Sunday 29 September 2019

The Big Reveal

    If you have been following my blog this summer you will know that my daughter and family were staying with me while they had renovations done on their house. Well, today was "the big reveal"!

The central island was enlarged when the wall was removed. Now it is where they eat breakfast.

    Lots more cupboards and storage space which was sadly lacking before. With a family of five they were always tripping over each other in the kitchen.

    The best part is this new pantry (stolen from Dave's office) so beautifully organized. Hope it stays that way!

    It was my birthday party. Here I am blowing out the candles with youngest grandson helping.

  When I came home I got busy dealing with a glut of tomatoes. I made a jar of passata and another jar of green tomato chutney. There are still more tomatoes to come but I don't expect they will ripen any time soon.

Saturday 28 September 2019

Party Night

   It's been a busy week with quite a lot of over eating and last night was no exception. It was the tennis club's Gala Party, held at the prestigious Donalda Country Club. I was seated with other Kaffeeklatschers (our morning social play) and it was fun to see everyone out of their tennis clothes. They sure clean up well!

   A fabulous buffet dinner (I overate as usual), speeches, awards and prizes (I won a massage) were the evening's highlights. Once the DJ started up and people got out on the dance floor, it was time for me to make my departure. I'm afraid I don't enjoy loud music any more, but, on the whole it was a pleasant evening with tennis friends.

Friday 27 September 2019

A Day Out

    Lovely bus trip yesterday to Niagara-on-the-Lake to have lunch at the Prince of Wales Hotel and see the musical "Brigadoon" at the magnificent Festival Theatre. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera! 

   NOTL is a very picturesque little town  but there were traffic holdups on the way there so we had less than an hour before lunch to explore and shop. 

   Quite a bit cooler today - only 9C this morning - but the sun came out while I was at tennis and warmed things up. 

Wednesday 25 September 2019

Welcoming the New Retirees

    I attended the RTO District 24 New Retirees brunch today to tell about the activities I run. It was well attended by new and recent retirees all eager to find out how to fill their days, and about the insurance coverage that RTO offers. I'm sure we had quite a few sign up for that reason alone.

   The brunch was bountiful and delicious - more like lunch as far as the quantity of food was concerned - scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages, toast, spinakopita, pastries, croissants, lemon loaf, fruit and even cheesecake, and of course, as much orange juice and coffee as you wanted. No one left hungry. It was held at our usual location, Bluffer's Marina, but it is under new management so we weren't sure whether it would live up to the previous owner's standard. It most certainly did!

    The marina is right down by the lake close to the Scarborough Bluffs (hence the name) so we had lovely water views. It was a gorgeous day and ideal for a stroll along the waterfront to walk off all the delicious food.

Some of them don't look old enough to be retired!
 This is a nice view - you can see the boats moored in the background. There are several houseboats nearby where people live year round. All in all, a great day!

Sunday 22 September 2019

Still Hot

   Very hot today - if the pool had still been open I would definitely have had a swim! As it was, it was too hot to work in the garden so I had to content myself with watching the Laver Cup, named after Rod Laver the Australian tennis player. Team Europe (my favourite) won although in the last match I was rooting for the Canadian who was part of Team World.

   Did a bit of baking this afternoon despite the heat. The recipe is for Apple Oat Bread but I used pears instead. The house has stayed quite cool and I will open windows tonight to keep it that way. My outside thermometer said 35C this afternoon! 

Using up some out-of-date sour cream and two pears from a tennis friend's garden. It turned out well and will taste good with lashings of butter!

Saturday 21 September 2019

Summer Drawing to an End

   Just photos today. The pool guys were here by 7:45 this morning and finished before 9:00. They probably had a ton of pools to close today. Weather continues to be beautiful, very summery despite Autumn arriving later this week.

It's always sad when the pool is tucked away under its winter cover. It will be covered until mid May.

Two late roses. There is another bud still to open.

Friday 20 September 2019

Last Dip in the Pool

    I was very hot and sweaty when I got home from tennis today so tested the water in the pool and decided it was good for a refreshing dip. Unfortunately only the surface inch had heated up; beneath that was frigid! I went in anyway, had a fast couple of lengths and felt all the better for it. 

