Thursday 31 October 2019

Awful Weather

   Here's how my day went.

8:45    Battled traffic in heavy rain to get my mouth poked and prodded by the dental hygienist. Then back into rain and traffic to go home. Had a coffee and toast but my mouth is rather tender..

11:45    Walked (in heavy rain) to the drug store to get my 'flu shot. Told I should be getting the "over 65's" shot from my family physician but declined. Waited 15 minutes in drug store in case of allergic reaction. Now arm is tender.

12:15    Walked from there (still raining but I had on my rain gear) to the Senior's Centre for a Hallowe'en treat - choice of pumpkin pie and whipped cream or apple or blueberry pie with ice cream, and coffee, all free. Chatted with friends and watched a hand or two of Bridge.

12:45   Walked home (still raining, by now my feet are soaking). The reason for the walk was to work off the pie!

1:00   Had lunch and a nap, switched on the fire - finally feet are warm again! It's still raining so not many Trick or Treaters. Hercule Poirot on TV tonight!

Tuesday 29 October 2019

An Afternoon of Bridge

   Frittered away the morning and then had to rush to get to my Bridge game on time. I was lucky and managed to get a spot at a table but I had had to skip lunch so filled up on tea and cookies - not very healthy!

   I was the lowest scorer today (I'm going to blame the cards) so got my dollar back. It's rather embarrassing to be called up for it but most people have been in that position themselves, so are very understanding. It's a pleasant afternoon and no one is too serious about the game. Having said that, the four highest scorers were all over 5,000 points. I won't mention what my total was!


Saturday 26 October 2019

Where Did the Week Go?

   I have a new follower! Thanks for signing up, Jackie. I hope you visit often and please leave a comment. It's nice to get feedback on my mutterings.

   Seems like no time at all since last weekend. Time is rattling past at warp speed with very little to show for it. Rather a chilly, gloomy day today, so mostly indoors. I did cut the front grass this morning and I keep hoping it will be the last cut of the year but the darned stuff just keeps growing! I did manage to dry some of my laundry outdoors while the sun was out this morning but we will get rain overnight (another reason to get the grass cut).

Some pretty berries on the Euonymous bush by my front steps. I've never noticed them before!

Friday 25 October 2019

A Wasted Day

   Luckily I had nothing else planned as any other plans would not have been accomplished today!

   Today the car was scheduled for its annual service and I dropped it off at 8:45 this morning and was shuttled back home. It was to take 3-4 hours but by the time noon rolled around there had been no word from the service centre. I went for a nap and had a phone message waiting for me when I surfaced. Some extra work was needed (it had been a year since the last service so, to be expected). Once I had OK'd that it was another 2 hours until I got the call that it was ready. By the time I was picked up, driven back at the dealer, paid for the service ($500 - ouch!) and had driven back home it was after 4:00 p.m. - and they didn't even do the car wash they promised!

   So, not much accomplished today as I was stuck inside waiting for a phone call. Surprisingly, I am quite exhausted. Doing nothing is just as tiring as being busy!

Thursday 24 October 2019

Good Intentions

    Well, I didn't last very long in my ambition to start a new eating regime! The VB6 (vegetarian before 6 p.m.) was broken this afternoon at the monthly Probus wine tasting!

   This was my first time attending the event and it was a lot of fun. It takes place at a different member's house each month with 11 or 12 people attending, and the host purchases 5 different wines, which we sample in a blind tasting. Each attendee brings a platter of food (mine was fruit) but there was a lovely choice of cold cuts in which I indulged rather heavily. I did make up for it this evening by just having soup (vegetable) and a tomato and roasted red pepper sandwich. I will also have some of the leftover fruit and call it a day. Tomorrow is another day!

