Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Elephant & Castle, Toronto, ON

After Gord and I saw Fisherman's Friends: The Musical, we had supper at Elephant & Castle (King Street W/Simcoe Street).  There were lots of tables reserved and a large party in the back so we were happy to get a table.


Gord ordered Baja Fish Tacos (two crispy fried haddock tacos served in grilled flour tortillas with shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli, cilantro and a side of hot sauce and served with a noble house salad).


I ordered Fried Chicken Tenders (buttermilk brined, hand breaded chicken tenderloins served with plum sauce & golden fried chips).


Both were really good.

Josh was our server.  He was friendly and chatty and took good care of us.

"Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical", Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto


Gord and I saw Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical this afternoon at the Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street W.  It's a Mirvish production.


Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical tells the story of the world’s most unlikely buoy-band! 

Based on the true story of the chart-topping Cornish singing sensations and their hit 2019 movie, 'Fisherman’s Friends: The Musical' is a feel-good voyage about friendship, community and music that will give any land-lover a mighty pair of sea legs. 

When a group of Cornish fishermen came together to sing the traditional working songs they’d sung for generations, nobody, least of all the fishermen, expected the story to end on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury. They are spotted by a fish-out-of-water music manager on a trip from London, who must learn that there is more to life than selling your sole for fifteen minutes of fame. 

So climb aboard, set sail and feel the salty sea air rush through your hair with this brand new musical.


I've seen the movie a couple times ... it's cute and the tunes are good and lively.

The musical is sooooo good! Lots of fabulous toe-tapping singing and dancing! The musicians are very talented ... not only did they play instruments but they also sang and danced.

Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Book ~ "Shadow" (2007) Ellen Miles

From Goodreads ~ Welcome to the Puppy Place - where every puppy finds a home!

Charles and Lizzie Peterson know a lot about puppies. That's because the Petersons are a foster family for young dogs. Someday they will have a puppy of their own. Until then, they keep busy helping special puppies find homes. 

When the Petersons meet Shadow, they know he is very special. He is a cute black Labrador retriever and he is extremely smart. Everyone agrees that Shadow deserves the best. He will be the perfect puppy for someone. But who will be the perfect owner for him?

Charles and his older sister, Lizzie, are in elementary school. They have been bugging their parents to get a dog but their mom is a cat person and has said no. She agrees to let them foster dogs so they can see what it's like having the responsibility of having a dog. 

A vet contacts them asks if they would like to foster Shadow, a Labrador retriever puppy, and find a home for him. Charles and Lizzie hope their home will be Shadow's new home. But their parents say no because they are going on vacation in a couple weeks and it's not the right time ... so they have to find a home for Shadow. During show and tell in her class one day, Lizzie gets the inspiration for what would be the best thing for Shadow.

Though this book is a quick read and directed at elementary-aged children, I found it entertaining. There is a learning experience and a puppy tip at the end. It is written in third person perspective and first person from Shadow's point of view. It is the third in the Puppy Place series, which currently has 64 books in the series.

Monday, 28 November 2022

Men's knitted dorm boots

I finished knitting a pair of men's medium dorm boots this evening for Gord (he likes slippers).  

I used Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (6) in Brass and a 6.5mm needles.


Abbreviations:
  • k = knit
  • p = purl
  • yo = yarn over sl-1 = slip one
  • PSSO = pass slipped stitch over
  • p2tog = purl 2 together
  • k2tog = knit 2 together
  • ssk = slip, slip, knit
  • WS = wrong side
  • RS = right side
  • PM = place marker
  • Rep = repeat

Men's sizes:
Sm (8-9), M (9.5-10.5), Lg (11-12), XL (13)

Starting with sole:
  • Cast on 52(55, 57, 59) stitches.
  • Row 1: Knit.
  • Row 2: K1, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2(3,3,3), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k1. [56(59,61,63) sts]
  • Row 3 and all odd rows: Knit. *knit the yo’s through the back of the loop. 
  • Row 4: K2, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4(5,5,5), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k2. [60(63,65,67)sts]
  • Row 6: K3, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k6(7,7,7), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k3. [64(67,69,71)sts]
  • Row 8: K4, yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k8(9,9,9), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k4. [68(71,73,75) sts]
  • Row 10: K5, yo, K24(25,26,27), yo, k10(11,11,11), yo, k24(25,26,27), yo, k5. [72(75,77,79)sts]
  • Row 12: Size Sm ONLY: K6, yo, k(24), yo, k6, yo, k6, yo, (k24), yo, k6. [77 sts]
  • Row 12: Size M ONLY: K6, yo, k32, yo, k31, yo, k6. [78 sts]
  • Row 12: Size L ONLY: K6, yo, k to last 6 sts, yo, k6. [79 sts]
  • Row 12: Size XL ONLY: K39, yo, k40. [80 sts]
  • Row 13: Knit (knit any yo's through the back of the loop)

