Sunday 27 February 2022

Two Tasty Meals

   I have become very bored with my own cooking during the pandemic and have been desperately trying to "up the ante" on meals recently. One day I made a lasagna using broiled eggplant instead of the noodles. Another good meal was a cabbage casserole, like cabbage rolls but much easier. I did make cabbage rolls too as the cabbage went on forever!

    Yesterday I had some Air Miles points to use so decided to splurge on scallops. They are an awful price here (I got four big ones for just under $10) as we are so far from the ocean, but my points covered that. Everything else I had in the house so it wasn't an expensive meal but Oh, so good! 

    I seared the scallops in butter, then cooked some green onions, mushrooms and red pepper in the remaining butter. Then I made a cheese sauce and returned the scallops and vegetables to the pan to cook a bit more. A final sprinkle of cheese on top and some green beans on the side made it all delicious and a very nice change. That was meal#1.

   There was quite a bit of cheese sauce left over (I always make too much) so I saved it and, this morning, made Eggs Benedict for breakfast. What a treat that was with orange juice and coffee. I skipped the slice of ham and just had it on toast but have to say it was delicious.  That was meal #2. Tonight is just some leftovers from the freezer as I have had quite enough treats for this weekend.

Thursday 24 February 2022

A Shock!

     I usually grocery shop on a Tuesday but was feeling a bit under the weather earlier week so put it off and went today instead. What a mistake! The place was just full of people - and this was at 8:15 a.m. - and even though it didn't take me any longer to fill my cart, I had a horrendous wait to check out. Usually I'm in and out in around half an hour but it was almost an hour this time. Never again!

  Seemingly there are some special discounts on Thursdays (I didn't see any) which is why it was so busy. I am so used to just walking straight up to the cashier early in the morning - I guess I'm spoiled! 

    Making yogurt overnight tonight in my Instapot. Yum!

Sunday 20 February 2022

Staying Pretty Isolated

    Daughter and oldest grandson came by today, ostensibly so he could clear my driveway of snow. I could have done it myself as it wasn't a big snowfall this time, but left it for him to do.

   They are my first visitors of the year (except for the appliance repair man) and I'm not expecting anyone else any time soon. I will be at their house in March for grandson's birthday and they will come here on Easter for our traditional leg of lamb meal. I see that isn't until April so maybe I will have someone else drop by before then. Meanwhile I am quite happy with my own company and will be even happier once the weather allows me to get out more,

   I did forget daughter came by in January with dinner for Robbie Burns birthday so this is actually my second visit in 2022. She didn't stay long as she was on her way home from work but we had time for a brief chat over coffee.

   So, at the moment, it is quite a solitary life chez moi. I'm hoping the fitness classes at the Senior's Centre will start up again in March and the number of infections and hospitalizations are going down. Dare I say "The end is in sight"? This feels like tempting providence - I read that Covid is rampant in deer populations, so who knows if another mutated version of Covid is lurking somewhere! 

Friday 18 February 2022

Here We Go Again!

    This is what greeted me when I opened the front door this morning!

   Seemingly we got about 20 cms.  of snow. First I cleared the drive with the snowblower, then I shoveled the pathways. It was pretty cold to begin with (-12C) but I warmed up as I worked. The sun helped too and melted some icy spots. It got up to -3C later in the day so I went back out and tidied some parts I'd missed. All in all an energetic day!

From my kitchen window - the snow has pretty much dropped off the branches by now.

The pool is under there somewhere. The cover is really sagging with the weight of the snow. I hope it survives until the Spring melt!

Sunday 13 February 2022

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

  .....which is why I clean the bathrooms on a Sunday! This was a famous motto of my mother. Although I believe in adhering to Christian values, I am not even slightly religious so a Sunday doing cleaning chores suits me fine. While putting away the cleaning supplies I noticed that the laundry room floor was a bit grubby so that got done as well. All in all, pretty pleased with my progress with the big Spring cleanup.

