Monday 30 November 2009

Spring Rolls, Toronto, ON

I worked with Eduardo and Louise in 1998 ... and we still get together every three or four months for lunch.

Their office was just a couple blocks from my home and we would meet at Island Foods, which is where we always went when we worked together (it's in the 'hood). Their chicken rotis rock!

On the day I started my job in August, their offices moved ... ironically just two subway stops from my office. Yay!

We met for lunch today at Spring Rolls.

Eduardo had a Thai Iced Tea ... doesn't it look yummy?!

Here are Louise and I ...

And here are the three of us ...

I had Sweet and Sour Chicken (lightly breaded chicken breast glazed w/ sweet and sour sauce, pineapple and bell peppers) ...

Eduardo ordered a Bento Box ...

Louise is vegetarian and had Thai Green Curry (green curry paste w/ coconut milk cooked w/ fresh herbs, eggplants, tofu & mixed vegetables served w/ rice) ...

It was great to see them and catch up!

Sunday 29 November 2009

Snuggie for dogs

I was in the Showcase Store today and they have Snuggies.

And next to them were ... Snuggies for dogs!

Yes! Snuggies for dogs!

No, I didn't get KC one!

The best breakfast deal in town!

Gord will be out of town with the car next weekend so I thought I'd do some Christmas shopping today.

I started at IKEA cuz they have cool and unusual stuff.

I discovered when I got there that they open at 10:00 ... but why was there such a huge crowd outside the door at 9:27?

Then the doors opened at 9:30 and everyone rushed in ...

... for breakfast!

Scrambled eggs, sausage (I passed as I don't like breakfast sausage) and homefries for just $!

Three pieces of bacon was $0.50.

A cinnamon bun was $1.29.

Garlic bread was $0.50. I had a slice ... it wasn't very good.

Milk was $1.

So my huge breakfast was less than $5!

It wasn't great but it wasn't bad either. Definitely worth the $$.

And the place was packed!

Saturday 28 November 2009

Fencing widow

Gord drove to Ottawa (about five hours away) yesterday afternoon ... the fencing nationals are there today.

I don't mind having time to myself. I love hanging out with people but I also really enjoy my Teena-time.

I didn't do much last night.
Today I got lots of stuff done.
  • I took KC for a stroll.
  • I vacuumed.
  • I got my Christmas cards done.
  • I watched Sex Drive ... it's a cute, rude and crude teen flick that's actually not too bad.
  • I cleaned out one of the kitchen cupboards and discovered we had two expired boxes of unopened cereal (from six months ago) and two cans of pineapple (from 1.5 years ago!).
Gord should be home in a couple hours so I'm going to get supper started. I'm roasting a chicken stuffed with Stove Top Stuffing. What a good wife I am!

Friday 27 November 2009

Book ~ "The Book of Bright Ideas" (2009) Sandra Kring

From Amazon ~ Wisconsin, 1961. Evelyn “Button” Peters is nine when Winnalee Malone and her sister, Freeda, blow into town – and from the moment she sees them, Button knows this will be a summer unlike any other.

Much to her mother’s dismay, Button is fascinated by the Malone sisters, especially Winnalee, a feisty scrap of a thing who carries around a shiny silver urn containing her mother’s ashes and a tome she calls “The Book of Bright Ideas.” It is here, Winnalee tells Button, that she records everything she learns: her answers to the mysteries of life. But sometimes those mysteries conceal a truth better left buried. In this summer of dry heat and family upheaval, loyalties will be tested, unlikely alliances formed, and devastating secrets revealed. And when it’s over, no one – from Winnalee and her sister to Button and her family – will ever be the same.

A delightful novel!

Though it's written from nine-year-old Button's point of view, it's not annoying. Auntie Verdella is a sweetie!

There are key transformations which affect everyone positively.

Thursday 26 November 2009

Jack Astor's Bar & Grill, Toronto ON (Front Street)

I had supper with my pals, Deb, Franca and Liz tonight at Jack Astor's.

We've been friends for almost 15 years (we used to work together).

Kevin was our friendly server.

