Thursday 30 July 2020

Up and Working

   The pool guys (different guys today) came with the new pump not long after I got home from tennis. In fact I had time for a quick dip before they arrived. They had it installed and working lickety split and so one less worry plus the water is still in good shape.
    The new pump allows for programming the speed and I have it set to run more slowly overnight. Two advantages to that - with the old pump I switched it off every evening and on again in the morning which was a pain. But now I will just let it chug away. Also the slower rate should use less power, supposed to pay for itself over time. We shall see!

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Stops and Starts

   The pool is still blue (not the dreaded green) and the grandkids came and churned up the water to distribute yesterday's doze of shock. I don't think I will put in any more as it does tend to cause an imbalance of chemicals. The pool guys will be here tomorrow to install the new pump. I am going with a "variable speed" pump which is a bit more expensive but (supposedly) uses less power, so long term savings. We shall see!

   I opened a can of paint this afternoon to do some touch-up jobs, but the family arrived just as I was about to start. Once they were gone (5-ish, Judy spent half-an-hour looking for her car keys) the notion had left me so I will postpone until tomorrow.

Tuesday 28 July 2020

An Eventful Day

   It started with a shocker. My pool pump seems to have died! On the phone to the pool guys before I headed out for tennis and left a frantic message.

   After tennis - it wasn't too hot and we managed two sets - I heard back from the pool company and they will come on Thursday to fix/replace it. Meanwhile I have to dose the pool with "Shock" to keep it from turning green. The phone call was fortuitous timing as Cathy had invited us for coffee and treats after tennis so that's where I headed after and how I spent the rest of the morning. 

This one I took. Cathy's husband joined us. Left to right, Susan, Cathy, Frank and Kathy.
The usual suspects. Frank took this one. They have a very shady patio.

Cathy is still without a car (it's in Florida - long story) so I drove her to the local florists for a flower arrangement - a "hostess" gift for a friend. She has been biking to tennis for the last month!

   The afternoon was uneventful until I started to check messages. Then the power went out and didn't come back until 9:00 p.m. I fixed a salad dinner, read my book and then, when it got too dark to read, went for a walk. It keeps cutting out for moments but hopefully it is finally fixed. At least I have been able to check my mail and watch TV.

Sunday 26 July 2020

From the Garden

   I picked my first tomato today and had it in a sandwich. Absolutely sublime! It wasn't very big (none so far are looking to be big) but it gave me three slices.

   Other than that I have only had some basil and a few raspberries to snack on. The rosemary is looking good and I should get some new potatoes in a week or two as they have all flowered and are now drooping. Still very hot and no rain.

Friday 24 July 2020

An Unexpected Announcement

   Sad news today. Son and Daughter-in-law have decided to move to Victoria on Vancouver Island sometime in the future. I think it is about 6,000kms. from here. Whether it comes to pass will depend on several factors - work availability, accommodation, selling their present house and finding somewhere to live there. All her family are there, they have been thinking about it for a while and I will be disappointed but not so much as if they had children. That's a long way to go to see your grandkids! Perhaps it means I might be able to visit there from time to time. It's a wonderful city and the weather is more temperate than here in the eastern zone. The five time zones of Canada are Atlantic, Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific. I have been very lucky to have all the family relatively close by up until now.

   It has been a hot, sunny day and the family came over for a swim and lunch. Judy brought food again so it was a treat for me not to have to prepare anything. Although I did make a salad and devilled eggs which are a favourite of the kids. There was leftover salad which I will have with leftover Mediterranean chicken for dinner soon.

Wednesday 22 July 2020

Relief From the Heat

   Nothing to report today as it has been rainy most of the day. It's starting to brighten up now and not cold. The grass is still very brown but I don't think we got enough rain to bring it back just yet. At least I haven't had to cut it in weeks!

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Dragging a Bit Today

More tennis today and not nearly as hot but still quite humid. We managed two sets then Susan and I came back to my place for coffee and set the world to rights.

    Just after Susan left Judy called to say they were dropping by. I had my doubts about swimming but two of the grands were in the pool within minutes of arriving. Judy brought lunch so we had it "al fresco" around the patio table.

   I needed a nap after they left as I had not slept well last night. Still tired so I think it will be an early night!

Sunday 19 July 2020

Totally Exhausted

   An hour and a half on the tennis court this morning and I was completely beat when we decided to stop - we all were! In fact, when we got to 5-5 in the second set we agreed to make the next game the decider. Otherwise we might have gone to 6-6 and have had to play a tie-breaker. None of us wanted to do that.

   It has been decided by the powers that be that we may now play doubles so that's a relief. Since getting home I have been feeling a bit squeamish so may have a bit of heat stroke. Not surprising as it was in the high 20's right from first thing, and very humid. I spent the afternoon napping.

   A bit of an adventure in the kitchen today - I made a Pesto sourdough loaf and it turned out brilliantly! The sourdough starter could have done with fermenting a bit longer but did give the bread a nice tangy taste. Also I was able to use my own pesto sauce. I think I have worked out the kinks from the last unsuccessful attempt, so will definitely make it again. I have "fed" the starter so it will be good for another loaf or two.

Saturday 18 July 2020

So Hot!

    It is 6:00 p.m. and still 32C here (according to my news feed) and not likely to cool off much overnight. I haven't ventured out much today and definitely haven't been working in the garden, other than watering the plants. 

