Thursday 27 February 2020

Extreme Weather

   We woke up to another thick (15cm.) covering of snow this morning but I am so sick of it I didn't bother with a photo. Suffice it to say I had to get the snowblower going before I could go anywhere this morning. Luckily I had remembered to plug in the Lithium battery last night. So 8:00 a.m. saw me out with the shovel to clear a path to the garage and by 8:30 I had the snowblower humming along clearing a path for me to the road. The wind was fierce!

   Before I went out to clear the driveway, I phoned my tennis friend to make sure we still had a game on. Several phone calls and texts later everyone had confirmed that they would be there. The roads in my subdivision weren't cleared so I had a wild ride getting to the main road. There, it was just a slushy mess but I got there on time and we had some close games. The first set went to a tie-break!

   I had arranged to meet friends for lunch but there were several who didn't (or couldn't) make it so we were a select group of six. This actually was more conducive to conversation so it was well past 2:00 p.m. before we broke up. More shovelling when I got home as the wind had piled up some snow drifts and we are due more snow tonight. Will it never end?

Tuesday 25 February 2020

Shrove Tuesday

   A pancake breakfast at the Seniors Centre today but it didn't stay strictly to the customary meal. Two big pancakes, sausages and bacon with unlimited coffee and, of course, lashings of maple syrup. Now we are supposed to not eat meat, eggs or dairy until after Lent but that won't be happening here.

   I got there just after 10:00 a.m. and hadn't eaten anything first - my longest fast ever! The place was hopping but I managed to get a seat with some friends so we had a good natter as we ate.

   Next stop was Bridge around noon and I just took an apple with me to keep me going until dinner. My cards were good for a change and I had some knowledgeable partners, so managed to hold up my end of the bidding and play. Still not too starving but will have a normal dinner soon, mainly because I need to take my pill with food.

   I have a nice evening planned. I picked up a movie at the library this morning, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?", which I missed when it was in the theatres. I have been waiting for it for quite some time so the anticipation is building. I hope it is as good as its reviews. I had also ordered a copy of "Howards End" by E.M. Forster and it arrived this week too. I had watched, and enjoyed, the TV version recently and decided I wanted to experience the whole narrative. So, no worries about staying entertained for the next week or two!

Monday 24 February 2020

A Vision in Orange

    It may not be very Spring-like outdoors, but look at what greeted me indoors the other day!

I don't usually manage to get my indoor plants to flower in the winter due to low light, but this one surprised me. There are two more buds forming so I hope they continue to fruition.

Saturday 22 February 2020

An Early Sign of Spring

   The sound of dripping water is usually a good sign at this time of year, but I think I may have a small leak in my eavestroughs as this is what was created yesterday.

It was sunny again today so it has collapsed but it was quite impressive!

Today was even milder, getting up to 4C but I'm sure we will have more winter weather before things start to grow. I spent the afternoon in the kitchen making a batch of scones - they turned out really well. They are so good straight from the oven (I did have one, just to test them, you know) but these will be consigned to the freezer for future emergencies.

Thursday 20 February 2020

A Quandry

   Just a quick post as not much to report. Volunteering in the kitchen at the senior's centre yesterday and Probus meeting this morning. Then we went for lunch at Red Lobster. I just had a salad but one too many of RL's delicious little warm biscuits. Left feeling stuffed so came home and made some soup which is all I will have for dinner and I am sure I won't be hungry until later.

   I am having a hard time with the restricted eating schedule. For instance, this morning I couldn't (or shouldn't) eat breakfast until 9:30 a.m. to give me a 14 hour fast, but had to leave for Probus then. This evening I won't want to eat until after 7:00 p.m. but will be leaving early tomorrow mornning for a 9:00a.m. fitness class. What's better, eat first or wait until after class? I think I need something a bit more nourishing than water before exercising.

Tuesday 18 February 2020

The Fun Continues

   Another fun afternoon - it was the monthly lunch at The Estates with RWTO (Retired Women Teachers of Ontario). News and announcements at 11:45 and lunch served promptly at noon. The staff at The Estates always does us proud. Today it was roast beef with all the fixings and apple pie (again!) for dessert. 

