Monday 31 March 2008

Gord's birthday

Today is Gord's birthday.

We started the day with a couple's massage (we have a massage in the same room at the same time but have our own therapists) at the Elmwood Spa. Then we enjoyed the pool and hot tub for a while.

Then we walked to Hernando's Hideaway for lunch and had chimichangas.

Happy birthday, Gord! - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Sunday 30 March 2008

Sunday walk

When I got home from the gym, I took KC for a long walk (almost two hours).

We ended up at her favourite park, Trinity Bellwoods Park.

There's still some snow there, but it's melting ... so it's pretty muddy. And there's lots for KC for sniff.

Saturday 29 March 2008


Gord and I went up to Jasmine and Grant's tonight to play cribbage.

Jasmine, Gord and Grant

Grant, dealer extraordinaire!



Though Gord and I have been playing crib since before Jasmine and Grant were even born, we got our butts kicked! They beat us five games to one ... six if you count the skunk!

Jasmine and Grant ... victorious!

It was a fun time!

I used to play a lot of crib. I was in a crib league when I lived in Antigonish years ago. Gord and I were in one here in Toronto for a few years (2001 - 2004). Hard to believe considering the whuppin' we got tonight!


I bought a new comforter/sham set yesterday for our bed.

I found Byron this morning in one of his usual spots ... so it would seem that he likes it!

Friday 28 March 2008

Trying a new recipe

I made pork tenderloin for supper tonight.

I Googled and found a recipe for it. Pork tenderloin, apples, cinnamon and brown sugar. Sounded good. The fact that there was no liquids concerned me. But I assumed that the pork would produce enough juice.

Apparently not.

The pork was good but the apple combo stuck to the roasting pan and won't come off.

It's hard to clean.

So it will be soaking overnight.

Next time I'll include apple juice or water.

Thursday 27 March 2008

Busy morning

KC and I had a busy morning!

We dropped the car off at the garage in our 'hood because the break lights don't go out sometimes.

Then we stopped at the vet for eye drops.

Then we headed to her favourite park, Trinity Bellwoods Park. We had just gotten there, she was walking on some ice, it cracked ... and she ended up in a deep hole full of water! I pulled her out as she was paddling ... she was wet, dirty and smelly. We finished our walk and headed for home.

Look how dirty she was!

Look at that dirty belly!

I gave her a bath, which she wasn't happy about at all!

But she's so much cleaner now!

Here's a clean belly!

Wednesday 26 March 2008

Book ~ "The Bone Garden" (2007) - Tess Gerritsen

From ~ Julia Hamill discovers a skeleton buried in the garden of the Boston house she's just moved into; the ring found with the remains was in fashion in the 1830s, the fractured bones suggest murder. Flashback to 1830: medical student Norris Marshall, an outcast among his wealthier classmates, meets Rose Connolly in a Boston maternity ward, where Rose's sister recently died of childbirth fever. When several gutted bodies turn up in deserted alleyways, Rose and Norris are the only ones to catch a glimpse of the killer, dubbed the West End Reaper. Norris, Rose and Norris's fellow student, Oliver Wendell Holmes, race to uncover the truth behind the slayings, which will remind many of Jack the Ripper's crimes. In the present, Julia is able to trace their progress with the help of a relative of the house's former owner. Unfortunately, neither the present nor the historical story line maintains the suspense necessary for a whodunit spanning several generations.

This author was recommended to me by Linwood Barclay ... I'd never heard of her.

This was a quick read. I enjoyed the writing style (though it did get mired down with 1800s surgical details in some places) and it kept my interest.

I like historical stories and liked the way it flipped back and forth from the present to the past.

There were some twists at the end that I didn't see coming but they made sense.

It wasn't much of a thriller but I would recommend it as a lighter read.

Monday 24 March 2008

Book ~ "Slash" - Slash (2007)

From ~ Here, for the first time ever, Slash tells the tale that has yet to be told from the inside: how Guns N' Roses came together, how they wrote the music that defined an era, how they survived insane, never-ending tours, how they survived themselves, and, ultimately, how it all fell apart. This is a window onto the world of the notoriously private guitarist and a seat on the roller-coaster ride that was one of history’s greatest rock ’n’ roll machines, always on the edge of self-destruction, even at the pinnacle of its success. This is a candid recollection and reflection of Slash’s friendships past and present, from easygoing Izzy to ever-steady Duff to wild-child Steven and complicated Axl.

It is also an intensely personal account of struggle and triumph: as Guns N’ Roses journeyed to the top, Slash battled his demons, escaping the overwhelming reality with women, heroin, coke, crack, vodka, and whatever else came along.

I was never a fan of Guns N' Roses ... I've heard of them obviously and recognize some of their songs. But I am into bios so that's why I read this one by Slash (or The Slash, as Gord calls him).

