Tuesday 28 April 2020

Shopping Online

  Picked up my order from Bulk Barn today, all except the yeast. Luckily I had a couple of tsps. left so was able to make a loaf this afternoon. But that will be it until I can get some more, so I will probably have to resort to store bought!

   I was quite happy with my first attempt at ordering online. They made it so easy and when I went in to pick up my order, my favourite cashier was on the checkout. She's a Newfie and calls everyone - young, old, male, female - "darlin' " or "sweetheart" and always has some funny quip.  She's a riot!

   I spent some time this afternoon digging up dandelions from the front lawn. They seem to have sprung up overnight and were very healthy looking - I had trouble getting them out and mostly didn't get the whole tap root. So, they will be back! I will dig up the rest (for now) tomorrow before I cut the grass.

Monday 27 April 2020

Batch Cooking

   On Thursday I made a vegetarian lasagna from some (very ancient) noodles I found at the back of a cupboard. It was so good and, after two meals, the rest went in the freezer. Yesterday I used some (also very ancient) rice which I bought to make sushi years ago, and four Italian sausages, to make cabbage rolls. They were also very tasty and I will have a couple again tonight with the rest going in the freezer. 

   Both these meals are very labour intensive and I usually don't have the time or incentive to spend hours slaving in the kitchen but, with all the time in the world to kill, it was an excellent way to pass a quiet afternoon! I figure for two afternoons work and some garlic bread and a green salad, I probably have created 8 meals.  

The recipe is from "Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine". I used rice instead of the day-old bread.

This is the leftovers, ready for the freezer. Half the recipe made 8 cabbage rolls.

Saturday 25 April 2020

Out In the Garden

   Hurt my left hip (again!) while gardening yesterday so no exercise today, not even a walk. I tend to forget I'm on the downward slope to 80 and don't take reasonable precautions. I did manage to cut the back grass - its first cut of the year - and prune a couple of bushes today, neither of which required bending which is when the pain occurs. 

   Other than that it has been a quiet, restful day. My big excitement was placing an on-line order at Bulk Barn, the first time I have attempted it. Seemingly, it will be ready for pickup tomorrow after noon, but I have my doubts as the order included flour and yeast which are in very short supply hereabouts. They will call me if anything is unavailable. Still, no big deal if there are missing items. I will just do without.

    It has been a gorgeous day today, quite the best day this year so far and I was outdoors for several hours. Even took off my sweater while cutting the grass! Good times ahead!!

Captured on my walk a couple of days ago in my local park. So pretty!

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Roll On Spring!

   We have had unseasonably cold weather all week with strong winds from the north so it has been back to winter coats and gloves. It has been sunny which is cheering but not warm enough to sit outside or work in the garden for any length of time. When will Spring truly put in an appearance?

   It's been almost a week since my last shopping trip so I am using up leftovers, slightly "past their best" vegetables, and items from the freezer. It feels good to see stuff used up and I am saving a bunch of money! Also I have hardly bought any gas for the car since the pandemic took hold.

    Speaking of which, we haven't reached our peak yet - still seeing more cases and deaths each day - so we have been warned that a return to normal is still some way off. The worst cases are in the long-term care homes - it is quite tragic how many have been affected and more each day. So glad I am isolated from all that danger. I will definitely wear a mask when I go shopping later this week and go early in the "senior's hour".

Another puzzle completed!


Sunday 19 April 2020


   The days seem to pass in a blur. I am continually saying (to myself, yes I have started having conversations with myself) "Where has the day gone?" or "It's surely not dinner time already?"

   One thing I have noticed is that my daily walks, which are a life saver, seem to be getting shorter. I am quite happy to get home after 40 minutes and amuse myself indoors or in the garden. Perhaps I am adjusting to the imposed isolation by becoming more self-reliant. Perhaps it is just that the weather is a bit more pleasant. Whatever the reason, it is just as well I am happy with my own company as we enter our fifth week of isolation.

   Last Friday's visit to the grocery store was quite traumatic. Not that it was crowded or unpleasant in any way - the store does all it can to accomodate its customers - it was just being in such close proximity to other people. This is the only place I wear a mask and compulsively clean my hands with sanitizer. I can almost see the virus lurking everywhere! 

   We are heading for another 28 days in isolation but I am well stocked with books and puzzles. I have rediscovered my library of CD's (I am currently listening to Enya who is very calming) and am practicing my crochet, so have plenty to keep me busy. Stay safe, stay well everyone!

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Doing My Taxes

   Another cold, blustery day so no work got done in the garden but I did have my afternoon walk, though slightly abbreviated.

   Since the weather has been miserable I have been working on my tax return yesterday and today and it is nearly done. For once it looks like I will get some money back. This is mainly because I had more tax deducted from my pension so, in effect, I am getting my own money back, although not much!

Yesterday's loaf (finally out of the pan) rose very well but it doesn't have a strong sourdough taste or smell. Good texture nevertheless!

Another puzzle completed and it was a fun one too. I am running out of interesting ones so may have to take a break from puzzles for a while. We have been told we will be locked down for another 28 days so I think I had better pace myself.

Monday 13 April 2020

A Blustery Day

   It rained quite heavily all morning and I didn't think I would get my daily constitutional but it stopped late in the afternoon so I headed out. However, it was blowing an absolute gale and the temperature had dropped so it was rather an abbreviated walk. I got plenty of fresh air, though!