Here are me, Deb, Liz (looking goofier than usual!) and Franca ...

I had the Thai Chicken Coconut Curry (slices of fresh chicken breast, sautéed with pineapple and tomatoes in a spicy Thai red curry and peanut sauce. Served with jasmine rice.).

It was delicious! I ate it all!

It was great to see the Chicks and catch up!

Wednesday 25 November 2009

Moselland Riesling wine - cat bottles

The liquor store sells two wine bottles in the shape of cats every year just before Christmas.

This year they are blue and yellow and I got mine this week.

They issued blue and yellow ones in 2000 but they are a bit different.

I've been collecting them for about ten years and now have 22 (I'm missing two of the first ones ... pink and turquoise).

They are all unopened.

Don't worry, Sister Sarah ... I got a couple for you too!

Tuesday 24 November 2009

Heel of the bread

I bought a loaf of Dempsters' bread for lunches this week.

Gord said last night that he really likes this bread and that he ate the crust while he was making his lunch for today.

My response was, of course, he did since it's on the outside of a slice of bread and I've never known him to cut it off.

After further discussion, I discovered that he meant the end of the loaf of bread.

I've always called it "the heel".

Gord had never heard it called that and thought I was nuts.

So I Googled it.

According to the Free Dictionary, one of the meanings of "heel" is ... one of the crusty ends of a loaf of bread.

So there, Gord!!!

Is it just an east coast Canada thing (I'm originally from Nova Scotia)?

What do you call the end of a loaf of bread?

Monday 23 November 2009

Book ~ "Love Trumps Game" (2009) D.Y. Phillips

From Amazon ~ After twenty-nine years of marriage, Hattie has paid her dues. She's now retired and looking forward to enjoying her peaceful golden years. Unfortunately, her calm life is changed forever when her daughter Neema mysteriously disappears and she finds herself to be the sole guardian of her two unruly grandchildren. To make matters worse, their crazed father, Topps Jackson, is determined to get them back.

A ruthless drug dealer, Topps runs a dangerously lucrative drug trafficking operation. Now Topps wants to bring his young son into the business at an early age. The only person giving him grief and standing in his way is Hattie Sims. Grandmother or not, Hattie has to go.

Poor Hattie! Her youngest daughter, Neema, is a handful and constantly dumps her two children on her and disappears leaving Hattie to care for her young grandchildren. Topps is a brutal man who treats women badly.

This book is extremely vulgar and violent ... surprising considering the author is a woman.

That said, it's a good story about a grandmother's love and protection of her grandchildren regardless of the cost.

Friday 20 November 2009

Cartier Place Suites, Ottawa, ON

This was my home-away-from-home this week ... I was staying at the Cartier Place Suites.

Gord and I had stayed here when we visited Ottawa in August 2006. He has since stayed here with friends.

It's a great deal! For $150 a night (compared to $300 at the Westin!), I had a one bedroom apartment along with housekeeping services. The kitchen has a large fridge, stove, microwave and dishwasher and is fully equipped with plates, silverware, glasses, pots 'n pans, etc. Plus I had a balcony. There was a pool and hot tub in the hotel.

There were lots of restaurants within a block or two. ByWard Market is within walking distance (I walked there twice).

This was my living room and dining room (from my kitchen) ...

This was my living room from the foyer ...

And here was my bedroom ...

If you are staying in Ottawa, I'd definitely recommend the Cartier Place!

Thursday 19 November 2009

Fox & Feather, Ottawa, ON

I conducted four retirement planning seminars today ... three in Ottawa and one in Cornwall.

That's 17 in four days ... one more day (and three more seminars) to go! And then I go home. Yay!

I felt like some pub grub for supper tonight so I went to the Fox & Feather.

Chia Kitty and I shared a pint of Keith's.

I ordered garlic bread with cheese and wings.

The garlic bread was very good ... hot, soft and cheesy!

The wings were ho-hum ... just deep-fried with hot sauce on the side. Yawn!

Gord would have liked them.