   This current heat wave is very debilitating, and has made me very lethargic. At least I have A/C although, set at 25C, it doesn't feel entirely comfortable - at least until you step outside! Then you can really feel the difference. I think I will have to leave it running all night. Hate to think what my electricity bill will be like for this month.

Thursday 16 July 2020

Eating Well for Less

    Another cool-ish day (just 26C) but quite humid. We were on the courts for almost two hours but part of that was taken up with arguing with another member because we weren't abiding by the COVID rules. No doubles allowed!!

   Yesterday's dinner required half a can of artichoke hearts (Mediterranean chicken and it was delicious) so, today, I came up with a way to use up the rest of the can. It was also delicious and I scoffed the lot on toasted crostini slices. As well as the artichokes, it had garlic, mayo, lemon juice and a generous amount of grated parmesan. Then baked for 20 minutes. Two good meals from just one can.

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Sunny but Cool

    The pool was only 74F this morning but I had a couple of dips anyway - once after tennis (so nice to play in comfortable temperatures) and again after gardening. Cathy invited us over for coffee after tennis and we didn't get home until almost lunch time. A lovely way to spend the morning.

   Since coming home I have been having dizzy spells today (every time I bend over to pull up a weed) but managed to clip the tomatoes of all their excess branches. Only a few tomatoes so far, green and rather small, but hopefully they will grow a bit more as they ripen. I managed to fill two bins of garden refuse for pickup tomorrow.

   I finished my latest Anne Cleves book today - now what will I read? Luckily a still have a couple of DVDs to watch and will check out my bookshelf for something worth rereading. Time to fix dinner and see what's on TV tonight.

    A couple of hawks entertained us at the tennis courts this morning and Susan caught them on camera.

Sunday 12 July 2020

Mix of Clouds, Showers and Sun

   Some plants have survived the heat wave with frequent applications of water.

Echinacea just beginning to flower.

Two different basils still plentiful despite yesterday's clipping.

Phlox, day lilies and Bee Balm in a shady part of the garden.

Saturday 11 July 2020

Change in the Weather

   An overcast morning and much cooler. We had rain on and off most of the morning but really not enough to bring back the lawn and the wilting plants. But it is such a relief after the intense heat of the last week! I have all the windows open to catch whatever breeze happens to be passing.

   A quiet day for me - just one trip to the library to pick up an Anne Cleves book. So grateful that the library is once again up and running although we have to order online and pickup at the curb. Now I have some DVDs to watch if there's nothing on TV. Tonight it is the first season of a series recommended to me, "Marcella", and it looks pretty good. 

    I made a batch of pesto this afternoon, not sure what I will use it for but it will keep for a while in the fridge. I used the garlic scapes I trimmed recently and lots of basil (my basil is growing like crazy this year!). A crushed garlic clove, my best olive oil and some parmesan cheese completed the recipe. It does smell wonderfully aromatic!

Friday 10 July 2020

More Fun Times in the Pool

    Today's high was 34C and the pool has stayed at 84F (around 30C) for the last few days. So everyone was in today, several times, just to stay comfortable. 

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Adhering to the Directive

   A new edict for our city - masks must be worn in all indoor spaces (stores, malls, offices etc.). I am happy to comply as I feel safer when masked. Of course, there are those who make a bit of a fuss and claim their civil liberties are being enfringed upon, but they are a noisy minority. General concensus is that this is the way to go, thankfully!

   Still extremely hot here but we will be out early tomorrow for a game of tennis. I nearly expired on Tuesday even though we started at 8:00 a.m. and I think tomorrow's high is to be 34C! It is worth it just to get out and socialize (at a distance) with friends.

   The grandkids came over yesterday and had a grand time in the pool while Judy and I chatted in the shade. She did go in later. It must have been hot as she isn't a big fan of cold water and usually sits on the side lines. They will be back on Friday and we will have a BBQ lunch after their swim. Fun times!

Friday 3 July 2020

Two Delights in my Garden

   Highlight of my day - I spotted a pair of Goldfinches in my bird bath! Too bad I don't have a telephoto lens on my camera. They were just too small and far away for a photo.  Like the Cardinals they seem to travel in pairs. They flitted about for a few minutes then took off for better feeding grounds.

   A new addition to my garden this year is this Clematis, "The President", a beautiful shade. I have tried clematis before but with little success - mostly foliage but few flowers. This one is in a different spot so I am hoping for better luck with it. The big question will be whether it survives the winter. I will cut it back in the Fall and protect it with compost. That should do the trick.

Thursday 2 July 2020

What a Scorcher!

   It was brutally hot on the tennis courts this morning. I only managed to last until 9:30 although the other three stayed on to play Australian singles after I left.

   Since then I have been cowering indoors except for an hour later in the afternoon, sitting in the shade reading. I also watered the garden while my swimsuit was still wet but it didn`t take long to dry. The heat wave continues!

   P.S (10:00 p.m.)  I have turned off the air conditioning for the night but I won`t open any windows as I normally do as I am sure the outside temperature is still higher than indoors.

Wednesday 1 July 2020

Canada Day

   I spent a very subdued holiday with me, myself and I for a change. Too hot to do much but I did walk down to the drug store (the only place open) wearing my mask - it was very busy but no lineup.

   We are in for several very hot days so I will hunkering down at home until it cools off a bit. Luckily I have a very good book, "Blue Horizon" by Wilbur Smith so I won't be bored.

It looks like tomorrow will be the worst day but only marginally better for the rest of the weekend. We will be playing tennis early (i.e. 8:00 a.m.) if at all.