I enjoyed the raw first person writing style, though there were typos throughout. It got confusing sometimes keeping track of who was who because there are so many people mentioned. And after a while it loses it's shock value because it gets to be just another drug story or partying story, etc. Yeah yeah, whatever.

But it's an interesting story. It was a wild excessive ride, that's for sure.

More white stuff?!

We woke up this morning to more snow.

Not much.

But more nonetheless.

Sunday 23 March 2008

"Beauty and the Beast", Stage West, Toronto, ON

At Stage West, Mississauga ~ Disney's musical extravaganza is filled with technical wizardry, special effects and illusions, as well as dazzling production numbers and memorable songs by Tim Rice. Bring the entire family to experience the enchantment of an unforgettable performance of Broadway's classic musical. Based on the Academy Award-Winning animated feature film!

Gord and I saw Beauty and the Beast this afternoon. I'd seen it twice before years ago as a major production so was curious to see how Stage West would do it on a smaller scale.

They did a good job with it. Eric Craig and Steven Gallagher were funny as Lumiere and Cogsworth.

Saturday 22 March 2008

The Rex, Toronto, ON

Gord and I met Malcolm and his wife, Mary, at the Rex (on Queen Street W) this evening to hear some blues. Gord and Malcolm have been friends for almost 20 years ... they met in a baseball pool (which they are still in).

Malcolm and Gord

Teena and Mary

Teena, Mary, Malcolm and Gord

Jerome Godboo Blues was playing. If you dig blues, you'd like Jerome.

Malcolm, Gord and Mary

Then we walked up to College Street and had supper at the Cafe Diplomatico.

Malcolm, Mary, Teena and Gord

Friday 21 March 2008

First BBQ of 2008

We had our first BBQ of 2008 tonight.

Gord BBQed steak for supper ... after he dug a path across our terrace to the BBQ!

The Canadian Book Challenge

I just found the Canadian Book Challenge and joined.

The rules are simple. Read 13 Canadian books (books by Canadians and/or about Canadians) before Canada Day (July 1). Make sure to blog about each one! Participants will have their name entered in for some kick-ass prizes. Well, not really. If you've ever seen a Canadian gameshow, you know we're not big on monetary rewards.

Since the challenge started in October, I've read nine Canadian books:

"Duty: The Life of a Cop" - Julian Fantino

"Last Resort: A Memoir" - Linwood Barclay

"Bad Move" - Linwood Barclay

"Lone Wolf" - Linwood Barclay

"Toronto: Then & Now" - Mike Filey and Rosalind Tosh

"Stone Rain" - Linwood Barclay

"Bad Guys" - Linwood Barclay

"The Song of Kahunsha" - Anosh Irani

"Only in Canada You Say: A Treasury of Canadian Language" - Katherine Barber

Happy Good Friday!

Thursday 20 March 2008

The CN Tower climb ... 1776 steps!

Dawn mentioned on her blog that she is doing the CN Tower climb on April 19 in support of WWW-Canada.

I've always wanted to do the climb ... but always forget when they happen.

I've signed up for it. Gulp!

If you didn't know, that's 1776 steps ... just over 1100 feet up! According to Wikipedia, it's the tallest metal staircase on Earth!

The stairs are intended for emergency use only and are not open to the public, except for three times per year for charity stair-climb events. The average climber takes approximately 30 minutes to climb. The fastest climb on record is 7 minutes and 52 seconds in 1989 by Brendan Keenoy, an Ontario Provincial Police Officer. The fastest record for a woman belongs to Chrissy Redden, who climbed the stairs in 2000 in 11 minutes and 52 seconds.

I won't be breaking any records!

I'd really really appreciate it if you would support me on my climb ... click here to donate!

If you'd like to join me on this climb, send me an email at

Monday 17 March 2008

Book ~ "Duty: The Life of a Cop" - Julian Fantino (2007)

From ~ Julian Fantino is the highest profile police officer Canada has ever produced. In a remarkable career spanning almost 40 years, he has led four police forces and continues to leave a huge imprint on law enforcement, not only in this country but right around the world. This candid and hard-hitting memoir of his life from his humble beginnings in Italy to his move to Canada and his eventual rise through the police ranks, from a street cop on the beat to top cop in the biggest city in the country, recounts his experiences as a rookie fresh out of police college and his time in the drug squad, homicide, and other areas of policing. He tells about the hard realities of organized crime, especially the fight against the Mafia and outlaw motorcycle gangs, and offers insights from one who is in the trenches into the sexual exploitation of children, police corruption, terrorism, and the many failings of the justice system. He touches on issues of concern to all Canadians and delves into the pressures and politics of being a big-city chief at the local, national, and international level including battles with special-interest groups and the media. But as Fantino describes in this refreshingly candid and hard-hitting as-told-to memoir of his life, one thing never changed: his steadfast commitment to the principles of integrity, honesty, and accountability. He recounts with passion, humour, and honesty the ups and downs the joys and sorrows of a life devoted to public service.