Wednesday 23 October 2019

VB6 and Home Ownership

   Have you heard the expression VB6 before? It was a new one on me but it stands for "Vegetarian before 6 p.m." In other words, don't eat any meat before your last meal of the day. This is what I do most days without actually realizing there was such a thing and, in my opinion, it is a very healthy way to eat. Although we are carnivores, humans don't really need a great deal of meat - maybe 4 to 6 ounces a day. That would amount to half a chicken breast, a hamburger or a fillet of fish. I plan to make a conscious effort to follow this regime!

    Another notion that is floating around in my head - the problem of young people trying to get on the home ownership ladder. A recent article in the newspaper found that new home buyers are required to put down a deposit equal to 5% of the price of a home. In the current market here, where the average price of a very modest house or condo is $500,000, that would require a down payment of $25,000. To buy in the city centre (as opposed to the suburbs or rural areas) is even more impossible with houses there almost double that figure. What young people can save that vast sum, even with two salaries? This is even more difficult if they are paying rent on their present home, as these rates have also increased exponentially over the last few years. Your thoughts?

Sunday 20 October 2019

Tattie Harvest

   Tennis this morning - it was a beautiful day, sunny and no wind, but not too many on the courts. We played for an hour and a half (Kathy and Frank beat Cathy and me 6-4). The others stayed for another set but I had had enough by then.    

I dug up the last of the potato plants today and got a bumper crop. I will definitely plant some next year. These will take me some time to eat up so I hope they keep well.

I was surprised to get a mixture of red and white potatoes.

   I was gardening without a jacket this afternoon and got the grass cut and the borders trimmed. I brought in my gorgeous plant, that is still blooming well,  to make sure it doesn't get frosted. It still has lots of buds on it.

Friday 18 October 2019

Fall Colours

    After lunch with Judy I went for a walk around my neighbourhood. Boy, was it cold! But look at the blue sky.

   The trees are starting to turn but some have lost most of their leaves already so the results were less than breathtaking.

This bush is in my back yard and always turns early.

Thursday 17 October 2019

Ladies (and men) Who Lunch

   Third lunch out this week - lunch and a Travelogue (of Morocco and Gibralter) which was excellent (the food) and fascinating (the travelogue). I have been to both places, a few years ago, and recognized several of the spots. The event was presented by the retired teacher's group I belong to so there were lots of people there I knew. First I went to this month's Probus meeting but had to leave half way through the talk.

   I had offered to take my daughter out for lunch tomorrow - it's her birthday on Saturday - but in retrospect was reluctant to eat out again, so have invited her here for lunch instead. She only gets an hour for lunch so it will be something quick and simple, something I would probably fix for myself. She won't mind and I have a little gift for her.

   A very cold wind today and no sun. The thermometer said 10C but it felt much, much colder! I am definitely not ready for this blast of Arctic air. 

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Thunder and Lightning

  A rather busy day - I was woken in the early hours by a thunder storm and then was out early, fighting traffic in heavy rain, to get to the tennis clubhouse and get it cleaned out before we vacate it for the winter program. Shiyan was there to help, she is one of the supervisors - but we had different views as to what was the most urgent task to get done! Finally we compromised and were finished by 11:30 a.m. Then more traffic to get to my shift in the kitchen at the senior's centre. It was quite busy there - I sold 11 meat pies which is quite unusual!

   On my return home I spent some time on the phone trying to find out where my new credit card is. My current one expires at the end of the month and I will be in dire straites if I don't have a replacement! Seemingly it is on its way to me so, fingers crossed it arrives safely.

   I picked up two movies from the library on my way home - "Catherine the Great" and "The Leisure Seeker" so no problem filling my evenings for the rest of the week. I may even watch them twice!

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Brunch and Lunch

   Sunny but cool again today but I didn't spend much of it outdoors as today was the RWTO Craft Sale and Lunch. This is when members of our association set up tables and show off their crafts before we eat lunch. I didn't buy much but some of the vendors did a roaring trade. 