   There were over 100 people present. I often wonder what creative magic is required to produce 100 meals, all perfectly cooked and hot, simultaneously. Suffice it to say I have no desire to attempt such a feat.

   I was home by 3:00 p.m. faced with another dose of shovelling as it had snowed again overnight. However my bed was calling to me so I have left it for the morrow. I slept until 4:00. The snow will still be there tomorrow and, as it is forecast to be just below freezing, shouldn't be too much of a hardship to clear.

P.S Have to say my apple pie was every bit as good as The Estates'. I will save the last slice for another day. I won't need much supper tonight.

Monday 17 February 2020

Fun With Friends

   A lovely afternoon with my Bridge friends. The senior's centre, where we normally play on Mondays, was closed today for Family Day, so Karen invited us to her house to play (sounds like a playdate, doesn't it?). She has a lovely home and treated us to lunch. We each brought one item for the lunch so were amply fed.

   Karen lives very close to me so, since it was sunny and mild, I walked over with an apple pie and some ice cream in a bag. The apple pie has been in my freezer since before Christmas so I was very happy to get it used up. Everyone liked it and Karen's husband had a slice too. We also had Armenian pizzas (Diane), sausage rolls (Marie) and Greek salad (Karen, who also supplied tea or coffee). 

   Marie and I were partners and had the worst cards - not a single fit. But it was still fun and, of course, we gossiped in between hands and over lunch. So, all in all, a delightful way to pass the afternoon.

Saturday 15 February 2020

Down Time

   Today was just -4C when I went out but, with a strong wind, it felt as cold as yesterday. The wind is set to be strong through the night but I won't be aware of it as my house is pretty sturdily built. 

   Saturdays are quiet for me but, after a busy week, it is nice to have some solitary time. There is usually something worth watching on TV and I can always resort to my knitting (NOT!). Tomorrow, I have just learned, a new season of "Outlander" is starting. Can't wait!

Friday 14 February 2020

Living It Up

   The weather was not as bad as forecast. The morning temperature was -18C but the sun was out so it felt considerably warmer than that as the day progressed. I think the high was -15C. It has clouded over now so that should mean milder temperatures overnight and into tomorrow. That is good news as I am going to the theatre tonight and won't be home until late.

   Earlier this week I went to see the Best Picture movie, "Parasite", and it was as good as its reviews. I think you would describe it as a dark comedy - some fairly hilarious bits, some pretty horrific scenes and a very interesting theme of clashes between the "haves" and "have-nots". I will say no more as it is better to go in with little knowledge of what is to come but I do recommend you see it.

   Yesterday was our wine-tasting club and a merry afternoon it was. There were just 9 of us this time so the wine went a bit further. We tried 5 wines (two whites and three reds) and enjoyed a lovely spread of food as usual. We were all quite jolly by the last bottle but we sobered up before we left with tea or coffee and some yummy pastries. Those driving just had a few mouthfuls of each wine so kept us all on the straight and narrow.

   Today just my usual fitness class in the morning and pickleball in the afternoon. I have had a nap so am ready for my evening out.

Wednesday 12 February 2020

A Slight Improvement

   The dire temperature warning has been amended up slightly but we are expecting another dump of snow overnight tonight.

The worst cold will be overnight tomorrow with a low of -17C. Brrr!

Tuesday 11 February 2020

A Valentine's Gift

   A fairly decent day today, chilly but sunny.....but look what's coming our way on Friday. Luckily it will be short lived and we will be back to normal temperatures by Sunday.

Still more snow overnight but just enough to cover the messy stuff.

It was very wet snow so a bit of a slog to get the paths clear.

Sunday 9 February 2020

A Perfect Loaf

    I have really got away from baking since I have been cutting back on carbs, but today I needed some bread so got out the bread machine. Last time I used it, it had been making a terrible rattling noise. I actually thought it was on its last legs. However, I managed to remove the paddle and cleaned some gunk out from under it to see if that would help.

