Wednesday 29 June 2022

Strawberry Fields Forever

    Last day to get to the Pick-Your-Own strawberries before school is out so I booked an early slot for this morning. Unfortunately rain was forecast and I was lucky to get half my basket filled before it began to drizzle. I managed to (mostly) fill my basket before it changed to a heavy downpour - I could have squeezed in a few more berries but decided to sprint to the car instead! 

    The farm is quite a ways out of the city and has a market as well so I popped in for a bag of new potatoes and some of their fabulous butter tarts. I stopped off at a coffee shop on the way home and ate one of the tarts with a big cup of decaf. My treat for enduring the damp conditions. Then picked up extra sugar for making jam.

    The berries were quite big and juicy but I was disappointed that the basket was smaller than last year - and cost more! I will just make one batch of jam, strawberry rhubarb this year - I still have several jars from last summer - and eat the rest. A strawberry rhubarb crumble is on my list of ways to use them up.

     I got quite soaked running a few more errands on the way home (trying to conserve fuel by doing everything in one trip) but once I was dried off and changed into dry clothes I got cracking on the jam making. Here's the result.

   I was surprised how many jars I managed to fill - and had some surplus. I may not have boiled it for long enough so it will remain to be seen whether it sets properly.

   Now everything is cleaned up and the kitchen is back to rights so I can relax knowing I am well supplied with jam for the coming year!

Friday 24 June 2022

Out To Lunch

     I went to the tennis social at my other courts this morning but didn't play, just ran the Round Robin for a while. The reason for that was that Cathy had invited us over for lunch and I was in charge of salad!

   Too bad I didn't take a photo of it as it was rather yummy if I do say so myself. Romaine lettuce, red pepper and avocado slices, olives and bacon bits with some homemade dressing involving lots of garlic and grated parmesan cheese. Of course that was just the side dish as Cathy had barbecued burgers with all the fixings, Kathy had made her speciality, devilled eggs, and Susan had baked scones which she served with home made jam and clotted cream. There was also Prosecco and, for afters, Lemoncello liqueur! I needed a nap when I finally rolled home.

    Another two swims day - the water was lovely and refreshing at 77F and I am gradually increasing the lengths to see if I can get some serious exercise. We are headed for some more heat this weekend then it cools off a bit on Monday but at least the nights are cool enough to get a good sleep. I have seen people blog about opening all the windows during the day to try to stay comfortable. Here the windows are all open wide overnight then closed up first thing in the morning. At least that's how I handle the heat. The A/C doesn't usually click on until late in the afternoon.

   Only a light snack for dinner tonight - my stomach needs a rest too!

Thursday 23 June 2022

One Less Worry

    Electrician has come and gone so the A/C wiring is sorted (until the next time!). He was very punctual and done in just over an hour so didn't disrupt my day too much. It continues to be very hot but we had an early tennis slot again today which meant we were more alive than dead when we finished at 10:00 a.m.

   I had a swim when I got home from tennis and another after cutting the back grass later in the afternoon. Still not sitting outside as the back deck is scorching now that I don't have the shade of the Spruce tree. Will have to think of some way to generate some shade. The umbrella over the patio table only creates a bit of shade and the awning only stretches so far.

Wednesday 22 June 2022

Someone Turn Down the Heat

    Another scorcher today - went up to 32F today, felt like 42F - and I have been hiding inside until the sun goes down when I will attempt a bit of gardening.

   I got my finger splint changed today to a removable one and was in the pool the minute I got home from the hospital. What bliss! At least I can cool off in comfort now. Supposed to cool down a bit overnight and be more comfortable tomorrow.

   P.S. Forgot my water bottle during the 10 minute walk to and from the hospital from the parking lot, and arrived home rather dehydrated. The only fountain I could find in the hospital was out of order!

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Surprise Visitors

    A nice surprise this morning, the male and female Mallard ducks were back when I looked out early this morning. They hung around for a while (just hope they are not nesting in my back yard), perched on the fence to groom their feathers, then flew off. Quite a treat to see them.

   It was another scorcher today but we had decided to play tennis at 8:00 a.m. By the time we stopped at 10:00 it was getting quite steamy so we were glad to quit and head for somewhere cool, in my case a quick dip in the pool!

Monday 20 June 2022

What Next?

    What was to be a quiet uneventful day today, turned out to be anything but. My Bridge game today (and next week's too) was cancelled so all I had planned was to do my early morning workout, make some phone calls and walk down to the post office to check the mail box. This is the one maintained by the Retired Teachers group I belong to and is for membership cheques which are starting to arrive.

   After my workout I remembered that yesterday I had noticed one of the front tires on my car looked a little low so I went out to check it. Holey Moley - it was right down on the rim. No way could I drive with it like that! So that was my first phone call, to Roadside Assistance which, fortunately, covered the cost of towing it to the garage.

