Monday 30 December 2019

Lindt Chocolates

   Going down by leaps and bounds! Never mind, the sooner they are finished, the sooner I can get going on a more healthy eating routine.

Please, no derogatory comments about the speed at which they are disappearing!

Friday 27 December 2019


  Very strange weather here, +10C today so quite unseasonal. I had a nice long walk this morning along the ravine, while the chicken carcass was boiling down, so now I have a big pot of soup to sustain me for a while.

  Still eating leftovers but they are dwindling, thankfully. Someone gave me a huge box of chocolates for Christmas and I have refrained from opening it until today. I will try to ration myself to two a day but, as you can see, three are already gone. This will be a real test of my will power!

They are sooo good, especially the dark chocolate!

Thursday 26 December 2019

Boxing Day

   Most of the apres Christmas cleanup has been done and leftovers will be brought out for dinner tonight. The tree is still up but that will go shortly. I'm not one for prolonging the season into the New Year. 

   Lucy the dog has not suffered any after effects of her over indulgence. I have made up a care package for son and DIL containing their missed plum pudding. Here are the before and after photos of the table.

I think a couple of people are ready for a post prandial nap! My SIL is the self proclaimed expert at loading the dishwasher so I left him to it. Then we settled to watch a movie - I may have nodded off at one point. What is it about turkey that causes drowsiness?

Wednesday 25 December 2019

Another Christmas for the Story Books

   Too stuffed to write much but the family meal went off all right despite my trepidations. And there are lots of leftovers so I will be eating bird, stuffing and brussell sprouts for the rest of the week.

   A bit of a disaster though. When we went to eat we left a plate of cheeses out in the other room. Son and DIL's dog scoffed a whole chunk of blue cheese. Not good for dogs but she seemed OK. Then just as we sat down to the main course she got hold of a chunk of chocolate (my fault). Now that is serious for dogs so son and DIL left (with their meal on a plate) to check with a vet. Advice was to keep an eye on her but I am upset that they missed the plum pudding!

Naughty Lucy in her Christmas sweater!

Tuesday 24 December 2019

The Night Before

   A bit colder today but still sunny. I went for a walk this morning while the bird cooked and it was very pleasant. 

   I did put the bird in a wet brine overnight and it seems to have come out nice and moist. I hate dry meat! It is now in the fridge along with the gravy, stuffing and some mashed sweet potatoes. The rest will be cooked tomorrow. Must remember to take stuff out of the freezer tonight before I go to bed. Nothing worse than trying to cook something from frozen with guests on the doorstep!

Monday 23 December 2019

Counting Down

   Thought I should change my header photo to something more seasonal (better late than never) but it didn't really turn out as I expected.

   Out shopping bright and early. I actually saw the sun rise! The store was very quiet and I was in and out in under 45 minutes. That will be it until next week, hopefully, as I have quite depleted my grocery budget despite using $30 worth of my accumulated PC Points. There had better be lots of leftovers!

   Another sunny mild day and I walked to the senior's centre for Bridge. Usually the centre is closed for two weeks but this year they are just taking the statutory holidays. So we will be able to play next Monday too. Yay!

   Karen and I had really good cards today and won big, for a change. Too bad we don't play for money or we would really have cashed in. It certainly made up for a lot of our recent losses.

   I brought home the capon I will be cooking for Christmas lunch today and am trying to decide whether to soak it in brine overnight or not. Stay tuned for the result.

Sunday 22 December 2019

Winter Solstice

   The shortest day of the year. Here the sun rose at 7:49 a.m. and set at 4:45 p.m. In a few days time the days will, thankfully, start to get longer. Today was sunny which makes up for its short appearance. It was, in fact, rather a nice day today with the temperature in positive numbers for a change. I think it may have exceeded the forecasted high of 5C.

    I got cracking on a few tidy up chores around the house (probably the first time since the family left back in August). I worked on the rooms I don't use all the time - the main bathroom got a good clean and I won't go in there again this week, just use my little ensuite. Tomorrow is my last shop - I'm going out very early in the morning to beat the crowds - and Tuesday I will cook the bird, make the gravy (my least favourite job) and prepare some of the other parts of the meal. So Christmas Day will actually be quite relaxed. I tend to get rather stressed when I have to cook for company even though I have made Christmas dinner every year (except one) for almost 50 years!

Table is set except for crackers. Judy may bring some as I'm not a big fan but the grandkids like to have them.

Saturday 21 December 2019

Getting There

    Still relatively mild (got up to -1C today) but the snow is hanging on so we may have a white Christmas after all.

    Another job done - the mantelpiece decoration.