   Two tasks today. I decided the sour dough starter had fermented long enough so I got a loaf going in the bread machine. While it was working I started on my tax return. The CRA has said it will allow late returns but, if I am getting any money back I want to get it off sooner rather than later. Brain tired at the moment so will finish it tomorrow.

   The loaf is now ready and looks good but is stuck in the pan, despite much shaking and pounding. I will post a photo once (or if) I get it out! I have replenished the starter and it will sit fermenting overnight then go in the fridge for another day and loaf.

Friday 10 April 2020

Needs Must

   Cold and windy again today but I had my daily constitutional despite almost being blown off my feet. Phoned a couple of elderly friends to make sure they were still alive and kicking (they were) and continued with my book and puzzle. 

   Only two things to remark on today - a batch of cauliflower soup (some for tomorrow and the rest for the freezer) and a batch of sour dough starter. It is made with milk and yogurt which is allowed to fermet and then flour is added. Then after you use some, you add more flour and water ad infinitum. Hope it works out.

    I was reminded of this with an entertaining Stuart McLean story on CBC and found I had a recipe, so it is currently fermenting in a warm place. Tomorrow I will add flour and refrigerate the mixture for a couple of days, then try it in a loaf. I have run out of yeast and there was none in the grocery store so this will be a useful substitute.

Thursday 9 April 2020

Highlight of the Week

   Today started out cold, damp and miserable (to match my mood), but by the afternoon the skies had cleared. However, it was blowing a hoolie! I managed a walk but I was back in my winter coat with gloves and earmuffs.

   I headed out early for my weekly trip to the grocery store. They had Senior's hour in place although I nearly missed it - it's from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00. I wore a different (homemade) mask today but although it was better, I still felt suffocated. I don't know how essential workers wear one all day. They are heroes !

   One jigsaw puzzle finished and another one started. Also, I am on my last book. Daughter has offered to drop off a couple on Sunday when we get together for Easter. They are bringing me dinner and we will exchange goodie bags on the front porch, keeping an appropriate distance, of course!

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Signs of Life

   Just a quick post as it's already 7:00 p.m. and I haven't eaten dinner yet.

   A gorgeous day today - I was out gardening without a jacket or sweater. In fact, I think I may have got a touch of the sun as my face feels quite hot.  My afternoon walk also contributed to that as I walked for almost an hour. Very pleased with myself!

The first rhubarb plant to put in an appearance.

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Wearing a Mask

  We have now been told that everyone should wear a face mask when shopping, although you can take your daily walk without one and just keep your distance from other walkers. I rarely meet anyone on my walks.

   I made myself a mask and used it today when I went to the drug store. Even though I only wore it for the ten minutes I was in the store, it was a very unpleasant experience as I almost suffocated, so that is not going to happen again. I will just fasten a bandana over my mouth and nose next time I am in public.

   I have settled into a routine that is helping the days go by. Here's how my days go at the moment. Get up around 8:00 and read the newspaper. Do my one hour exercise class. Eat breakfast around 9:30 and clean up the kitchen. Do any chores/gardening until lunch (1:00). Nap until 2:30, sometimes I just read in bed. Go for my daily walk. Read or do my jigsaw puzzle until the sun is over the yardarm (5:00). Check my blogs, e-mail and Facebook while I have an aperitif, or get on the phone with friends until dinner time (7:00). Watch TV and bed. The highlight of my week is grocery shopping which I am doing early on Thursday mornings at the moment.

   It was lovely in the garden today so I picked these:

 I also made a loaf in the bread machine and it turned out well. Won't need to buy bread any time soon!

Sunday 5 April 2020

Out of Touch With the World

   An early blog post today as I was incommunicado yesterday as my phone, internet and cable were all out. Luckily it wasn't a fault in my house, the whole area was out. So, no need for a technician to visit. I am relieved that I will have TV tonight as it is "Outlander" night. Last night I had to resort to working on my crochet (I have just taught myself), doing a puzzle and watching a video.
   Just one picture to share today. I brought in these forsythia stems last week and they have obligingly flowered indoors. The bush outside will take another week or two.

Wednesday 1 April 2020


  Had visitors today! My daughter and grandaughter came by with lunch (sushi) which we shared and ate at arm's length on the back deck. We have been told to stay a "hockey stick apart" - this is an ice hockey stick which is much longer than the field hockey variety. 

   It was lovely to chat face-to-face with two of my favourite people and share a joke or two. My granddaughter is quite funny when away from her two brothers. I really appreciated her handling of this strange situation we are all in. They didn't come into the house although all surfaces were clean since I haven't had anyone here for at least two weeks. Just super cautious.

   I sent them home with a "care package" (4 jars of my homemade strawberry jam and two jigsaw puzzles for Elliot) which I am sure they will fumigate before they take into the house. Strange how these extra precautions are becoming second nature. I have become anxious about the mail delivery and the daily newspaper which I retrieve from my front porch each morning. How safe is that? I thought of popping it in a warm oven to kill any potential bugs but decided that was a bit paranoid. Also, a fire hazard!

   The last puzzle is finished and now I will have to resort to my hoard (I have at least a dozen). I still have several books to read and a supply of favourite titles on the bookshelves so I won't be bored.

   My morning routine starts with an hour of exercise - 20 minutes cardio, lower body conditioning, abdominals, upper body conditioning (this includes weights) and cool down and stretching. Here is where I work out along with a step video. I am always sweating well before it is finished!