Foot
  • Row 1: Knit
  • Row 2: (WS) P34(34,34,34,), PM, p9(10,11,12), PM, p34(34,34,34,).
  • Row 3: K27(27,27,27), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k27(27,27,27). [69(70,71,72) sts)
  • Row 4: Purl
  • Row 5: K23(23,23,23), ssk 2x, k3tog, k9(10,11,12), sl-1, k2tog, psso, k2tog 2x, k23(23,23,23). [61(62,63,64)sts]
  • Row 6: Purl
  • Row 7: K35(36,37,38), ssk, turn. [60(61,62,63) sts]
  • Row 8: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [59(60,61,62) sts]
  • Row 9: Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, turn. [58(59,60,61) sts]
  • Row 10: Sl-1, p9(10,11,12), p2tog, turn. [57(58,59,60) sts]
  • Rows 11-26: Repeat rows 9 and 10. [41(42,43,44) sts]
  • Row 27: (RS) Sl-1, k9(10,11,12), ssk, DON’T TURN, k14(14,14,14). [40(41,42,43) sts]
  • Row 28: P24(25,26,27), p2tog, p14(14,14,14). [39(40,41,42) sts]
  • Row 29: Size S/M ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit. Now proceed to row 32.
  • Row 29: Size L/XL ONLY: (Removing markers as you come to them) Knit.
  • Row 30: Size L/XL ONLY: Purl
  • Row 31: Size L/XL ONLY: Knit
  • Row 32: P1, p2tog, p2tog, p across to last 5 sts, p2tog, p2tog, p1. [35(36,37,38) sts]
  • Row 33: Knit
  • Row 34: Purl
  • Rows 35-36: Rep rows 33 and 34 once more.

Ribbed Cuff
  • Row 37: Sizes S/L ONLY: [k1,p1] 8(-,8,-)x more, k2tog, p1, [k1,p1] to end. [34(-,36,-) sts]
  • Row 37: Size M/XL ONLY: [k1, p1] to end.
  • Rows 38-45: Work 8 rows of 1x1 rib.

Bind off loosely.

I turned the slippers inside out and sewed the seams. Weave in loose ends.

Sunday, 27 November 2022

Book ~ "Jar of Hearts" (2018) Jennifer Hillier

From Goodreads ~ This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who's been searching for the truth all these years.

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong - one of the most popular girls in school - disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong's remains are discovered in the woods near Geo's childhood home. And Kaiser - now a detective with Seattle PD - finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he's something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo's first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela's death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?


In high school, Geo, Angela and Kaiser were best friends. When Geo met Calvin, who was a couple years older than them, they started dating and she became obsessed with him, even though he was physically and emotionally abusive to her. One night after a party, Angela is killed and rather than tell anyone, Geo has kept it a secret all these years. Everyone thinks Angela ran away.

Fourteen years later, Geo is a VP with a pharmaceutical company and engaged. Angela's body is found chopped up and buried in the woods near the house Geo grew up in. Evidence shows that Calvin killed Angela and Geo had helped. Kaiser, who is now a police officer, arrests her. She testifies against Calvin and is sent to prison for five years, needless to say losing her job and her beau.

When Geo gets out of prison, she tries to pick up her life again but people don't forget. Plus there is serial killer on the loose killing and chopping up women and murdering young children and Calvin, who had escaped from prison, is the suspect because it's so similar to Angela's murder. Kaiser suspects Calvin is trying to give Geo a message and investigates.

I've liked other books by this author but didn't like this one ... it was sooooooo negative. It is written in third person perspective with a focus on where the action was. The timeline shifts back and forth from the past (to give you the backstory to present day). The "whodunnit" at the end was ridiculous and unbelievable. None of the characters were likeable. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence (multiple rapes).

Knitted dishcloth

I just finished knitting a dishcloth.  It is a quick and easy pattern and I've made many of these over the years.


I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton (the colour is Crown Jewels) and a 5mm circular needle.

Cast on 4 stitches.

Knit 2, YO, Knit to end.

Turn work.

Knit 2, YO, Knit to end.

Turn work.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over and over until there are 56 stitches.

Knit 1, K2tog, YO, K1, K2tog, knit to end.

Turn work.

Knit 1, K2tog, YO, K1, K2tog, knit to end.

Turn work.

Keep doing this over and over and over and over and over.

