list like last week. As it turned out, there was not a big crowd - in fact I had two games in a row. By 2:00p.m. I was running out of steam so came home for a nap. Now I am quite stiff but it was fun!