   Dug up two potato plants and some Swiss Chard this afternoon. The harvest continues! 
I like the small potatoes boiled in their jackets with lots of butter but the big one I will peel and have mashed.

The Swiss Chard is for tonight's dinner, just boiled, chopped and seasoned with butter, pepper and a grating of parmesan cheese.

      We have had wonderful weather this whole week, up in the mid- to high 20's, but I won't be swimming again this year as the pool guys are coming to close the pool tomorrow. I hardly used it at all in September as the nights cooled off dramatically but it was lovely to get in today!

Still looking nice and blue. I will post a photo tomorrow of it covered.

Thursday 19 September 2019

Over Eating

   After Tuesday's big lunch I had a light supper of soup and a juicy tomato sandwich. However, Wednesday brought more over indulging!

    It was the Volunteer's Appreciation lunch at the Senior's Centre where I help out in the kitchen. The lunch was substantial (Parmesan chicken, roasted vegetables and salad, followed by yummy cake) but I had been invited to Judy's for dinner so it would have been rude to refuse. She served a very delicious piece of salmon, green beans and rice and I managed to do it justice. No dessert, fortunately, as we were headed to the theatre for her local company's production of a Norm Foster play. However, dinner had been early so by the time I got home around 11:00 p.m. I was peckish again and had a cup of tea and a cheese sandwich. Not a good idea eating so late at night!

   Today I have been a bit better. A game of tennis first thing followed by this month's Probus meeting (coffee and cookies at the break) then lunch at Red Lobster with some of the ladies - I had a Caesar salad, part of which I brought home to have for dinner. It was humungous! I will roast some chicken thighs and potatoes and just eat a bit of that with the salad. The rest for tomorrow's dinner. Must go and get that started or I will be eating late again. It's already 6:15.

Tuesday 17 September 2019

A Hectic Time

    RWTO monthly lunch today and I was in charge of receiving the cheques and ordering the lunches. What a schmozzle! People arriving without having paid ahead of time, cheques gone missing in the mail, people forgetting to come - seemingly the September lunch is always like that but I was in a regular tizzy!

   Fortunately there were enough meals for everyone who showed up - 121. It was quite delicious, Greek salad, roast beef, horseradish and a variety of vegetables, and apple crumble for dessert. I will just have soup and a sandwich for dinner tonight!

   We had an Executive meeting first which made for a very long day - it started at 9:30 (nothing much of import discussed), straight to lunch after it adjourned, and home by 3:00 for a nap. Then a little bit of light gardening as it was a beautifully sunny and warm afternoon. That is one way to fill a day!

Sunday 15 September 2019

Lots of Tomatoes

    I have been picking a few tomatoes at a time from the Green Zebra plant and today I had accumulated enough to make a batch of chutney. The tomatoes are quite green inside but are ripe and worked out well in the chutney.

The Green Zebra is the one on the right.

   The chutney was very easy - just onions, tomatoes, raisins, brown sugar and malt vinegar. The pound of tomatoes made just one jar but I will keep making a jar at a time as long as the tomatoes keep ripening. I am still getting lots of tomatoes off the other plants for eating.

Friday 13 September 2019

Trip to Port Colborne

   Managed to crawl out of my sick bed yesterday and make it to the pick up point in time for the trip to Port Colborne. I slept for part of the journey so was somewhat rejuvinated by the time we arrived. We had a chance to stretch our legs and wander along the Port Promenade before lunch.

   Port Colborne is on the shores of Lake Erie at the southern end of the Welland Canal. It was once an important city but time has passed it by as Lake travel has declined in importance. We browsed some of the stores along the Port Promenade then had lunch at the Canalside Restaurant. 

    The purpose of our trip was to see a Norm Foster play at the local theatre. He is quite a prolific playwright, originally from Toronto but a Nova Scotian by choice, hence the name of this production - `Lunenburg`. The theatre was quite a small intimate venue so we were ùp close and personal`with the cast. A very amusing, often rollicking, script with lots of laughs and a few serious moments. Thoroughly enjoyed by all. 