Friday 20 December 2019

Brightening Up the House

   One more festive decoration - I have finally got the Christmas spirit. I think it was yesterday's snow. It's very Christmassy out there. Sunny and pleasant all day today and just -4C.

The snowman jug was acquired at a silent auction for the princely sum of $10 (I was the only bidder). The greenery is from the garden and the two Christmas sprigs are from Dollarama. I am rather proud of the finished display. My friends laughed when I bid on the jug. Who's laughing now?

Thursday 19 December 2019

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.....

   Spent the best part of an hour shovelling snow this afternoon but it was the light fluffy variety so not a big strain. This was on top of half an hour yesterday but, according to the weather man, that will be it until after Christmas Day.

   Out early for tennis this morning. We played for almost two hours but part of it was as a threesome. One player left in a huff after an argument with his wife over the score. Another reason (like at Bridge) not to partner up with your spouse. The drive home was very slow and slippery due to the snow but it stopped mid afternoon. Since then I have been snacking on the fruit bread I made yesterday. It's a bit heavy but quite palatable when toasted and buttered.

   A few more decorations put up today and that should be it - and a few more Christmas cards.

Wednesday 18 December 2019

Trial and Error

    Trying to make a sweet bread in the bread machine and it is rattling like nobody's business. It also smells funny. Hope it's not about to give up the ghost as it's not very old and I only use it every other week or two. 

   The sweet bread is from a recipe for Russian Kulich which I have made before. I chose it to use up some dried fruit left over from the Christmas plum pudding but I think I may have measured the flour incorrectly. I took the ball of dough out of the machine to knead in the dried fruit, then started the cycle again. So, who knows how it will turn out. Stay tuned for the result!

Tuesday 17 December 2019

A Christmas Carol

   Hope you like this rendition.

Spoke Too Soon!

     The overeating was definitely not over. Another buffet, this time courtesy of the generous contributions by my fellow Bridge players at our year-end party.

    Everyone brought their favourite treat - mine was sausage rolls baked this morning. They went down well but I did manage to snag a few of the vegetarian version to bring home for dinner tonight. These were a bit of an experiment but the "guinea pigs" didn't complain. 

    Some other things I managed to snag along with the vegetarian rolls - clementines and Ferrero Rocher chocolates - a balanced dinner in my eyes! The floral arrangement was a big hit too.

Monday 16 December 2019

What's on my Bedside Table?

   I am all stocked up with books for the down time between Christmas and New Year. Can't wait to get stuck in to them! I won't have much time for reading for the next week but things will wind down after that.

    I have actually finished "Akin" and returned it to the library but it has been replaced by "Before We Were Yours" by Lisa Wingate. No shortage of reading material there!

   The staff at the Senior's Centre had a "treat day" today when we were there for Bridge - a little plate of Christmas goodies and coffee, all free! Naturally I partook (is that even a word?). I think it will be on all week so I will have to make sure to get down there again at some point. Classes are finished until the New Year but the drop-in programs are still running.

    All my Christmas wrapping is done and under the tree - just presents for the grandkids, the adults don't exchange gifts. Cards are all in the mail but I have only received 5 so I think people may be deciding to cut back. Postage is expensive, especially if you are mailing overseas. Not so much overeating this week which is a good thing!


Sunday 15 December 2019

Dancing Up a Storm

    Last night I attended the Family Christmas dance and this was one of the dances on the program. It was a very easy program as lots of children were there to try out their dancing skills. This video was actually recorded on another occasion but many of the same characters were in attendance last night. The dance is called "Well done, Jack". I'm in the second set in green and black.

    Unfortunately we ate quite late so I didn't get my 14 hour fast. But all the exercise probably kept me in fighting trim. Let's hope so anyway. Back to my regular regime today!

Saturday 14 December 2019

A Different Silent Night

    Something to ponder as we approach the festive season. Hope you enjoy it!

Friday 13 December 2019

Exercise Cancelled Out by Treats

   Out early this morning but I held off on eating breakfast until just before I left home - a 12 hour fast so not too bad.

   Milder and sunny today but still needed my winter coat. It was the last fitness class of the year - someone brought a box of chocolates! Sort of defeated the purpose of working out for an hour. Of course I didn't have to indulge but, as I said, will power is not my strong suit. There were also samosas still warm from the oven, I ate one and brought two home to have with dinner. Pickle Ball this afternoon for a couple of hours - there will be one more next Friday then nothing until the New Year. 

   I will be finished dinner tonight by 6:30 and won't have breakfast tomorrow until 8:30 so that will be 14 hours. Tomorrow I am going for a massage, hope it helps my sore back. I could hardly get up off the floor at Gentle Fit this morning!

Thursday 12 December 2019

Trying to be Strong

   A big lunch again today (Probus Christmas Party) but in actual fact not too much food. I had selected Salmon and, although it came with a salad, potatoes and other vegs, I didn't feel stuffed afterwards. There was also an ice cream dessert (not too large) with absolutely divine raspberry coulis drizzled over it. I had a glass of red wine, red being healthier than white according to the media!

    Since then I have just had a bowl of guacamole with tostitos and a clementine. It is 6:45 p.m. so I will try not to eat again until breakfast tomorrow. Wish me luck (or, more likely, will power)! I will wait until next week to weigh myself - last weigh-in I was 146 lbs. which is a bit heavier than my usual.

Wednesday 11 December 2019

Avoiding the Worst of the Weather

   The family "Festive Special" outing on Sunday went well and the tree is now decorated, thanks to the grandkids. I love Swiss Chalet chicken and indulged in a glass of wine along with the meal as I wasn't driving. Instead of just five adults at these special meals we now have six as oldest grandson (almost 14) can polish off as much food as his Dad, and ask for more. You'd better not leave anything on your plate or it will disappear "toute suite"!

Don't know why it's so out of focus, but, hopefully, you get the idea.

    Today was the last Osteo Fit class and the Senior's Centre was very quiet so I didn't stay in the kitchen making coffee and heating pies too long. We have one more class on Friday and then a break until the New Year. My new eating regime went quite well - no food from 8:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. I need to shave an hour off that (it's supposed to be a 14 hour fast) so will start dinner earlier tonight so that I am done eating by 7:00 p.m.

   Currently I have the last wizened tomatoes from the garden bubbling away in the kitchen to make the last jar of tomato chutney. It smells delicious so I hope it turns out well. A snow squall just blew through (seemingly there was a 30 car pileup on the main highway from Toronto to Montreal earlier this afternoon) so I am glad to be indoors, warm and dry. 

Tuesday 10 December 2019

Time-restricted Eating

    I read about this in today's newspaper. Basically it refers to limiting your food intake to just 10 hours a day. For instance, breakfast at 8, last meal at 6. For me it would work better if I waited until 9 to eat breakfast as my usual dinner time is 7. My problem would be not to snack during the evening as I seem to get off to sleep better with something in my stomach.

    The improvements noted in the trial subjects were, among other things, lower blood pressure and cholesterol (both of which are high for me and require medication) and better sleep. However, subjects had to be careful to avoid dehydration. Also, by following this regime, their caloric intake was reduced resulting in some weight loss. This wasn't the goal of the program, rather allowing your organs to recuperate during the rest period. I'm all for that!

   I might try to follow this for a few weeks and see how I feel. Getting a better night's sleep would certainly make it worth while. I know I will find it hard as will power is not one of my strengths!

Saturday 7 December 2019

Over Indulging

   Not feeling 100% today (I have a headache) so have been rather lackadaisical about getting on with chores. The grandkids (or at least two of them) are coming over tomorrow to help decorate my (artificial) Christmas tree so I dragged it up from the basement this afternoon and will put on the strings of lights later this evening.

   It has been a week of overeating, both times at buffets which always test my self control. On Wednesday we dined at the Scarborough Golf and Country Club, which is lovely, and the spread of food was just so tempting, especially the dessert table. They even had plum pudding and custard but I managed to abstain. By that time I was too stuffed anyway.

   Yesterday it was the Mandarin buffet and I started with a plateful of sushi, went on to dumplings, hot and sour fish fillets, egg rolls and lots of other goodies. I did manage to add some servings of vegetables but was, again, tempted by the desserts - my downfall. Today I am eating lightly. I thought I had a small piece of salmon in the freezer but couldn't find it. I will make do with sausage and beans for dinner.

The naked tree...….

….and now with lights . I will post the decorated version tomorrow.

Wednesday 4 December 2019

All I Want For Christmas.......

My favourite Christmas song from my favourite Christmas Movie `Love Actually`

Monday 2 December 2019

Battling the Elements

   After yesterday's snow storm I had to dig through 10 cms. of snow this morning to get my car out, but it is still not done. My back told me, enough's enough! The snow was very wet and heavy! I will finish it tomorrow. 

    Bridge this afternoon and Karen and I had good cards. We came out well ahead of the other pair for once. On one contract I had bid 1 No Trump and my response was, "if I don't make this contract, I'm giving up on Bridge". Luckily I made it with a couple of extra tricks, so onward and upward!