Monday, 6 July 2020

Book ~ "The Brideship Wife" (2020) Leslie Howard

From GoodreadsEngland, 1862. Charlotte is somewhat of a wallflower. Shy and bookish, she knows her duty is to marry but with no dowry, she has little choice in the matter. She can’t continue to live off the generosity of her sister Harriet and her wealthy brother-in-law, Charles, whose political aspirations dictate that she make an advantageous match.

When Harriet hosts a grand party, Charlotte is charged with winning the affections of one of Charles’s colleagues but before the night is over, her reputation - her one thing of value - is at risk. In the days that follow, rumours begin to swirl. Soon Charles’s standing in society is threatened and all that Charlotte has held dear is jeopardized, even Harriet, and Charlotte is forced to leave everything she has ever known in England and embark on a treacherous voyage to the New World. 

It's the the early 1860s and 21-year-old Charlotte is living with her sister, Harriet, and brother-in-law, Charles in England.  The sisters were left penniless when their parents died and Harriet was lucky that Charles married her.  Now it's Charlotte's turn to find a husband and she's being pressured to marry a man in Charles' social circle so it will advance his political aspirations.  Charles and Harriet have set her up with George but it turns out he is not the man they think he is.  When Charles learns that George is not happy with Charlotte, he banishes her on a brideship which is bound for Victoria, British Columbia.  With a shortage of women because of the gold rush in western North America, this ship is carrying 60 women who have no other options and are looking for new opportunities in their live.

This is the first novel by this author and, though I'm not a fan of historical period pieces, I liked it.  I liked the writing style and thought it flowed well.  It is written in first person perspective in Charlotte's voice.  I found the story interesting and learned much about a piece of Canada's history that I hadn't known much about.  It's amazing how different times are today.  A woman's role was to be a wife and mother and it didn't matter if she liked a man she was supposed to marry ... the accepted goal was to marry well and keep her mouth shut.

My Roti Place, Toronto, ON (King Street W)

I've been craving a chicken roti lately so headed to pick one up for lunch today at My Roti Place (King Street W/Strachan Avenue).


I love love love chicken rotis.  Here you "build your own", choosing the filler and sauce.  I got a chicken (it's white meat) roti with Classic Curry sauce.  It's been a while since I've had a roti and it was okay.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Book ~ "Cappuccinos, Cupcakes, and a Corpse" (2015) Harper Lin

From Goodreads ~ Francesca Amaro moves back to her hometown of Cape Bay, Massachusetts, and takes over the family business, Antonia’s Italian Café. She spends her days making delicious artisan cappuccinos, until she stumbles upon her neighbor’s dead body. When the police discover Mr. Cardosi was poisoned, Francesca becomes a suspect.

The victim’s son, Matty, happens to be Francesca’s old high school friend. Together, they uncover the secrets of the locals in order to find the killer in their idyllic beach town.

Francesca is in her mid-thirties and working in New York for many years when her mother recently passes away.  So she moves back home to run the family Italian café in a small town in Massachusetts.  As she is taking a shortcut home one day from work, she discovers Mr. Cardosi dead in a chair on his porch.  Mr. Cardosi is the father of Fran's childhood friend, Matt, and they assume Mr. Cardosi had had a heart attack ... until the autopsy report comes back that he was poisoned.  Mr. Cardosi was a cranky easily annoyed man but who would want to murder him?  Because she found Mr. Cardosi, Fran feels the need to investigate and see if she can find out what happened and Matt encourages her to.

This is the first in the Cape Bay Cafe Mystery Series and the first I've read by this author. It is written in first person perspective in Fran's voice.  The "whodunnit" and ending came together really quickly.  It's a quick light read and I look forward to reading the rest in the series.  It's a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity.

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Levetto, Toronto, ON (Sudbury Street)

Gord and I got supper this evening from Levetto, which is in our 'hood (at Dovercourt/Queen W).  They have been closed for a while because of Covid-19 so it's great to see them open again.


I got a large Pepperoni pizza ... it's the first time I've seen it on the menu.


Gord got a large Affumicato pizza (his usual).


The pizzas were really good and we have leftovers for tomorrow!

Click to add a blog post for Levetto on Zomato

Friday, 3 July 2020

Book ~ "The 20th Victim" (2020) James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

From Goodreads ~ Some people like to shoot. Some people like to kill.

Three victims, three bullets, three cities.

The first of these simultaneous serial killings occurs in San Francisco, Sergeant Lindsay Boxer's jurisdiction and reporter Cindy Thomas's beat. The shooters are precise, as is their target selection. Each one of the men and women down excels at an illegal and deadly activity that is dominating public debate. As the casualty list expands, the fear and fascination with this shooting gallery galvanises the county.

Are the shooter villains or heroes? And who will be next?

This is the twentieth in the Women's Murder Club series (I've read them all). Though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone.  There are four members of the Women's Murder Club who have been friends for years ... police officer Lindsay, reporter Cindy, medical examiner Claire and prosecutor Yuki.  As in past books, though, the four aren't solving a murder together so what kind of a murder club is that?!  The only time the four women got together was at the end to party.