I enjoyed the writing style. It was interesting to read the stories from his perspective as an insider. Obviously I know who he is but I didn't realize how involved and well-respected he is internationally.

Sunday 16 March 2008


Gord loves to cook and made a tourtière for supper tonight. As usual, it was very delicious!

This is close to his recipe except he also includes ground beef, carrots and bread crumbs and cooks/mashes the potatoes.

And the best part? He made a double batch so there's one in the freezer for another time!

Saturday 15 March 2008

Celebrating St. Paddy's Day

Gord and I walked to the Banknote and had a late supper (the wings were so-so, a tab overcooked, but the ribs were good).
We walked up to Queen Street to check out the status of the fire from a couple weeks ago. The buildings have been torn down and it's fenced off.

We walked to what used to be Paddy Murphy's (I'm not sure if it's still called that as there was no sign outside). The bouncer (at 6 foot, 11 inches, he is the tallest man I've ever met) said the music was techno-something-or-other and we probably wouldn't like it. So I had my picture taken with him (some chick wanted to be in the pic too) and we moved on.

We walked to the Foggy Dew, which was packed. There was live music and we stayed for a beer.
On our way home, we stopped at the Bungalow Cafe for a couple drinks. Here's Gord with Rob, the owner.

Friday 14 March 2008

While I was gone

When I walked in after the gym, I encountered this strange sight:

KC and Byron sharing the chair! And both seemed very content.

I looked around for the other critters.

Morgan was snoozing in Byron's spot on our bed:

Nova (we are Nova-sitting 'til next Sunday) made me feel welcome by greeting me excitedly at the door.

I betcha he was snoozing on the bed before I came home, though!

Wednesday 12 March 2008

Book ~ Last Resort: A Memoir (2001) - Linwood Barclay

From Goodreads ~ In 1966, when his parents abandoned their suburban Toronto split-level to buy Green Acres, a cottage and trailer resort in Ontario’s Kawartha Lakes region, eleven-year-old Linwood Barclay’s life took an unexpected turn.

No more rec-room train sets. Now Linwood was hauling fish guts to the woods for burial, answering distress calls from women in the ladies’ room who found themselves without toilet paper, and standing in leaky chest-waders pounding dock posts into the lake bottom.

The chores weren’t so bad, especially when he could help his father, who had been a commercial artist before he bought his way into the tourist business. And in other ways, it was a good life for a boy. He had wheels (a John Deere riding mower), a small aluminum boat with a 9.5-horsepower outboard and only one speed (fast), and Chipper, a dog that chased boats the way other dogs chase cars, sometimes with catastrophically comic results. Linwood also had access to The Chart, a cottage reservations list that was, for him, a guide to the arrivals and departures of the guests’ teenaged daughters. Summer romances could be as intense as they were heartbreaking.

When he was sixteen, an unexpected tragedy changed Linwood’s life again. His older brother, Rett, helped out as best he could, but he was wrestling with demons of his own – often withdrawing into his own complicated inner world. Linwood found an extended family in the resort’s guests, who lent him a hand, and shaped him into the man he would become.

His mother’s eccentricities (she quit driving to shame the police for having given her a ticket) made Linwood’s new responsibilities heavier than they might otherwise have been. When he finally decided to move away from Green Acres to make a separate life, she made it as difficult as possible for him.

In the midst of all this, Linwood found his vocation, and mentors, too, in Margaret Laurence, and in Kenneth Millar, who (under the pen name Ross MacDonald) wrote a highly successful series of detective novels.

In this memoir, Linwood Barclay looks back with humour, sadness, and affection on the singular circumstances of his coming of age.

In the last couple months, I've discovered and read Barclay's Zack Walker series and really enjoyed them.

This bio (I enjoy bios) was also a good read as it was funny, honest, sad (with is brother's illness and his father's death) and frustrating (I would have had very little patience for the antics of his mother but he handled her very well).

My friend, Deb, lives not too far from where Green Acres is so I've been to some of the places he described.

I would definitely recommend this book!

Tuesday 11 March 2008

Casey's Restaurant, Toronto, ON

The Chillin' Chicks (Deb, Franca, Liz and I) met for supper tonight at Casey's. It's been a while since the four of us have been together. We used to work together more than ten years ago and still get together on a regular basis. It's nice that we've remained great friends after all these years!

In an attempt to eat healthy, I ordered the prime rib sandwich I had yesterday. Prime rib wouldn't be ready for an hour. Okay, how about rotisserie chicken? Nope, no chickens ready. So I ended up have chicken parm and pasta.

Deb and Liz

Teena and Franca

Franca, Teena, Deb and Liz

Franca, Teena, Deb and Liz