   While waiting for the car to go, I got back on the phone and made an appointment for the electrician to come and sort out the wiring to my thermostat. He's coming on Thursday. Next I phoned and paid my car insurance with my credit card and by that time it was lunch. After my nap I had a stroll to the drug store to check my blood pressure (surprisingly low, considering) and pick up the mail then relaxed in the garden.

   The rest of the afternoon was a little bit more peaceful except for a call from the garage to say the tire needed to be replaced and they recommended replacing the other front tire at the same time. This made sense so I agreed but then there needed to be re-alignment. Rather a large (and totally unexpected) bill by the time it was all totaled up. Hopefully there will be no more expenses associated with the car for a while.

   The car was ready around 5:30 and an Uber driver arrived to shuttle me to the garage (at no cost, and rightly so since I was faced with a sizeable bill). I stopped in at the liquor store on the way home to stock up on my favourite summer cooler as we are expecting another heat wave tomorrow.

   After I got home I saw there was an email message from the credit card company to say I had exceeded my credit limit and must make a payment "toute suite". So my bank balance is considerably depleted - a fitting end to a not so great day!

Friday 17 June 2022

Change in the Weather

     Beautifully cool this evening compared to yesterday. I actually did some baking this afternoon (wearing my trusty rubber glove) so finally have something in the freezer to nibble on. I've had the windows open since the sun went behind the houses to the west and it has  brought the temperature right down. The high today was only 26C.

   Tennis this morning and I survived longer again, so all good. It was extremely windy (and continued all day, just now finally calming down a bit) which made tennis tricky. However, we all had to cope with the ball flying out of the court or sideways. The trick was to keep the ball low and still get it over the net!

Thursday 16 June 2022

"Please hold while I transfer you"

    Not much progress on the A/C repair front. I was on the phone for over an hour today with several long waits on hold but, by the end of the conversation, it was decided I will not have to pay for the electrician. However, no date for him to call yet.

    It is extremely hot today (still 31C at 7:30 p.m.) so I am glad of the temporary fix to the A/C. I have stayed indoors most of the day except for an early morning game of tennis - I had to quit after an hour because of the heat - and half an hour gardening in the shade. Not cooling off much overnight and more of the same tomorrow. I did get in the pool for a while after tennis, just to immerse myself, and immediately felt refreshed.

   We had a very violent storm this afternoon with lots of heavy rain and high winds. It didn't last very long and no damage as far as I can see but it didn't cool things off much. As you can imagine, the humidity is sky high so not very comfortable. I hope I can sleep tonight!

Tuesday 14 June 2022

Heating Up!

     First dip in the pool today as I was hot and sweaty when I got home from tennis. I wasn't able to swim as I had to keep my hand suspended out of the water but did get fully immersed. I held on to the ladder and floated a bit while paddling my legs. So refreshing!

  Tennis was fine and I played for nearly an hour and a half with only a little discomfort and no blisters. I taped up a couple of fingers and wore my golf glove and that made a huge difference! I will try for two hours on Thursday - of course we have lots of breaks so it's not a constant two hours.

   We are set for some lovely weather this week, sunny, mid 20's and not much humidity. I just wish the whole summer could be like this! My tomato plants are coming on great guns and there are lots of flowers on them. The raspberries also have flowers. I will need to pick some more rhubarb very soon.

I don't know if you can see this but a duck landed in the pool the other day.

I have six tomato plants this year.


Kale. Last year I couldn't find any but this year I shopped early. It's ready to start picking.

Rhubarb I have two healthy plants and one that doesn't produce much.


Monday 13 June 2022

Another Headache

 The company that maintains my heating and cooling system is pretty reliable and I have coverage for what I thought were all eventualities. However, this week I have come to doubt how well covered I really am.

    Last Fall my furnace wouldn't start up when the weather turned cooler so I had a visit from a technician who diagnosed the problem and replaced the thermostat lickity split. All was well until early last week. We had a couple of hot days and I optimistically turned on the A/C - nothing!

   A techie duly arrived a day or two later and spent a good hour trying to diagnose this new problem. It turned out the guy who installed the thermostat last year had only hooked up the heating. No, he couldn't fix it as there was no wire to connect to the A/C. despite it working perfectly before the thermostat was replaced. I would need an electrician to run a new wire between the thermostat and the cooling unit. 

   This is where the problem arises. The electrician is an independent contractor and requires payment from the customer. No way was I going to pay for a problem caused by a faulty repair job so I declined to have him visit. So now we are at an impass. The techie jerry rigged it so I have A/C using the wire from the furnace so I am OK for the time being but this is not over. Unbelievable! It is beginning to sound like the problem I had with my stove - a series of frustrating phone calls with very little achieved. Stay tuned for the next episode!

