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Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Finally, a Haircut

   Managed to get an appointment at my hairdresser's today - she wasn't as busy as I expected as this is the first full week they are allowed to open. Now I look much more like my profile photo - just a few years' older!

    I wasn't too reassured as to the virus protection though - she is a very touchy, feely person and was constantly getting in my face (albeit with her mask and mine in between) and stroking my shoulder (in a nice way). However, I'm sure I will be fine - I'll know in a couple of weeks!

   
    Tennis this morning. We continued to play doubles despite another stern warning from the club executive. Not to us personally, just a general reminder that the club's permit would be voided if the members didn't follow the COVID restrictions. There wasn't anybody else there until just before we finished so we will still carry on bending the rules. I'm just too old to play singles! Kathy and I won the first set and Susan and I won the second. We played for just over an hour then back here for a well-deserved swim and coffee. A morning well spent!

Friday, 26 June 2020

A Walk Around My Garden

   The grass is dry and brown but I am keeping the plants and veggies well watered.

Lots of blooms on the hibiscus that I over wintered indoors.


Flowers just starting to appear on the potato plants.


Ten potatoes have sprouted and behind them are the raspberry bushes. Not much fruit this year.


A very miserable tomato plant - I have watered it twice today but it definitely does not like the heat!

Thursday, 25 June 2020

The Ladies Who Chat

Kathy, me and Susan. Can't wait to get my hair cut!
   Another cool and comfortable day so it was out early for a game of tennis. Then back to "chez moi" for coffee and a good old chat. It's great to be able to socialize again! FYI Susan and I won the first set 6-2, and Cathy and I were up 6-5 in the second when we decided to quit.

Kathy, Cathy and Susan.


 I made the strawberry rhubarb jam this afternoon and it turned out better than expected. I will try it on my toast tomorrow.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Pick Your Own

   ......strawberries, that is. That's where I headed today and now have half a dozen jars of strawberry jam in my larder. Tomorrow I will make a batch of strawberry rhubarb jam and a pie if I have enough.

This was half an hour's work.

This took a bit longer but well worth the effort. That's me set until next June!

   It was a cool breezy morning when I set off, so good picking weather. The strawberry farm is about 40 minutes away but things were a bit different this year. I had to book a time to pick and pay in advance so didn't get quite as many berries as I usually pick. 

   The berries weren't quite as big and luscious as in previous years, probably because it has been very dry here for several weeks. The field was surprisingly busy despite the restrictions so I think they were letting in a few people who hadn't booked. I was just glad to get it done and dusted for another year!



Saturday, 20 June 2020

None Too Smart

   Funny story. Now that I have a working pool heater, I invited the grandkids over for a swim today. Went out first thing to turn on the heater so it would be warm for them when they arrived. No luck, the darned thing wouldn't start up! Fiddled with the switch and the thermostat, but still nothing.

    Phoned the pool company, very indignant - why is this thing not working? It worked yesterday. Got a reply, "needs good pressure, check that baskets are clean (they were) and give it a backwash (done last Monday)". Still nothing.

 The family came over and I explained the problem. Daughter took one look at the dial and figured out I had turned the thermostat down instead of up. Problem solved. She has now declared herself a qualified pool technician. This to be added to veterinary assistant when she doctored a sick gecko lizard recently.  

   In my defense I have to say, on the old heater you turned the thermostst to the right to increade the temperature. On this one you turn it to the left! The kids went in regardless and the water was warm enough for the adults by lunch time.

A diving game. James (youngest) won.


Elliot expertly barbecuing hot dogs for lunch. It's not hard!

Treats afterwards while they dried off. It was too hot for me to sit in the sun.

Natalie choosing not to be photographed in her skimpy bikini.


Friday, 19 June 2020

A/C Definitely Needed Today!

   Too hot to spend too much time outdoors today, so spent the morning inside while the pool guys installed the new pool heater. Once it was up and working I called the grandkids and they are coming for a swim tomorrow.

   After lunch and a nap I did a little bit of hedge clipping, then had a swim (I was sweating buckets) and sat in the shade reading until I had dried off. Today's high was 30C. Watered the vegetable patch and a few of the other plants that were drooping in the heat. And that was my day!


The new heater - now I just have to figure out an enclosure for it and the other pool equipment.

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Weathering the Lockdown

   Another beautiful day here in southern Ontario - blue skies, pleasant temperatures and no humidity. I was up bright and early to pick up groceries during the seniors' time, came home, stripped off and had a shower before heading to the tennis courts. Don't want to pass on any germs to my friends!

   We are very careful about contact while playing although we have resorted to doubles play. Singles is just too exhausting. But there is hand sanitizer supplied after we play and so far we have all stayed healthy. It is just so nice to spend an hour or two in the fresh air, exercising with pleasant company. It almost feels like we are back to normal. Unfortunately Toronto is still having over 100 new infections a day so it will be a while until we are able to advance to Stage 2 of reopening.

   A lazy afternoon reading. I picked up a new book and a DVD at the library later this morning - "The Seagull" by Ann Cleves (a Vera Stanhope mystery) and the movie "Shadowlands". That should keep me occupied for a day or two. I also started a new puzzle - 1000 pieces - so no chance of being bored!

   The nights have been cool so the pool is still too cold for a dip. But we are promised hotter weather by the end of the week so I may be swimming again by then. The Bridge club met for a Zoom meeting today and it was comforting to hear how all are filling their days, much the same as I am. 



The garden is turning from blues and pinks....


...to yellows and oranges. The orange daylilies will be out in the next week or two.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Change in the Weather

   It's much cooler today so I had the oven on and made a fish pie. I also got out a puzzle as it was too windy to sit outside for too long. Last night we had strong winds and heavy rain but no damage as far as I could tell.