   Lunch was good as usual, salad, chicken breast and lots of vegetables, followed by ice cream in a crepe. There was also a speaker (health insurance) but not something I need more of so I tuned her out and just sat digesting my meal. This was my second (of three) big meals this week but I managed to restrain myself from overeating. Just soup and a sandwich tonight 

   I had had an early morning run to the tennis club to set up the final day pot-luck brunch (which I was unable to attend!) so after lunch I headed back there to pick up my contribution and do a final check that everything was tidied up. My volunteer designates had done a good job and everything was tickety boo! There was one slice of pumpkin pie left so I brought that home for an after dinner treat tonight. I think I deserved it!

    Later this week the summer club hands over to the winter program, a bubble is installed over the courts and the city takes over the running of the facility. So, that is it until May. It is getting a bit cool to be playing outdoors anyway and I am ready for a change of activities. Pickleball anyone?

Monday 14 October 2019


    A short drive out of the city and I was amazed to see the changing of the colours. They were quite brilliant! The trees local to me are still quite stubbornly green.

   Sunny but cool today for my trip to daughter's house for Thanksgiving lunch. We were a merry bunch of 9 around the table and there was butternut squash soup, turkey with all the trimmings and pumpkin pie. I brought roasted potatoes dug up from my garden just yesterday. I have had a bumper crop this year which I planted in an area that has been lying fallow for a year. I think that must have something to do with the number and size of the potatoes.

   We all know how lucky we are to live in this wonderful country, so before we ate we gave thanks for the bounty we were about to receive. Everyone contributed something to the meal including oldest grandson who made the pumpkin pie. The other one made a batch of sausage rolls which are his speciality. He won an award for them at the county fair! All in all a successful family gathering but now I won't eat again until tomorrow morning. I have two more big lunches this week so will have to be careful - no snacking!

Friday 11 October 2019

Paid In Full

   I have a parts plan with Enbridge, my gas supplier, and it doesn't come cheap. But today I pretty much recouped the whole amount by having their plumber come out and fix a leaky tap at no cost! Plumbers are about the most expensive service men so it was a relief not to have to pay him for his time.

    This was the result of the new washing machine. When attaching the new hoses something in the tap gave way although I think it may have been leaking slightly for a while. I have had to turn off the hot tap between washes and that did reduce the drip but now it is fixed and hopefully there will be no more problems.

    A gorgeous day on the tennis courts today, albeit a bit windy. The sun is now quite low in the sky in the early morning and that did cause problems as well, but it was lovely to be out in the fresh air getting a bit of exercise. Eat your hearts out all you poor working souls! It's great to be retired.

   We were also treated to a workshop on preventing shoulder injuries. It was given by Physio Mobility Centre and there was a demonstration of exercises we should do to warm up for tennis or if our shoulders are tight in the morning. We probably won't but it was an interesting clinic. If you are in the Toronto area the Centre is at The Shops of Don Mills - I'm not paid to advertise for them but I do have a coupon for a massage there, which I won at the tennis Gala!

    Later this afternoon I made another jar of tomato chutney. It has to cook for 2 hours and I almost let it go too long but saved it in the nick of time. The tomatoes are coming thick and fast and I also used another one to make bruschetta. This may be the last day of the warm spell but if it is sunny the tomatoes will continue to ripen. Then I will bring the rest inside before the first frost.

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Stocking Up

   Finally an evening at home so I have time to write my blog! I really don't like to go out after dark (and it is getting dark earlier and earlier), but sometimes, needs must! Yesterday was the AGM at the tennis club and there was a huge turnout as there was one contentious item on the agenda. Predictably the meeting dragged on with some totally ridiculous discussion, but finally matters were concluded to (almost) everyone's satisfaction and the meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m. - well past my bedtime. I managed to avoid taking on any positions on the executive by sitting on my hands.

   A big splurge at Bulk Barn today as I had a $5 off coupon which was about to expire. Of course, you had to spend $20 but I managed to do that as I had run out of lots of items. Here's my haul. Hard to believe it totalled just over $20!