Wednesday 18 November 2009

Book ~ "The Professional" (2009) Robert B. Parker

From Amazon ~ Spenser agrees to help a quartet of married women fend off extortion demands from stud Gary Eisenhower, with whom each has had an affair. Meanwhile, the husband of one of the women under blackmail threat hires some thugs to deal with the matter. The action takes its time getting to a dead body, but, as usual, the smooth, entertaining prose more than compensates for any deficiencies of plot. The absence of major personal developments for Spenser or his associates marks this as a less memorable entry than others in this iconic series, but it remains a solid, enjoyable contemporary detective novel.

This was a really quick read ... I started it this morning and am finished. The pages are thick and the type is large.

It's not a great story.

Susan, Spenser's longtime girlfriend, is annoying as ever. I've never liked her character. There is too much dialogue between Susan and Spenser that has nothing to do with the story. And what was the point of them going to NYC?

Though I enjoy Spenser's sarcasm and Parker's writing style, it seems like Parker is getting tired of this character. Marry Spenser and Susan and retire him or bring back the energy.

If you are looking for a quick mindless read, you should check it out.

Johnny Farina, Ottawa, ON

I conducted four retirement planning seminars today ... that's 13 in three days. Two more days to go!

I was craving pasta so I went to Johnny Farina for supper. I love pasta!

Chia Kitty and I shared a glass of Chianti.

They started me with a bread basket with olive oil/balsamic vinegar.

I ordered the meaty lasagna special which was served with garlic toast. I love love love lasagna!

It was delicious and I ate it all!

Tuesday 17 November 2009

Book ~ "Smash Cut" (2009) Sandra Brown

From Amazon ~ This superlative romantic thriller from bestseller Brown features a particularly memorable villain, sociopath Creighton Wheeler, who's obsessed with re-enacting scenes from films like Strangers on a Train and Frenzy. When Creighton's wealthy uncle, Paul Wheeler, is shot dead in an apparent robbery at an Atlanta hotel, Paul's close friend, gallery owner Julie Rutledge, attempts to persuade the police that Creighton ordered the hit. Creighton's father asks Derek Mitchell, a criminal lawyer, to represent the accused Creighton but Derek declines because he had a plane tryst en route to Paris with Julie after Paul's murder. Angered by Derek's refusal, Creighton stalks Julie; targets Derek's dog, Maggie; and plots to kill the ex-girlfriend of his henchman, Billy Duke, after Billy has second thoughts about helping Creighton. Brown skillfully charts Julie and Derek's quest to catch the slippery fiend. Multiple smash cuts (abrupt scene shifts) lead to a wonderfully frenzied finish.

Not a great story ... kind of far fetched and ludicrous at times.

The ending has a twist that was silly and too compact ... but we're left with a happy ending. I thought the death of Maggie the dog was extreme.

But I enjoyed the writing style and that kept me going.

Aulde Dubliner, Ottawa, ON

I conducted four retirement planning seminars today.

When I was finished, I took a walk to ByWard Market and walked around a bit.

I had supper at the Aulde Dubliner.

Chia Kitty and I shared a Keith's.

I had a pork chop with apple butter along with pearl barley ... it was delicious!

Monday 16 November 2009

Clock Tower Brew Pub, Ottawa, ON

Lord of the Wings had blogged about the Clock Tower Brew Pub in September ... Gord had been there last month.

So when I walked by it this evening in ByWard Market, I thought I'd try it for supper.

They make their own beer ... Chia Kitty and I enjoyed a Kölsch. It was yummy!

Appetizers are half price on Mondays so I ordered wings and fries. The wings were okay, not great.

Lots of fries ... I couldn't eat 'em all.

Stray Cats of the Hill

While I was at Parliamentary Hill, I wandered over to see the Stray Cats of the Hill.

There are currently 11 cats being cared for by volunteers and funded by donations (I left some $$). They are all neutered and have their shots (a local vet donates their time).

I was lucky to be there during a feeding.

They also leave the squirrels nuts.

I've never seen a fatter squirrel :)

Parliament Hill

I conducted five retirement planning seminars today.

After I was finished, Chia Kitty and I took a walk to Parliament Hill and around the grounds.

Quite an impressive building!