    Slept again on the way home (thank you bus driver) and am continuing to improve. I tried a game of tennis this morning but didn`t last long so I will need a restful weekend to fully mend.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Still Sick

   Finally went to get my sore throat sorted today - it has been getting steadily worse and last night I was having trouble getting my breath. It was rattling in my chest every time I took a breath. I had to go to Emerg as my doctor doesn't work on a Wednesday (not at her practice anyway, maybe she's in hospital that day). It took four hours but I got blood work, a chest X-ray, a breathing test (which I failed miserably) and got hooked up to an oxygen tank which was dispensing some sort of breathing medication. I have never had problems with my chest or lungs so I suspect it is some kind of virus. Anyway the doctor gave me penicillin and two different puffers so I should be on the mend pretty soon. I have to see a lung specialist in a week or two.

    After that marathon I came home and slept for three hours and I am sure I will sleep well tonight. There's nothing like a good night's sleep to help you mend.

   One other comment. I didn't park in the hospital parking lot. Can you imagine what 4 hours would have cost me! I parked on a side street and, despite being a bit wobbly on my feet, walked to the hospital. I wasn't the only one either!

Saturday 7 September 2019

Big Disappointment

     Honestly, I could spit!  I had planned my day around watching the final of the U. S. Open Ladies Final at 4:00 p.m. Unfortunately, my cable service was out (seemingly over most of the GTA) so I had to just follow the score on the live feed. Bianca won quite convincingly (6-3, 7-5) but I would sure have loved to watch the match! Maybe they will show it later but it's not the same when you already know the outcome. She is a true champion and is breaking records all over the place!

Today's crop of potatoes - this was from three plants. I still have at least another dozen to dig up but will wait until these are eaten.

 My throat is still sore when I swallow and I had a disturbed night, but I had a long sleep this afternoon to make up for it, nearly two hours. That in itself is a sign I am not 100%. I am hoping to play tennis tomorrow morning so, fingers crossed it improves before then.


Friday 6 September 2019

A New Macine

   I have been suffering with a scratchy throat for the last few days - this morning my voice was really husky - but it hasn't affected me physically. I managed quite a lot of tennis this morning. We were lucky because rain arrived early in the afternoon, not much but enough to wet the courts.

    My challenge this afternoon was to purchase a new washing machine. I found a good deal at Home Depot, with a substantial rebate because it was a high efficiency model. However, it won't be delivered until next Saturday so I will have to use the old machine one more time, with the inevitable puddle! The purchase includes removing and disposing of the old machine, installing the new one and connecting all the hoses.

My 20+ year old machine - I wonder how long the new one will last!

Monday 2 September 2019

Labour Day

   A holiday here. Spent it at the tennis club, played for a couple of hours, had lunch and socialized until 1:00 p.m. then staggered home for a nap! Lunch was hamburgers or hot dogs, green salad and potato salad, and delicious desserts. And lots of coffee!

   Still lots of tennis on TV so a light dinner and taking it easy stretched out on the couch. The cat has gone home so I will have it all to myself.

Did a little gardening this afternoon after my nap, nothing too strenuous, as it was quite cool and comfortable. I have started pulling up plants that are dying off. It really feels like the approach to Fall.

Sunday 1 September 2019

Getting the House In Shape

   The guys (Steve and Dave, son and son-in-law) came over today to do some badly needed chores around the house. After a quick assessment and a trip to Home Depot, they set about fixing and replacing broken and/or damaged things chez moi. It took them about three hours and the only thing they couldn't fix was my leaky washing machine. It would appear I will have to replace it but it is over 20 years old - here when I moved in!

   An indoor day as it has been drizzling most of the afternoon. I got a walk up to the Mall before the weather deteriorated but, since then, it has been kitchen activities. I have a stew in the oven for dinner - lots of fresh vegetables - and made a batch of rugelah cookies. Can't wait to tuck into them after dinner!

   Other than that I have been watching more tennis and that will continue into the evening. Hope it dries up for our tennis social tomorrow!