   First off I discovered I was all out of bread machine flour. Nothing daunted I resorted to all-purpose flour. Then I had to gouge out some crystalized honey (does this happen to other people?) and melt it down to a liquid as it is one of the ingredients in my recipe. Not a very promising start. However, the machine worked like a charm and, three hours later, had produced this very satisfactory loaf. 

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

Saturday 8 February 2020

The Snowbanks Are Rising

   No new snow today but more shovelling to get the driveway cleared. It was a sunny but cold day so that helped. Further north of us had extreme cold but here we were positively balmy at -8C with no wind. It was quite pleasant to be out in the sun.

As you can see the snow is beginning to accumulate where there would be grass growing.
The street was plowed yesterday so I had to clear the windrow. It wasn't too bad. That will be my exercise for the weekend.

Friday 7 February 2020

Still More Winter

   The tire seems to be holding pressure but we had more snow overnight so I was out shovelling again this morning. Plus my winter boots have sprung a leak. No way am I buying another pair until next Winter. I will have to make do with my spare pair which are decidedly out of date but at least keep my feet dry.

   We are in for some chilly weather tomorrow, -9C and that's the high for the day. It should warm up after that to -3C but I don't have anywhere to go over the weekend so might just hunker down at home until the weather improves.

Thursday 6 February 2020

A Difficult Drive and a Scare

   Just the usual number at Book Club this afternoon and we had a lively discussion followed by treats and coffee. The book for this month was "Before We Were Yours" by Lisa Wingate, a fictional account of a very real situation - baby stealing, kidnapping and cruelty at  Tennessee orphanage in the 1920's.

   Digging out from another snow storm and more is forecast for tonight. I managed to get my car out onto the street this morning and had a fairly easy drive to my tennis game. The main roads had been cleared and well salted. We are very fortunate to have our sidewalks cleared by the city (not all parts of the city are) so that was one less thing to do. However, tennis and snow shovelling was more than enough exercise for one day. I had a small scare on my way to tennis as my "low tire pressure" light came on and the last time that happened I had to replace the tire. I managed to inflate it and will wait until tomorrow to see if it holds the air. Otherwise it will mean a trip to the dealership to see if they can fix it. New tires are expensive.

   I am having a couple of meatless days. Yesterday was roasted veggies and bean casserole. Today I made some savoury muffins which I will have with the rest of the beans. Having said that I just realized I had some smoked mackerel an hour ago while the muffins were cooking, so not entirely meatless.

They are mostly carrot and cheese with a little flour and just one egg.

Tuesday 4 February 2020


    So strange...... half our dance group didn't come to class last night. I'm not sure why but think it may be fear of contracting the coronavirus. There is quite a lot of hand contact in the dances. This is despite the fact that in this city of over 3 million, there have only been 3 cases of people testing positive for the virus and all are in self-imposed quarantine at home. 

   Here is one of the more difficult dances we learned last night, not danced by us, obviously.

   There was the usual number of Bridge players this afternoon so no fear of cantagion there - a healthy bunch!

Sunday 2 February 2020

Food and a Book (2)

      Saturday is grocery shopping day but I usually go after breakfast. Yesterday I changed things up a bit and went first thing, The store was considerably quieter but there were only two cashiers so I didn't save any time. Also, shopping on an empty stomach is not advised - I came home with a batch of chicken wings, something I rarely buy, but they were delicious grilled in BBQ sauce. 

    The rest of the day (the weekend, in fact) has been spent reading "Bring Up the Bodies" by Hilary Mantel. It is the second in a trilogy set in the 16th century and told through the eyes of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII's master Secretary. I read the first book, "Wolf Hall", some time ago, and am now waiting for the final one, "The Mirror and the Light" which should hit the shelves soon. 

    This evening I am binge-watching "Howard's End" on PBS. It is a Masterpiece production full of magnificent views of the English countryside and fabulous costumes. There's another book I should request from the library.

The BBQ wings ready to eat.