Saturday 20 July 2024

Sunny Morning, Etobicoke, ON

Gord and I had some errands to run and we stopped in today at Sunny Morning on the Queensway for breakfast ... it's been a while since we've been there. 

We both bacon ‘ n eggs. Gord had his with fruit and I had mine with home fries. Yum!

Friday 19 July 2024

Community BBQ + Hangout, The Theatre Centre, Toronto, ON

Gord and I spent the evening volunteering at The Theatre Centre's Community BBQ + Hangout. 

Hamburgers and hot dogs were complimentary and the line-up was long.

A portion of Lisgar Street (south of Queen Street W) was closed off for it.

Book ~ "What Have You Done?" (2024) Shari Lapena

From Goodreads ~ Nothing ever happens in sleepy little Fairhill, Vermont. But this morning that will change. And one innocent question could be deadly. What have you done?

The teenagers get their kicks telling ghost stories in the old graveyard. The parents trust their kids will arrive home safe from school. Everyone knows everyone. Curtains rarely twitch. Front doors are left unlocked.

But Diana Brewer isn’t lying safely in her bed where she belongs. Instead she lies in a hayfield, circled by vultures, discovered by a local farmer.

How quickly a girl becomes a ghost. How quickly a town of friendly, familiar faces becomes a town of suspects, a place of fear and paranoia.

Someone in Fairhill did this. Everyone wants answers.

Diana is a popular teenager so everyone is surprised when her naked body is found in a farmer's field. Surprisingly there are lots of suspects for the police to interview. Mourning her are her mother, who believes Diana's presence is still with her, her broken-hearted boyfriend, Cameron, and her best friends, Riley and Evan. As the story evolves, we discover that many in the cute friendly town have secrets they don't want revealed.

I've read a few books by this author and thought this one was okay. I liked the writing style. It's written in third person perspective with a focus on wherever the action is along with Diana's ghostly narrations and Evan's diary entries. Though there were lots of red herrings as to who could have murdered Diana, I thought the "whodunnit" was a bit of a letdown and kind of came out of the blue. As a head's up, there is swearing.

Tuesday 16 July 2024

Book ~ "The Off Season" (2024) Amber Cowie

From Goodreads ~ The Venatura Hotel desperately needs a facelift. Too bad renovations are murder on a marriage.

While recovering from a professional setback, documentary filmmaker Jane Duvall stays at a remote hotel during the off season with her new contractor husband, Dom, and his daughter, Sienna. Surrounded by an immense forest and the mighty Fraser River, Jane wants nothing more than to bond with her new family. But she’s unsettled by the cold quiet presence of the hotel’s owner, Peter, who is overseeing Dom’s renovations. 

When she starts asking questions, Dom grows distant and Sienna becomes belligerent. Undeterred, Jane uncovers secrets that make her question exactly who she married, including a series of strange disappearances at the hotel in previous seasons. When a rainstorm of epic proportions threatens to flood the banks of the river and claim the Venatura Hotel, Jane must solve these mysteries if she’s to survive the off season.

Jane is a filmmaker in British Columbia and reeling from the backlash of her latest documentary and a bad break-up. She heads to Spain on vacation where she meets and falls in love with Dom, who is also from British Columbia. They agree to get to know each other naturally and not Google each other. All she knows is that he's a widower, he's 13 years older than her and has a teenage daughter named Sienna who is an exchange student in France.

Less than six months later, they are married and they moving to the middle of nowhere in British Columbia to a hotel owned by his friend, Peter, that is closed for the winter and where Dom will finish renovations. Once there, she realizes that Dom expects her to be a "wife" and do all the cooking and cleaning, which she begrudgingly does. She has no idea how or when Melissa, Dom's late wife, passed away as he doesn't want to talk about it (he said he wasn't ready to talk about it). Sienna treats her like crap and does a couple despicable things and Dom chastises Jane for getting mad and reacting.

When Jane discovers one of the former workers at the hotel had disappeared and no one seems bothered about it, she sees a story and she and her partner start working on it. That's when she realizes there is more to it than just a missing man and starts to dig deeper.

Really? I found it hard to believe that Jane would be that dumb to marry a guy she chose to know nothing about and who was secretive about his past. Sienna was nasty and able to get away with it. I found none of the characters likable. It's written in third person perspective with the focus on Jane. I wasn't crazy about the writing style as I found it a bit draggy. The story had an interesting premise but didn't deliver for me. As a head's up, there is swearing.

Twisted Hat

I knitted another twisted hat. It’s a fun and easy pattern once you get into the repetitive groove. I used variegated cotton yarn.

I found the pattern here.

Directions are for size small; changes for size large are in parentheses.

Hat circumference at bottom edge: 16 (18)" [41 (46)cm]; Hat stretches to fit 20 (22)” [51 (56)cm]

I used 4.5mm [US 7] and 5.5mm [US 9] needles and 4 ply yarn. 

Hat is worked in the round on double pointed needles.

With smaller needles, cast on 90 (102) sts. Divide sts evenly around double pointed needles. Join to work in rounds, taking care not to twist sts. Place marker for beginning of round.

Ribbing Round: 
[K1 through the back loop, p1] around. Repeat ribbing round until piece measures 1½" [4cm] from beginning.

Round 1: Change to larger needles and knit.
Round 2: [K2, yo, k2, k2tog] around – 90 (102) sts.
Repeat round 2 until piece measures 8 (8½)" [20 (22) cm] from beginning.