Before it went in the oven.....

…..and after. I love puff pastry! I will make sausage rolls tomorrow with the leftovers. Not much in the way of vegetables in it but I will have it with pickled beetroot.

    With all the recent rain everything is growing like crazy and I have filled all my bins with whatever couldn't go in the composter. They won't be emptied until next Wednesday so I am having a holiday from gardening!

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Another Hot One!

   I had a short walk early this morning before breakfast, after my workout, but spent the rest of the morning indoors as it was heating up fast. I had an afternoon pickup time at the library and was sweating by the time I got home so had a refreshing swim and watered the plants while I was still cool. The rest of the day was spent indoors. 

   Surprisingly the A/C hasn't kicked in yet (I have it set for 25C) but it wouldn't surprise me if it came on soon. It is 31C outside! A cold front is supposed to come through later tonight so tomorrow should be much cooler but also rainy. A good day to spend with my new library materials!

Tuesday, 9 June 2020

Trying to Stay Cool

   I spent most of today outdoors despite it being extremely hot. It started with an hour of tennis while it was still cool. Susan and I hit the courts at 8:00 a.m. Cut back some bushes, had a swim, repotted my violets, had a swim, watered the vegetables and, you guessed it, had another swim. But a nap was called for after lunch. A special lunch today - egg salad with basil from the garden, lettuce, cucumber, radish, red pepper, green onion and half an avocado, with a dash of lemon juice and a drizzle of EVO oil. Delicious!

    The main floor of the house has stayed remarkably cool but tonight may be a bit hot and sticky in the bedroom, being upstairs. I will open all the windows once the sun goes down and hope for a bit of a breeze.

   I spent quite a bit of the afternoon reading - another one from my shelf, "By Its Cover" by Donna Leon. I hadn't read it for a while (I love Commisario Brunetti) and couldn't remember the denoument so it kept me guessing. Tomorrow I have booked a time to pick up my holds from the library (curb side pick up and drop off only at the moment) so finally something new to read.


Looking a lot more comfortable in their bigger pot.


Sunday, 7 June 2020

Refreshing

   Beautiful day - hot but not humid. An hour of tennis this afternoon followed by a cold but refreshing swim. Due to the cool nights the pool is struggling to get above 74F. Luckily I don't mind plunging in, even at that temperature, after working in the garden or coming off the tennis courts. Mind you I don't stay in very long, just long enough to bring my body temperature back to normal levels.
Sun setting on the backyard pool. And just in case you should ask, no, I don't use the diving board, just swim decorously back and forth.

Friday, 5 June 2020

Asparagus

    My shopping day is now Thursdays as that is when seniors are given priority access to my local No Frills store. Unfortunately the time slot is 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. which means I go before I eat breakfast. This is fatal as I invariably buy things I don't really need. This week it was two different fancy cheeses which were both 50% off. I couldn't decide between them so took both!

   Also this week there was a special on asparagus. I do love asparagus but is is usually so expensive I feel guilty buying it. This week's price was too good to resist. However, now I have to eat asparagus with every meal and tomorrow I will even have it in my breakfast omelet. After that I will be sick of it until next Spring!

The fancy cheeses - one Brie and one Camembert.



The asparagus keeping moist along side a "living lettuce" with its roots still attached, on my kitchen counter.

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Doing Some Rereading

   The libraries are still not open and I am running out of reading material. Curb side pick up and drop off is supposed to start next week but you have to book a time, which is a pain. I have moved all my "holds" to a branch that has a curb (my home branch is in a mall so won't be opening) so hopefully I will get some books and videos soon.

   I have several books set in France that I have dug out. I read "The Olive Harvest" by Carol Drinkwater last week and today started "A Good Year" by Peter Mayle. Another book I plan to read again is "French Kisses", by George East, set in Normandy so a bit different from the first two which are set in the south of France. 



I have read most of his books but this is the only one I own. I might try to see if the library has a copy of the film based on it.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Experimenting With Sour Dough

   I made a sour dough starter yesterday intending to try out a new bread recipe today. The book recommended keeping it in a warm spot overnight and the oven with the light on was suggested as a suitable place.

   I went to use it today and it had exploded all over the oven! Well, not all over. The plastic cover had been pushed off, the sides of the jar were coated with dried on dough and there was a large pancake shape on the bottom of the oven. Obviously it needed to be in a bigger container.

   I managed to save about half a cup and added more flour, water and sugar (that, with yeast, is basically all it is) and returned it to the oven in a bigger jar. Luckily I checked it an hour later and it had almost filled the jar again! It seems to have a life of its own.

   Thought I'd better make a loaf in case it kept growing so used half of it and stored the rest in the fridge. That should discourage it from overflowing again. I made a garlic loaf so that at least will be tasty. More tomorrow.

Monday, 1 June 2020

The Merry Month of June

   Another beautiful day, blue skies, a slight breeze and reasonable temperatures. The pool guys were here today for the first chemical check and vacuuming. The pool looks great but, unfortunately, the water is still too cold for swimming. My new pool heater is coming on June 19th and not a day too soon!

   The days are zipping past - can't believe it is June already! My big complaint is that my local library is still not open. I have books and videos waiting for me but since it is in a mall it still must stay closed. Other branches facing onto a street are open for curbside pick ups and returns. I might try to have my "holds" transferred to one of them.

   Good news today - my tax return has been approved and I will get my refund very soon. Of course, they may look at it again once the bulk of returns have been processed but by then I will have spent the money! It will almost cover the cost of the new pool heater.