Sunday 30 August 2020

Summer Winding Down

    Kathy brought a big bag of tomatoes from her garden to tennis this morning so I am cooking a big pot of tomato sauce for the freezer. Fortunately I am between crops - the first glut of tomatoes are all consumed in one way or the other and I have another load that are still green or just beginning to turn orange.

   I dug up another potato plant last week and got half a dozen reasonably sized potatoes, so will boil up some of them for dinner tonight to have with chicken. One last little painting job was about all I did today.

   Son and DIL are coming for a short stay tomorrow (with two cats and a dog) while their house is being renovated. Not sure how long they will be here but I'm sure we will get on fine. I hope Alison likes to cook! They are both working from home so won't be underfoot too much. I will just keep on with my usual routines and they can work around that. 

   A lovely day today but I didn't get in the pool as it has cooled off quite a bit. Only two more weeks until it is closed for the year, Boo hoo!

Friday 28 August 2020

A Rose by Any Other Name....

   Cooler again today but sunny, so perfect gardening weather. It has become quite overcast but no rain in the forecast.

   Spotted in my garden today. Can't seem to figure out how to delete one of the photos. Perhaps someone can help me! 

    Just had lots of fun watching WindowSwap., courtesy of Anne Green (No Hat, No Gloves) Try it and tell me your favourite. Mine was Maseen and Mona's window in Tehran, Iran.

Thursday 27 August 2020

Onward and Upward!

    Cooler yesterday but hot again today. We had a considerable amount of rain overnight so today was incredibly humid. I came home from tennis basically soaking! It has become quite breezy in the last hour or so - that might clear out the humidity.

   The grandkids were over yesterday and kept me busy keeping them out of mischief. At one point we walked over to my local park to pick crab apples. The trees were loaded with fruit but most of it out of reach. Judy will make crab apple jelly if there is enough fruit.

   Not much to report today. I have put aside the Hillary Mantel book as I got a new Kate Atkinson book from the library, so I spent the afternoon getting into it. It's called "One Good Turn" and is an early Jackson Brodie mystery. I saw the movie version on TV recently but the book is quite a bit different. So, no reason to be bored when I have a couple of good books on hand!

There were a few spots of rain while we were playing tennis so Kathy got out her umbrella. Hard to hit the ball with only one hand free!

Sunday 23 August 2020

Another Scorcher

    Apart from my tennis game this morning, I have basically stayed indoors as we reached 31C again today. The pool has warmed up again to almost 80C without having to use the heater so I'm happy about that. I was in three times just to cool off and bring my body temperature back to normal.

    We started tennis at 8:00 a.m. but within minutes it was already too hot. We played two sets (split again so everyone was a winner!) but I was exhausted and shaky by the time we stopped. Cathy had us over for coffee afterwards and Susan brought delicious scones with jam and cream. Not a bad way to pass the morning.

    Now, by 6:30, I have finally recovered. I spent the afternoon watching tennis from the U.S (the Canadian lost) and reading my current book, "The Mirror and the Light" by Hillary Mantel. It is almost 900 pages but quite riveting! The third book in a trilogy; it will keep me occupied for some time.

Friday 21 August 2020

Nattering Along

    The heat is back - high of 29C today - and lovely blue skies with just a few fluffy clouds to give a bit of relief from time to time. I carried on with the painting - the  garage back door this time - and still have a little bit of paint left so I will look around for one other job to do. Then I will start with some black paint for the railings and other front porch accents. That should be it for this year. Now that I have written it, I will have to follow through!

   Things are still very undecided here about the return of school. Today it was announced that the kids will have an extra week and start the fall term on September 14. Some will be back full time. Others, half days and online learning for the other half, and classes will be smaller. Masks will be worn by all but the youngest - we'll see how that works out! I feel for the teachers who will probably be the recipients of complaints from parents and hassles from the administration. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place! I am so glad to be out of it.

   Still trying to stay ahead of the tomato glut, plus one of my tennis friends has been bringing us contributions from her garden. This week it is yellow beans. I like them but will have to eat them every day for a week!

Tuesday 18 August 2020


    I was out this afternoon doing a little paint touch up on my porch and I felt cold for the first time since early June. Admittedly I was only in a T-shirt and shorts but I had to go in and put on a sweater and long pants. I just hope this is not a permanent change in the weather. It was warm enough in the sun and we had mostly blue skies.

   Tennis this morning; one set each so a happy outcome all round and we were allowed to stay on court past our allotted time. I have decided I really like to be able to book a court rather than just show up and hope one is free.

    Other than my paint job which took about one and a half hours, I cut both the front and back lawns. Also pulled some more weeds and picked a couple of tomatoes. And that¨s my day!

Monday 17 August 2020

Hijinks in the Pool

    Quite a change in the weather. We have had fairly heavy rain in the last two days and today the temperature is down and the humidity is gone.

   I managed a bit of gardening this morning but was caught out by a downpour just as I was about to cut the grass. It`s useless trying to cut it when it is wet so that chore will have to wait for another day. Instead I baked a cake!