Shape Crown
  • Decrease round 1: [K2tog, yo, k2, k2tog] 15 (17) times – 75 (85) sts.
  • Next round: [K1, yo, k2, k2tog] around – 75 (85) sts.
  • Decrease round 2: *K1, yo, [k2tog] twice; repeat from * around – 60 (68) sts
  • Next round: [K1, yo, k1, k2tog] around – 60 (68) sts.
  • Decrease round 3: [K2, k2tog] 15 (17) times – 45 (51) sts.
  • Decrease round 4: [K1, k2tog] around – 30 (34) sts.
  • Decrease round 5: [K2tog] around – 15 (17) sts.
  • Decrease round 6: [K2tog, k1] 5 times, k2tog 0 (1) time – 10 (11) sts.
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread yarn through remaining sts and pull to gather. Secure end. Weave in ends.

k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 sts together
p = purl
St st = Stockinette stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)
yo = yarn over

Sunday 14 July 2024

Linda's Eating Place & Coffee Shop, Midhurst, ON

Gord and I had breakfast this morning at Linda’s Eating Place & Coffee Shop in Midhurst, ON. It was a a busy spot. We met our friends, Mary and Malcolm, there and they got there ahead of us. They had a 10 minute wait for a table and had just sat down when we got there. There was always a line-up.

The sign in the washroom ... ha!

Wasaga Motel Inn, Wasaga Beach, ON

A friend of Gord's got married this yesterday in Wasaga Beach and we spent the weekend at the Wasaga Motel Inn. It wasn’t fancy but it had what we needed. Mario, in the office, was friendly. 

In talking with others staying there, our room seemed to be the only one with a couch, coffee table and coffee maker. The bathroom was wacky ... it was looooong and narrow. The toilet was millimetres from the wall which made it hard to use. Ha!

Saturday 13 July 2024

Stacked Pancake and Breakfast House, Wasaga Beach, ON

Gord and I had breakfast at Stacked Pancake and Breakfast House in Wasaga Beach this morning. 

We both got the Jumbo Express (3 eggs, choice of bacon, homefries & toast). It was a big tasty meal.

Our server was friendly and took good care of us.

Thursday 11 July 2024

"Rosamund - A New Musical", Toronto Fringe Festival, Trinity St. Paul's United Church, Toronto, ON

Rosamund - A New Musical is part of the Toronto Fringe Festival.

It's at the Trinity St. Paul's United Church on Bloor Street W.

I volunteered for four shifts this week at Fringe. Fringe volunteers were offered a complimentary ticket to last evening’s or this evening’s performance and I went this evening (thanks, Fringe!). The church was a lovely setting for it … it’s celebrating 135 years but there was no A/C and it was hot. 

The acting was excellent and the singing was amazing! The musicians, though good, were so loud at times they drowned out the singing which was too bad.

Crafty Coyote, Toronto, ON

I had supper on the patio this evening at Crafty Coyote (on Bloor Street W, east of Bathurst).

I ordered wings (with Frank's red hot sauce) and fries. Yum! I like their wings.

Katarina was my server and took good care of me.

"Being Celine", Toronto Fringe Festival, Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto, ON

I saw Being Celine, which is part of the Toronto Fringe Festival, this evening at Theatre Passe Muraille.

I’m not a fan of Celine’s which probably which made the show even funnier for me. Laura Landauer was good as Celine.

Afterwards some "fans" had fun posing for pictures.

Wednesday 10 July 2024

Book ~ "Before I Do" (2022) Sophie Cousens

From Goodreads ~ What would you do if 'the one that got away' turned up the night before your wedding?

Head-in-the-stars Audrey is about to marry down-to-earth Josh. Though they are polar opposites, they have a healthy, stable relationship; Josh is just what Audrey needs. But romance should be unpredictable and full of fireworks, and as the big day approaches, Audrey's found herself wondering if Josh really is The One.

So, when Josh's sister shows up to the rehearsal dinner with Fred, Audrey's What If? guy - the man she met six years ago and had one amazing day with - Audrey finds herself torn. Surely Fred's appearance the night before she is due to get married can't be a coincidence. And when everything that could go wrong with the wedding starts to go wrong, Audrey has to ask herself: Is fate trying to stop her from making a huge mistake? Or does destiny just have a really twisty sense of humour?

Six years ago Audrey randomly met Fred. She loved that he was a free spirit and they had a fun day together and made plans to meet the next day. Though Audrey waited, Fred never showed up and she never heard from him or saw him again. Because of the time they had together, even after she stopped looking for him, he always held a special spot in her heart.

Over the years, Audrey is trying to find herself and figure out what she wants to do with her life with lots of starts and stops. Along the way, she has encounters with Josh, who is a friend of one of her roommates. They eventually go out on a date, fall in love and get engaged. But Fred is always in the back of her mind (and their photo booth pictures are still in her wallet). 

On the day of the wedding, anything that can go wrong does ... including Fred showing up as the plus-one of Josh's sister. It all makes Audrey wonder if they are all signs that she shouldn't be marrying Josh after all.

I thought this story was okay, though the ending was cheesy. It is written in third person perspective with the focus on Audrey. It bounces back and forth and back and forth in time from the day of the wedding to when Audrey and Fred met to Audrey and Josh's developing relationship to after the wedding but the chapters are marked (and I was okay with this). In addition to Fred's surprise appearance at her wedding, there was lots going on around Audrey including her mother who was on her fifth husband, her best friend who had recently given birth to twins, past questionable behavior of an almost stepfather, Josh's grandmother who predicted doom and more.

The Dog's Bollocks, Toronto, ON

I had a late supper at The Dog’s Bollocks on Queen Street W, west of Tecumseth Street.

I ordered chicken parm ... it was a big meal and tasty.

Madi was my server. She was friendly and took good care of me.