   From left to right, dried apricots,  a tub of natural peanut butter (no additives or salt, just plain peanuts), dried cranberries (this was the most expensive item at $5 but I like them on salads), cashews, almonds and walnuts.

   I got the lawn mower out this afternoon as it was a brilliant day, and lowered the height in preparation for the final cut of the year. I just did the back yard and, except for a patch under a tree that doesn't get much sun, it is looking very healthy. I have already given it a doze of fertilizer to see it over the winter. Now, a little TV and an early night.


Sunday 6 October 2019

More Book Talk

   I am reading "Educated", a memoir by Tara Westover, for the next Book Club meeting but today I got sidetracked. It's "The Turn of the Key" by Ruth Ware and I think I will rush through it before I get back to the other one. It has started out with lots of suspense, just the kind of book I like! Both books are hard to get from the library as they have been in the top ten list for some time so I won't be able to renew them. Just as well the weather is a bit too wet to work in the garden.

    I have a Louise Penny book waiting for me at the library but I will leave it there until later in the week. This is her latest, "A Better Man" and it is also in the top ten list. I usually like her books but have found the last couple a bit too similar. Maybe it's time for her to come up with a new formula. She is a very prolific writer and very popular in Canada as her books are set in Quebec.

   Busy in the kitchen today - a cracked wheat loaf and a batch of sugar cookies. The latter are to take to Crafters meeting tomorrow morning. I hope I made enough, the ladies do love them!

Friday 4 October 2019

Rather Chilly

   A nippy but sunny morning (8C) and we had a surprisingly good turnout at tennis. I had to keep making extra pots of coffee as more people rolled in. Usually we make a 32 cup urn but hadn't been expecting so many to show up. Everyone was in their warm-up gear but stripped off as they worked up a sweat.

   As a follow up to my Emerg visit two weeks ago I had to go for a breathing analysis this afternoon. It was quite uncomfortable (nose clip, breathing tube, being asked to pant heavily) but it is done and hopefully the results will be good. The respirologist I saw earlier this week just sent me as a precaution. I was surprised how quickly I was seen by him and will go back next week for the results.

   The sun is still shining in the windows but we may have a frost tonight so I have brought in some plants I want to save over the winter.

Some tomatoes ripening in a sunny window.

My birthday flowers still looking good!

Thursday 3 October 2019

Talking About Books

   A very cool, dull day with a bit of rain. I went to the tennis courts in between showers but no one else showed up so I just hit against the back board for a while, then home for coffee and toast. I put some French bread in the breadmaker and soon I had a couple of baguettes. I plan to have bruschetta tonight with the last of the ripe tomatoes.

   After a bit of housework I got out a puzzle I haven't done in a while and soon it was lunch time. Then off to Book Club. We were discussing "Nine Perfect Strangers" by Lianne Moriarty (she of "Big, Little Lies" fame). We weren't very impressed with the book as we like something with a bit more meat to it. We have decided to be more judicious with our book choices next year. There are only so many books we can read in our time remaining on Earth so it might as well be something more interesting with a bit of a challenge!

   The presenters had brought in some lovely treats - mini muffins, scones, fruit and veggies and dip. Claire and I are presenters next month and this will be a hard act to follow! Tea and coffee are always on tap so it is almost like afternoon tea. I will just be eating leftovers for dinner tonight.

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Another Special Day

  Lovely morning, up to 28C. We were all sweating on the tennis courts - a last blast of summer! It is going to be 12C later this week and that's the daytime high! Such a big change in temperature is hard on our bodies. We need a gradual adjustment.

   At tennis today someone brought in a birthday cake for me - I didn't realize anyone knew it was my birthday yesterday but I must have let it slip. Luckily they don't know how old I am! We all had a slice of cake with our morning coffee so it was a little bit special.

   Bridge this afternoon (I played rather badly but was not the lowest scorer) and it began to rain just as we were leaving. Torrential rain after I got home - the garden was grateful. Now a quiet night in front of the TV