    It was too cold and icy underfoot for a walk today. I almost fell taking the garbage out as the rain last week on top of snow followed by a snap freeze created an ice rink of the paths I dug earlier. I did walk yesterday but had to keep my eyes down to make sure I avoided the icy patches on the sidewalks.

   Right now I am watching tennis - a tournament in Rotterdam with a Canadian, Felix A-A, in the final. So far he is doing well, up a break, but it is early days. Then more Olympics later on. I am really enjoying the speed skating, the ski and snowboard events, and any other sport that has a Canadian presence. Not a big fan of curling or ice hockey, though! I will skip those.

Tuesday 8 February 2022

Dance Scottish

    I know I promised not to bore my followers with any more dance videos, but we learned an interesting one last night which I thought you might enjoy hearing about.

   The dance is called "The Royal Deeside Railway" and it was part of a program designed by Nigel, our teacher, celebrating Queen Elizabeth's 70th Ascension Day. All the dances we did had something to do with the Royal Family as the Queen is the patron of RSCDS (hence the Royal in the organizations name). Seemingly there would often be ceilidhs at Balmoral while the Queen was in residence.

    The Deeside railway line was inaugurated in Queen Victoria's time and the dance dates from then. The railway wasn't used as much by subsequent monarchs and was finally decommissioned in the 1960's. In the video see if you can identify the connection to a train - the wheels of the locomotive, the engine being followed by the carriage, for instance.

   Hope you enjoyed this. We certainly enjoyed learning and dancing it!

Monday 7 February 2022

Still Digging Out

    It was a little milder today so I spent an hour scraping ice off my driveway and digging a circuitous route to the composter. It was hard work but I kept warm, even my fingers. Now my shoulders are aching but in a pleasant way. When I got tired I cleared the snow off the deck chair and sat for a while to get my breath back. The sun felt quite warm on my face!

I think the piles may have shrunk slightly but it's still a lot of snow!

This is the path I dug from the garage to the house and back yard.

Continuing around to the walkout which is intermittently frozen shut so I haven't been using it.
 The pool is under the snow to the left.

And finally to the composter - it's a bit of a trek but worth it for the glorious compost I will get next fall! I still have to put my boots on as I just dug through the deeper drifts.

   I hope you find this interesting. As you can probably tell, it will be some time until we see any signs of Spring although, once it starts to melt, it goes quite quickly. At least I won't be having to mow the lawn any time soon!

Friday 4 February 2022

At Long Last

    Picked up a new book at the library yesterday and I am already well into it. It's the latest in the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldon and I  have been waiting for it for several months. If you haven't read any (this is the ninth in the series) or seen the TV dramatization, you need to start with the first one and read them in order which I have done over many years. Each one is mammoth  (this one 880 pages!) and take her several years to write as they are meticulously researched. But I'm sure it will definitely be worth the wait.

    Today was a good day to get stuck into a new book. We are back into frigid weather and all I did today was shovel and snow blow. We didn't get as much snow as forecast but I still had to stop several times to defrost my hands. As I get older I seem to be more prone to getting completely numb fingers no matter how warm my gloves - the worst part is thawing them out as that can be quite painful. Luckily the rest of me stays quite warm when I am shoveling. It should warm up a bit by Sunday.

Wednesday 2 February 2022

Groundhog Day

     Today, the temperature has been above zero for the first time since December and what a lift it gives to the spirits! Despite being drizzly and dull I really relished an almost intoxicating lift to my mood. It is merely a short reprieve but very welcome! Wiarton Willie (our local groundhog) definitely didn't see his shadow today which means we will have an early Spring - let's hope he's right.

    On Monday I managed an abbreviated workout as I was still not 100%, but today I did the whole shebang (aerobics, abdominals and weights) and felt much better for it. Then later in the morning I walked for about 40 mins. (despite the drizzle, it was actually quite refreshing). Things are definitely looking up!

   We are headed for another big dump of snow overnight so it was even more important to have today's milder temperatures. It shouldn't be quite as much as last month but will be enough to give me a bit of a workout shoveling. I will boost the battery of the snowblower just in case it is a bit more than I can handle with the shovel.