There are killers murdering people around the country who are selling drugs and Lindsay and her partner, Rich (who is living with Cindy), are part of the San Francisco team investigating.  Cindy was especially annoying ... she got mad at Lindsay because Lindsay wouldn't reveal confidential information pertaining the case so Cindy couldn't get the scoop ahead of everyone else.  Claire was basically non-existent because she has lung cancer (huh??!!) and has surgery to remove half a lung.  Yuki is prosecuting a young man who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time ... he was driving a car for a drug dealer who shot a police officer and took off.  The young man isn't talking so is charged with everything and Yuki doesn't think this is right.

As in previous books, I wondered if the two authors had written different chapters and hadn't read each other's.  Or the editor(s) slacked off.  For example, we learn in detail that Brady, who is Lindsay's boss, is married to Yuki.  Then a couple chapters later, basically the same paragraph appears.  Yep, I know ... I didn't forget who he is.  It's like they were introducing a new character but weren't.  This happened a couple times.  Or we learned that Joe's university buddy, Dave, gave Joe and Lindsay a safe ... and a couple chapters later we're told about it like we'd never heard the backstory.

I liked the short choppy chapters.  The point of view shifted ... it was first person perspective when the focus was on Lindsay and third person perspective when the focus was on others such as Cindy, Yuki, etc.  But at one point, Claire and Lindsay are talking and Lindsay's voice shifted from first person to third person back to first person again.  As a head's up, there is swearing.  The end came very quickly and was pretty lame.

The book could have been more focused ... there were some side stories that had nothing to do with anything.  Joe goes off to help Dave whose father had just passed away.  Dave suspects his father's doctor had murdered his dad and doesn't hide his suspicions.  Joe's not sure whether Dave is delusional because he's grieving or if the father was, in fact, murdered and is determined to find out and help his friend.  The ending to that side story was really lame.  Cindy is stuck working with a sleazeball named Jeb and the ending to that was really lame too.  Within a week of having half a lung removed because of cancer, Claire is out eating and boozing it up with her friends.  Seriously?!

I'm so glad I borrowed this ebook from the library rather than paying for it.

Thursday, 2 July 2020

Fan and feather dish cloth

I knitted a fan and feather pattern dish cloth tonight ... I like this pattern and have made many over the years.


I used Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Yarn (Poppy) cotton yarn and size 4.5mm knitting needles

Cast on 42 stitches (or a multiple of 18 plus 6)

Knit 3 rows of garter stitch for the border

Row 4: Knit

Row 5: K 3, P to last 3 stitches K3

Row 6: K3, *(K2 tog) 3 times, (yo, K1) 6 times, (K2 tog) 3 times, rep from * to last 3 sts K3

Row 7: Knit

Repeat Rows 4 - 7, keeping first and last 3 stitches in garter stitch, until piece measures desired length

Knit 3 more rows of garter stitch to make the bottom border

Cast off and darn in ends.

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I was in Walmart on Sunday and wandered into the yarn section.  This Red Heart Super Saver Stripes (Polo) yarn caught my eye because it was so colourful so I picked up four skeins.


I just finished knitting a pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens with it.  I usually have black as the main colour and something else as the second colour but this time I just used this yarn and I am happy with the way they turned out.  Very colourful!  I used 5mm double pointed needles.


Wrist
  1. Cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4, slip 2 purlwise*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows
  4. Knit 1, *slip 2 purlwise, knit 4*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. Pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Knitted Temperature Blanket - June 2020

I heard about temperature blankets at the end of last year.  I've never made one before and it sounded like a fun long term project.

The idea of a temperature blanket is to knit or crochet a row (or a number of rows) on a blanket each day for a full calendar year.  The colors used each day correspond with the temperature outside.  The more colours you use to represent temperatures and the more varied the temperatures, the more colourful the blanket.

To be consistent, I chose to use the temperature at noon.  I debated whether to use Toronto's temperatures (regardless of where I am) or the temperatures of where I am (so it's a Teena ~ temperature blanket).  I decided to make a Teena ~ temperature blanket ... it should be interesting to see how it turns out as I travel throughout the year.

I'm using nine colours from Red Heart Comfort and Bernat Cozy Style yarn.
  • Blue:  -6C or colder
  • Green:  -1C to -5C
  • Light purple:  0C to 4C
  • Teal:  5C to 9C
  • Red:  10C to 14C
  • Dark purple:  15C to 19C
  • Yellow:  20C to 24C
  • Orange:  25C and higher
  • Grey:  first and last rows and divider rows between the months

So far, the warmest temperature (orange) was 32C in Toronto on June 10 and the coldest (blue) was -10C in Toronto (blue) on February 14.

I cast on 200 stitches.  The first and last five stitches of each row are seed stitches (knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one, knit one).  In between, I'm doing stocking stitch (knitting the odd rows and purling the even rows).  I added two rows of seed stitch at the beginning of the blanket to stop it from curling (stocking stitch does that and I hadn't thought of that when I started).

