Tuesday 28 January 2020

Corona Virus

   It would seem that this topic has replaced the weather in our everyday conversations. Should you be wearing a mask (seemingly not, unless you are already sick and want to protect your fellow humans)? Is your hand sanitizer alcohol based (I think they all are now)?

   In my opinion the media is upping the anxiety level and people are quite too worried. There have only been two cases identified in this city of 3 million, so why are parent keeping kids home from school and getting up petitions to ostrasize East Asian members of their communities. That is outright racism!

   I'm sure we will have more cases in the next few weeks but as long as the general public follows a few basic health and safety measures, such as regular hand washing and coughing into your sleeve rather than hand, (which we should be doing anyway during 'flu season) the contagion shouldn't spread into the general population.

   I may eat my words before the epidemic is over but nothing will be gained from becoming hysterical.

Monday 27 January 2020

Life's Small Pleasures

   Hava Java coffee social this morning, a good turnout despite the chilly weather. Then straight from Calabria Bakery to Bridge club at the senior's centre. My partner and I came out on top by just the slimmest of margins but satisfying nonetheless.

   I finished the last of the bottle of "Toro Bravo" merlot this evening. This is the special wine I bought in bulk in the fall which received 96 points (out of a hundred) and is exceptionally good and exceptionally cheap ($7.95). I have one more bottle left but will save it for when the family are over for dinner at Easter. It will go very well with the lamb shoulder I intend to serve.

This is the 2017 vintage, but 2018 is almost as delicious.

Sunday 26 January 2020

Celebrating Robbie Burns


Second Burns supper of the year yesterday, this one a lunch for about 80 people at a local church. There was the piping in of the haggis, all the addresses, songs and speeches. We were part of the entertainment with some dances and audience participation. Today I am quite exhausted and had a long nap this afternoon. Hope I can sleep tonight.

   I have one more to attend on Thursday but this will be a much more low key affair at a retirement home. The residents won't be up to dancing so, after our dances, we will entertain with some Scottish melodies sung "a capella". I have been told just to move my lips as I am incapable of staying on key.

   Last week I bought a humungous cabbage - I like cabbage but chose the smallest I could find as it takes me forever to finish one. Tonight I have made a chicken and cabbage casserole which will probably do me three days. By then I will be sick of cabbage and won't buy it for another few months.

Tuesday 21 January 2020

Not Feeling Hungry

   Still stuffed after last night's haggis dinner so breakfast was late and light - just half a banana. OK, I did have a coffee and granola bar during this morning's meeting but that doesn't count, does it? I needed to stay attentive and alert.

   Lunch followed the meeting and I managed to restrain myself. I have learned when eating out I don't have to completely clean my plate. I ate all the vegetables and most of the chicken breast but left half of the potatoes. Also, I only ate half a roll with my salad. Tonight will be a light dinner and I will try to be finished by 7:00 p.m. then fast until 9:30 tomorrow morning. A good plan but can I stick to it?
(Did you notice I didn't mention dessert?)

Thursday 16 January 2020

Speaking of Food.....

    Still not particularly cold and no snow to speak of although I had to scrape ice off my car before I could go out today. 

    My first stop was the "But and Ben". This is a Scottish bakery and butcher in my area and my task was to pick up a haggis for next week's Robert Burns supper. Mission accomplished! I got a 4 lb. one which should be plenty big enough for everyone to get a taste.

It looks a lot more appetizing after it is cooked.

    After that I attended this month's Probus meeting followed by lunch with some of the other members. I was very good and had one of the "lighter" menu items - a beet and feta chicken salad - but it still clocked in at 660 calories. So tonight I skipped meat and just had sweet potato and cauliflower fritters which were surprisingly filling. 

   Now it is almost 8:00 p.m. so time to sign off and see what's on TV.

Wednesday 15 January 2020


    After a frustrating two days I finally have TV reception back. In the grand scheme of things this was not a major inconvenience, but it involved an hour or two on the phone and a visit to my local Rogers store.

  The saga began last night when I tried to boot up the TV around 8:00 p.m. After several tries and using Rogers automated phone service, I gave up and used my DVD player to watch a movie. 

   Fast forward to today. Still no luck but this time I got a live technician on the phone. He spent half an hour trying to reboot my "box" remotely to no avail. He set me up for a visit from a repair technician for Saturday, not a satisfactory solution in my opinion! He also suggested I could get my "box" replaced which was much more to my liking. So, off I went to my local mall, luckily fairly close, and was back in half an hour with a new box.

   Once it was hooked up to the TV, I attempted a reboot - still no success. So back on the phone to Rogers (I thought I would have to wait until Saturday after all). Thankfully this one succeeded just in time for my favourite Wednesday shows, "Rosemary and Thyme" followed by "Miss Marple", so feet up on the couch to enjoy something that I normally take for granted - TV reception!

Monday 13 January 2020

Knitting Up a Storm

   Frosty morning but I was out early to pick up Tim Horton's coffee for the Knitters and Crafters. I had some cookies in the freezer (left over from Christmas) so took them along for our treat. We seem to have created a glut of Twiddlemuffs and will have to try to move some soon. Everyone in the group is such a prolific knitter and crocheter.

Inez putting the finishing touches to her latest twiddlemuff.

Some were taken to be distributed to local retirement homes but there are still lots left.
Donna and Inez - busy bees. We have free space in our local community centre as we are all seniors.

Saturday 11 January 2020

Strange Tastes

    Now the downing of Flight 752 has been labelled as "unintentional". Not much comfort to the families of the people on board.

    It has rained continuously and heavily all day here but at least it's not snow that I would have to shovel. The forecast for overnight is pretty dismal, freezing rain, so I have tucked the car away in the garage and am hoping for the best. I have to go out tomorrow afternoon and don't fancy driving on icy roads.

   I have opened one of the wines I photographed for Thursday's blog post, the sauvignon blanc from New Zealand. it has a slightly fishy taste so I must go online and read some reviews of it. Maybe my tastebuds are wonky! I guess coming from the Oyster Bay winery might explain the strange flavour.

Friday 10 January 2020

Staying Grounded

   Very sad today about the horrific air crash in Iran. Lots of Canadians on board so many grieving families here. I only hope it turns out to have been an accident (or an accidental missile as the P.M. is proposing). I am worried things will escalate in the Middle East.

   I think the time has come for me to forego any more overseas flights. I have been thinking about this for some time (my last overseas trip was to Greece in October, 2018). There are plenty of places to visit in North America and I have always enjoyed rail travel. Time to get out the brochures and see what's available.

Thursday 9 January 2020

All Wined Up

   It was a very chilly day, -10C, but I spent the afternoon with 10 like-minded friends sampling wines, nibbling food and setting the world to rights.

    These are not the actual wines as they have been consigned to the recycling bin.
     It was the monthly meeting of the Probus Wine Tasters club and Elizabeth and I were co-hosts at her house. We served 2 whites, a zinfandel and 2 reds in a blind tasting. When the scores were totted up the wines all scored very closely together but this was because people either loved or disliked them. For instance, the Zinfandel had a high score of 42 (out of 50) and a low score of 17. So an average of 34. It's lots of fun and we grew more and more mellow as the afternoon progressed. Following delicious desserts and coffee we all trundled home and I, for one, won't need a meal this evening.

Ready for another tasting.

Tuesday 7 January 2020

A Good Read


This title was on our reading list for the book club and I was reluctant to start it. But now that I have, I can't put it down. What a fascinating life she has led, quite inspirational. Do try to get hold of a copy - it is well worth the effort.

Friday 3 January 2020

Into the New Year

   I have had a pleasant three days of doing almost nothing after the business of the holidays. I did get a few cleaning chores completed but not close to the routine I was taught to adhere to. Before the New Year, all dust and cobwebs had to be brushed out the door. Lots of cobwebs in my basement.

   I have read a lot, worked on a jigsaw puzzle and had a few long walks. The weather has been quite mild (today +7C) so it was pleasant to be out walking the ravines. Also today saw the return to Friday pickleball and I put in a couple of hours of intense physical activity at the community centre. Next week it is back to a busy social calendar and a more healthy eating regime. The chocolates are all gone!