Friday 10 June 2022

Trip To Stratford (cont'd.)

    I haven't cured the Blogger problem but seem to have figured out a way to circumvent it, so here goes:

   I managed to locate the missing photos and will try to post a video of a number from the show. It was highly spectacular, so full of energy with a very talented cast. If you haven't seen "Chicago" and enjoy the music of that era (the 20's, I think) it's worth a look.

The Bard is everywhere including this life size statue in the gardens. He makes for a great photo op!

I don't often get dressed up but decided this special occasion called for something a bit fancier than my usual casual attire!

In the gift shop. I bought a couple of things for the grandkids. Oldest grandson is studying "Macbeth" in his English class.

Here's a video of the intro number in the show but with different performers but you will get the idea of the energy and musicality of the performance I saw.

Thursday 9 June 2022

To Be Continued

 Problems continue - I have to create a new post before I can reply to comments left on the previous one or comment on anyone else's. However, I'm sure eventually it will right itself (ever the optimist!)

   Yesterday's Trip: This is the most exciting thing that has happened to me in two years so please forgive me if I go a bit overboard with the photos etc.

    The theatre is a gorgeous venue surrounded by beautiful grounds and we had time to stroll around before the show. You can see the big red bus we travelled in, in one of the photos. A very unconventional stage and we were just 6 rows from the front so it felt very "up close and personal". 

    Just a few kilometres outside of Stratford is the small village of Shakespeare where we stopped on the way home to buy an assortment of pies. The servers were Mennonite girls and I am sure they were delighted to see us descend on the store in droves! 

    Traffic in both directions was pretty horrendous so it made for a long, tiring day. I left the house at 7:40 a.m. for the pickup and arrived back home at 8:15 p.m.

   I see I have missed a couple of photos so will post them tomorrow.


Wednesday 8 June 2022

Getting Frustrated

 Still having trouble signing in to Blogger. Had a great day at Stratford, lovely lunch and the show was spectacular. More details and photos later.

Tuesday 7 June 2022

I Won!

    Another hectic day starting off at 7:00 a.m. when I had to get on the computer to sign up for my fitness class. I managed to get through to the website pretty quickly (all the summer programs for children were also becoming available at the same time) and got a spot in the Osteo Fit class I have been attending in the Spring session. It starts at the beginning of July.

   It was raining very heavily when I set off for an early grocery run and I was pretty much soaked when I got home and had to change into dry clothes. After breakfast it was time to set off for the Probus Club meeting (still raining heavily) which featured a travel specialist as the speaker. She focused on four European capitals, three of which I had visited but not in great detail so it was interesting to hear and see some of the sights I missed. On my Danube cruise a few years ago we stopped at Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna but I have never been to Prague which was her other destination. Maybe another time!

   Straight from there to Bridge where we had another good turnout. I had some great cards and good partners and came out third highest in scoring with over 3000 points. For that I received the princely sum of $5 which will go back into the pot for the next five games! This was my first win ever so particularly thrilling.

   The pool is finally up and running after a couple of delays. I'm just waiting for the guys to finish to take a final photo, shouldn't be long. They were delayed today with the weather.

   FYI my grocery bill this morning was over $60, a new high, and it did not include any meat - horrible! I don't know how families with children are coping. I used some PC points to keep it to $50.

   Phew! That was a busy day and tomorrow I am off to Stratford to see the musical Chicago!, lunch included. The bus leaves at 8:00 a.m. so I will have to get my butt in gear early! By Thursday I will be glad to have a peaceful day at home.

Monday 6 June 2022

I am Shut Out!

    I am just posting at the moment as Blogger won't let me sign in and leave comments. It was the same yesterday although, at one point, I was able to get back on the board. But I am reading your blogs and will let you know when I am back to normal!

   Busy week coming up - today it was our once monthly Knitting and Crafting Club which was a nice get-together and we had an extra person. Then, after lunch I played threesome Bridge (very complicated) at the Senior's Centre. Try as we might we have been unable to entice a fourth person to join us. They are still reluctant to expose themselves to others' germs. We three didn't wear masks once we were seated at the table and seem to have survived. Time will tell!

Friday 3 June 2022

Fresh From the Garden

    I tried some tennis today - just 8 games - as I was at the courts anyway to run the Friday morning social. My fingers were well taped up and I wore an old golfing glove on my left hand. After playing the fingers were a bit tender but no blisters, thankfully. Next time I will try to play longer. Maybe the skin will toghen up.

   There's still three weeks to go before I can take off the splint and I am employing all my coping mechanisms to get through the days. One big disadvantage is that I can't do any baking that requires kneading, so no shortbread cookies! Today I managed to make a rhubarb cake, which just required stirring with a wooden spoon, with the first picking of my rhubarb plants. It looks yummy!