June


Warmest in June:  32C (orange) in Toronto on June 10
Coldest in June:  17C (dark purple) in Toronto on June 12 and 14

May


Warmest in May:  31C (orange) in Toronto on May 26
Coldest in May:  5C (teal) in Toronto on May 8

April

Sunday, 28 June 2020

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I finished knitting another pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens.  They are fun to make.


I used black Red Heart Super Saver 4 ply yarn as my main colour (A), Orchid Mist Craft Smart Yarn, Ombre 4 ply yarn as my second colour (B) and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Tom's Dairy Freeze, Etobicoke, ON

I spent a couple hours at Humber Bay Park East this afternoon.

It isn't too far from Tom's Dairy Freeze on the Queensway so I stopped in on my way home for a banana split.  An ice cream lunch!


I got strawberry, chocolate and blueberry sauces on it.  Though it was good, it was HUGE and I wasn't able to eat it all!


Because of Covid-19, their outdoor eating area is gone.  So I ate it in the car with the air conditioning going.  Plus they only take cash, which is different considering everyone else is asking that you pay by credit card.   If you don't have cash, there is an ATM at the side of the building.

Tom's Dairy Freeze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Humber Bay Park East, Toronto, ON

This afternoon I drove to Humber Bay Park East and went for a walk.  It was sunny and warm (29C but felt like 32C) and felt nice to get outside.  This is a great park and it's been a couple years since I've been.

I did the loop around the park and everything is so green and lush.  There were lots of people out and about and most were social distancing.

Air India 182 Memorial
Hard to believe that just a couple years ago these were all no-tell motels

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Book ~ "Revenge of the Chili Queens" (2015) Kylie Logan

From Goodreads ~ Everyone in San Antonio remembers the Alamo but how many remember the Chili Queens? Back in the early twentieth century, these spicy señoras sold their lip-smacking chili in plazas all around the city. Now, as part of the Chili Showdown, Maxie and her half-sister, Sylvia, are dressing up as the Chili Queens to raise money for charity. 

But someone wasn’t feeling too charitable toward a local troubadour, who is murdered at the fundraiser. When their friend, Nick Falcone, head of security for the Showdown, actually becomes the prime suspect, it’s up to Maxie and Sylvia to turn the heat up on a killer, who’s planning a chili reception for them.

Jack, Maxie's father, sold spices in a travelling chili cook-off circuit and disappeared a couple months ago.  Maxie and her half-sister, Sylvia, who she doesn't get along with (Jack is their father), keep running the family business.  Now the the Chili Showdown has moved on to San Antonio and they are involved in some charity events.

There is a mysterious guitar player wondering around the first event ... he is found strangled with his own guitar strings.  And then we find that he wasn't who everyone thought he was.  Nick, head of security, had a violent past with the mystery man.  Maxie has been attracted to Nick over the series and suspects that he may be the killer.  There is a cast of colourful characters (beauty contestants, drag queens, rival "Chili Queens", etc.) and anyone of them had a reason to murder also.

Though this is the third and final in the Chili Cook-Off Mystery Series by this author, it works as a stand alone as there is enough background provided (I'd read the first two).  It is written in first person perspective in Maxie's voice.  I liked Maxie well enough, though I found that she jumped to conclusions as to "whodunnit" without a lot of evidence and doesn't seem to have any filters ... she speaks without thinking (she doesn't seem very mature).  Sylvia wasn't as bitter or nasty or unlikable as in the first two books.  It's a "cozy mystery" so there is no swearing, violence or adult activity. 

I thought the first two in the series were okay but thought this one was a letdown.  The attraction between Maxie and Nick finally starts to get going.  We finally find out what happened to Jack and it was really lame and unbelievable.

Trinity Common, Toronto, ON

I walked to Kensington Market this afternoon.  Restaurants and bars in Toronto, as of a couple days ago, are allowed to open their patios as long as social distancing rules are followed.  I saw an empty table for two in the corner of the patio at Trinity Common so stopped in for a beer.


Seating was only available on the patio (not in the restaurant) and the tables/chairs were spaced apart.  Mario, the server, cleaned the tables and chairs as soon as people left.  All staff wore masks or face coverings and they were all friendly.


There is a limited menu and they are printed on paper and you provide your contact information (so they can notify you if there is an outbreak because of their restaurant).


This is the first beer I've had on a patio since last year and it was nice to feel "normal".


There are men's and women's washrooms and though there are three stalls, only one person is allowed in at one time and you have to wear a mask when you enter the restaurant (they provide them if you don't have one).

Trinity Common Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

College Falafel, Toronto, ON

Lately I've been craving a donair so I headed for a late lunch to College Falafel (at Ossington Avenue and College Street) for an "east coast" donair.  It's not the first time I've been there as they make good donairs.  The owners were very nice and friendly.


There are a wide variety of condiments and I got just tomatoes and donair sauce.  The donair is served in a pita pocket, which isn't quite traditional but worked out okay.

Since restaurants are able to serve food but you can't eat it in, I headed to a nearby park to eat it.  This donair was delicious and messy (it's a good thing I asked for extra napkins!).  The meat was good and the sauce was tasty.


College Falafel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato