Friday 31 December 2021


    In Scotland Hogmanay, New Year's Eve, is actually a bigger celebration than Christmas - at least it was when I lived there 50+ years ago! People went from house to house after midnight with a bottle of whiskey to toast the new year with friends and family.

   There are several other customs linked to Hogmanay but the one I am most aware of was the "First Foot". This was the first person to enter your house in the new year. It had to be a tall dark-haired stranger. This  dates back to the time of Viking raids as Scandanavian invaders usually had fair skin and hair. So it was safe to allow the dark-haired visitor into your home. 

Getting ready to welcome in the New Year with some bubbly! Prosecco and orange juice.

   I probably won't manage to stay awake until midnight but my hope for 2022 is that it is a massive improvement on 2021!

Monday 27 December 2021

A Bit of a Letdown

    Weather not cooperating today. I haven't been out since last Friday but, luckily, have plenty to keep me busy indoors. Today is strong winds and snow squalls, and the forecast is for freezing drizzle overnight, Yuk!

   The last of the Christmas meal will soon either be eaten or tucked away in the freezer and that includes the soup I made yesterday. Time for something different and it may well be vegetarian. You can only eat so much meat before the stomach requires a rest. I think there may be a couple of mince tarts calling my name later this evening but that's it!

   The decorations are starting to come down but I am interspersing it with reading or working on a puzzle. There's no rush and the tree will stay up until the new year. I love its sparkly brightness! 

Sunday 26 December 2021

My New Toy

   Despite no working oven, Christmas lunch went without a hitch. Daughter cooked the roast tatties and capon (I'm not a fan of turkey) to perfection, and they transported from her house successfully. Gifts were exchanged and here's my new toy from them.

An Instapot - really a high tech pressure cooker but nothing like your mother's version.

   I have given it a trial run and am ready for something more adventurous. Maybe after I have finished eating all the leftovers. Today I cleaned up, stripped the bird and made stock from the carcass so won't need to cook again for the rest of the week. Even though I sent lots home with the visitors, there's still a ton of food to eat up. Nothing wrong with that IMHO!


Friday 24 December 2021

Merry Christmas!

 And a gift to all my blog followers. Enjoy!

Can't believe they delivered this with barely a single smile or grin!

Thursday 23 December 2021

An Early Christmas Gift myself! I couldn't resist when I was shopping at the liquor store today. It's something I looked for last Christmas but couldn't find so this was my lucky day! Naturally, I have already sampled it, after all it's only two days early. It is seriously yummy!!

It's not a very clear photo but the flavour is salted caramel!

Wednesday 22 December 2021

The Last Dance

    We had our last dance night of 2021 on Monday and it was a relaxed evening with dances we mostly knew so just needed a quick review. We did 7 dances and I was gasping by the end - not the only one either! Usually we have a party with food but not able to do so this year because of Covid but it was a fun night.

   Here's my favourite of the dances we did - quite an unusual formation. Each couple dances once from each position in the set. Once again, not us!

Sunday 19 December 2021

And So It Begins......

    Although we had snow earlier this month, it didn't stick around. However, yesterday's snow may be here to stay. In other words it may last until March or April with more loads added along the way! At least I can put away my lawn mower for the next 3 or 4 months.

   See my trusty snow shovel! I do have a small snowblower but only use it for major snow falls.

  The city sends round a little snowplow that clears the sidewalk but the driveways are left to the home owners. It took me just under an hour to get my car cleaned off and the driveway cleared and that was my exercise for the day. I did it early to take advantage of the sun to dry off the paved areas. It was rather chilly (-10C) and I worked until my hands were icicles then went in to warm up before going back out to finish the job.

   There wasn't enough snow for the big snowplows to come around to clear the street which meant no windrow across the end of my driveway - a bonus, for sure as it tends to turn to ice and weigh a ton!

Saturday 18 December 2021

Finally Socializing

    Thought I'd better check in - it's been a while!