   It was still hot last Friday so the grandkids came over for a swim. They had spent some time at the zoo and were very hot and sweaty. Even Judy got in the water to cool off!

    As the nights are getting cooler (yesterday was only 14C overnight) This may be the end of their summer of fun. Once the water starts seriously dropping in temperature overnight I am reluctant to use the heater. I will continue to swim until it gets unbearably cold!

Thursday 13 August 2020

Keeping Busy

    The guys came today to measure for my new windows. Another cost. Seemingly the existing windows were a botched job with shims added to fill a gap so, an added expense. Hey ho, nobody said it would be a simple straightforward job! Some extra dollars added to an over extended budget.

   Tennis this morning then the ladies over for coffee. That filled the morning. Reading in the afternoon, my new Ann Cleeves book. It's set in Devon so a bit of a change from her usual locations of Shetland and Tyneside. I have ordered another Kate Atkinson novel featuring Jackson Brodie, her rather unconventional private detective. 

   Still hot, 29C, so I had several dips in the pool. No gardening today. Had bruschetta for my lunch, so used up another couple of tomatoes. So good!

Monday 10 August 2020

The Inevitable Glut

    A scorcher today - high of 31C but the humidex (how hot the humidity makes it feel) was 41C! I was in the pool three times just trying to stay cool. No gardening until it cools off a bit.

   Tomatoes coming in thick and fast. I have picked half a dozen in the last few days and will have to get them eaten before the next crop are ready. Maybe some will have to be cooked and put in the freezer. I much prefer to eat the ones from the garden raw, in salads or bruschetta, but if needs must I will make a tomato sauce to use in the winter when the tomatoes in the stores are tasteless and expensive.

Saturday 8 August 2020

Not Careful Enough

    I spent almost two hours today listening to a presentation on replacement windows from a very nice rep. Unfortunately, half way through his spiel I realized it is an American company (recommended by a friend) and I had vowed to "buy Canadian" from now on!

   I did order the windows (couldn't not after the effort he had made into convincing me they were the best product) but, half an hour after putting down a substantial deposit, I realized I hadn't checked with him whether it is in American or Canadian dollars! The exchange rate is pretty bad at the moment and if it is U.S. dollars it will be 25% more. Mea culpa. I am only having two windows replaced so it could have been worse.

Thursday 6 August 2020

All's Right With My World

   We got in our two sets of tennis this morning and it was sunny but not too hot. The courts were busy what with Junior lessons on one court and people waiting for the changeover time. We actually managed to stay on for 90 minutes before being "bumped". 

    Susan came back here for coffee and a chat (and, I admit, several cookies). The pool pump was acting up and I phoned for a service call, only to figure out what was wrong shortly after. It's still not working perfectly but I certainly don't want to have to pay for service if not needed so I cancelled the call. Let's hope it keeps working until the guys come for the chemical check and cleaning on Monday.

   Enjoying my current book, another Shetland crime mystery by Anne Cleves. It's her most recent, and supposedly last, set in Shetland and is titled "Wild Fire". I still have several of her previous ones to read so, no shortage of reading materials.

Tuesday 4 August 2020

Filling My Days

    Still rainy today - second day we have missed tennis. Our usual days are Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday so we have our fingers crossed for at east one day this week.

   The pool guys were here today but I missed them which was unfortunate as I needed to talk to them. Since the new pump was installed, air has been getting into the circulation system, which isn't good. I guess I will have to wait until next week. 

   Since it was too wet to do much outside I was busy with indooor chores again. Over the weekend I painted some outdoor screens and shutters. With the leftover paint I got going on some touch up spots inside. That took me until noon. After lunch and a nap I made some pesto (my basil is doing really well this year) which will keep for a while. Then I stewed some dried fruit in wine and spices, a very tasty dessert after dinner tonight! I got the recipe from the Francis Mayes book I am currently reading, "Bella Tuscany". I've used her recipes before.

    It's amazing how the days go by. I am just happy I can keep myself busy.

Monday 3 August 2020

Torrential Rain...Finally

   Last month was the driest July on record here in Southern Ontario but yesterday made up for the drought in spades. We had 33 mm which wasn't a record but very close to it. My pool is filled up to the top of the skimmer and we are due for some more in the next couple of days. Today more of the same although not the quantity we saw yesterday. There was the almightiest clap of thunder outside my window just now but I saw the flash of lightning so not a direct hit.

   I did manage to get a bit of gardening done between showers today - cut the back grass, trimmed border edges and cleared a bunch of day lilies. The grass is still very brown but should improve in a day or two.

   In the kitchen. Since it is considerably cooler today, I got a loaf in the bread machine and made a batch of sugar cookies. Now I am  all stocked up for visitors, should they show up at my door. I haven't spoken to anyone since Friday afternoon!

Saturday 1 August 2020

Digging For Dinner

     I dug up two potato plants this afternoon and each had one potato. Rather a meager haul but enough for my evening meal. I have decided to just dig them up as I need them, I don't eat potatoes very often but tonight I will make a potato salad.

My hibiscus has produced two blooms simultaneously and there's another bud almost ready to open. This hasn't happened before - usually I only get one bloom at a time. Must have been feeding it better this summer!