   Thursday was the Probus Club Christmas lunch and although the meal was a bit disappointing and expensive, it was lovely to see so many familiar faces. I won't complain about my other social group's lunches ever again (when and if we get to return to them) as they are far superior and quite a bit less in price. We were rather a small group of about 30 (usually over 100) as many were nervous about mixing. However, I had a lovely chat with the ladies at my table and left much cheered. We are heading into increased safety measures starting on Monday so we just sneaked in ahead of restrictions in numbers.

   Got my booster shot yesterday without too much trouble and no side effects except I had a rather long nap this afternoon - it may not be related but that's my excuse for being lazy!

   Snow today and quite a lot of it so I didn't go anywhere. It's still coming down but I shoveled a bit (just so it's less to do tomorrow). I have started making lists of things to do between now and the 25th., mostly involving sprucing up the house for visitors, even though it's just family. I even got out a few Christmas decorations although the grands are going to decorate my tree when they come over for lunch.

   My favourite Christmas song from the movie "Love Actually". Hope you like it.

Saturday 11 December 2021

Hold Onto Your Hats!

   Very strong winds here today - just praying my roof stays on as I have already had to have parts of it replaced this year. I can hear the wind buffeting stuff outside and it's set to continue overnight.

   While I was out running errands today I had to be careful when getting out of the car as the wind would grab the door out of my hands, that's how strong it was. Tomorrow will be interesting to see what has been blown around the neighborhood. Fingers crossed there is no serious damage but there have been tornados down south in the States, part of the same weather system.

Friday 10 December 2021

This and That

    At a loose end this afternoon so decided to tidy out the closet in my office. That turned out to be a bigger job than I could possibly have imagined and, after filling three garbage bags, I abandoned it for another day. Who knew I had accumulated so much of what can only be described as rubbish? I tend to shove things in and close the door, always a mistake!

The mess in my office - and that's just half of what was in the closet!

    I continue to investigate vegetarian options and this week I found a reduced package of veggie burgers. I have used two so far - the first I ate as a filling for a wrap but even with a healthy dollop of brown sauce and some salsa, it was a bit dry. Next day I crumbled another and added it to spaghetti sauce - that was much better and made two satisfying meals with the addition of more vegetables. I probably won't buy it again as, even with the reduced price, it was more expensive than ground meat. I guess you get what you pay for!

It did have quite a nice spicy taste and the texture was "OK".
 something I have found disagreeable with other products.

Tuesday 7 December 2021

Cauld Kail (Cold Cabbage)

    Another couple of new dances last night - I think Nigel is determined to knock us into shape before we take a break for the holidays. I was so tired by the time I got home, but my legs were throbbing so I had trouble falling asleep. I think I am still rather out of shape after the long time away from dancing. This was one of the new dances we learned.

   Not us again, we just had ten brave souls as it was a miserable windy night. This dance, "Cauld Kail" is interesting as it has a change of tempo to make it a medley. First a Strathspey, then a Reel. No idea how it got its name!

Sunday 5 December 2021

A Quiet Sunday

    Got my overseas Christmas cards written today and will get them in the mail tomorrow. Each year it seems that there are one or two less to send and I am always expecting some may be returned as most of my relatives are getting on in years. 

   Other than that it has been a quiet day, too miserable to get outdoors so I have contented myself with finishing my most recent jigsaw puzzle. It was very satisfying to get that last piece in place!

It is from a collection of Indigenous art and was quite challenging!

Saturday 4 December 2021

Festive Special

    Visiting Swiss Chalet for the Festive Special is a Christmas tradition chez nous. We were rather earlier in the season than usual but met last night at our local restaurant. Great fun was had by all as well as a delicious meal and still time for a second visit later in the month. In a way it was rather bitter sweet as we were just 6 instead of 8, but this is our new normal since my son and his wife departed for the west coast. Perhaps we can persuade them to make the trip east next year!