Cast off the final 4 stitches and darn in the ends.

Saturday, 26 November 2022

Mr. Souvlaki, Etobicoke, ON

I had a late lunch today at Mr. Souvlaki on North Queen Street in Etobicoke.


I ordered a chicken skewer, tzatziki, potatoes and rice (I passed on the salad so got extra rice). It's been a while since I've had Greek food and it was good.

Cat Shelter Building Workshop, Toronto Street Cats, Toronto, ON

I spent this morning volunteering with Toronto Street Cats building cat shelters.  The workshops are held throughout the fall and winter season in the garage of the Toronto Humane Society.  It's my fifth year volunteering with them ... it's so nice helping the kitties in Toronto keep warm and dry during the cold winter.

Our mission: improve the lives of Toronto’s homeless cats by offering spay/neuter services, free for feral cats, and building overwintering shelters. We are also working to increase public awareness about Toronto’s homeless cat population and the importance of spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return (TNR).

We are part of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, working together to implement strategic TNR programs to sterilize Toronto’s feral cats, decrease shelter intake and reduce euthanasia rates.


We taped the insulated walls together in the bins and then taped the tubing entrances ... I started with the first part (I like it better) then moved on to taping the tubing to the shelters. Thom cut the tubing for the entrance ways, cut the Styrofoam for insulated walls and drilled holes into the bins after the insulated walls had been taped inside.  Judy put the straw in the bins and closed them up. 

Before
After

Friday, 25 November 2022

Harvest knitted dishcloth

I knitted a dishcloth ... the pattern is called Harvest. 


I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton (the colour is Crown Jewels) and a 5mm circular needle.

Cast on 38 stitches.

Border
  • Rows 1-4: K38

Harvest pattern
  • Row 1: K38 
  • Row 2: K3, *K1, P3* 8 times, K3
  • Row 3: K38
  • Row 4: K38 
  • Repeat Rows 1 to 4 of the Harvest pattern 12 more times (13 total)

Border
  • Rows 1-3: K38

Bind off and weave in the ends.

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Butterfly stitch pattern dish cloth

I just finished knitting a butterfly stitch pattern dish cloth using Bernat Handicrafter cotton (the colour is Crown Jewels) and a 5mm circular needle.


Cast on multiples of 10, plus 7 stitches ... I cast on 37.

Knit three rows.

Here's the butterfly pattern:

Row 1: Knit 1, purl 5, * with yarn in back slip 5, purl 5 *, knit 1

Row 2: Knit row

Row 3: Knit 1, purl 5, * with yarn in back slip 5, purl 5 *, knit 1

Row 4: Knit row

Row 5: Knit 1, purl 5, * with yarn in back slip 5, purl 5 *, knit 1

Row 6: Knit 1, * knit 7, lift the 3 strands then knit 1, release the 3 strands, knit 2 *, knit 6

Row 7: Knit 1, with yarn in back, slip 5, * purl 5, with yarn in back slip 5 *, knit 1

Row 8: Knit row

Row 9: Knit 1, with yarn in back, slip 5, * purl 5, with yarn in back slip 5 *, knit 1

Row 10: Knit row

Row 11: Knit 1, with yarn in back, slip 5, * purl 5, with yarn in back slip 5 *, knit 1

Row 12: Knit 3, lift the 3 strands then knit 1, release the 3 strands, knit 2, * knit 7, lift the 3 strands then knit 1, release the 3 strands, knit 2 *, knit 1

Repeat rows 1 to 12 until desired length (I did 10 rows of butterflies).

Purl row

Knit 3 rows.  Cast off and darn in ends.

Wednesday, 23 November 2022

Book ~ "The Cat in the Christmas Tree: And Other True Stories of Feline Joy and Merry Mischief" (2022) Callie Smith Grant

From Goodreads ~ Christmas is a time for joy, wonder and a little bit of mischief. Does any creature manifest these attitudes better than a cat? Their fascination with all those breakable ornaments on the tree and their appreciation of a cozy spot to nap seem made for the season. The way they alternate between calm and crazy echoes the way we all feel at Christmas, doesn't it? And that's just what you get with "The Cat in the Christmas Tree".

This collection of true, feel-good holiday stories by various writers celebrates the gift of cats and delivers all the warm fuzzies you could desire. It's the perfect companion for those magical Christmas evenings in front of the fireplace with your favorite feline. It also makes the purrfect gift for cat-loving friends.


I love reading stories about animals. We have two cats we got from a rescue (and I volunteer for that rescue) so this book caught my eye.

This book has 27 short stories about people who have cats and their antics around Christmastime. Not surprisingly, there are a couple stories about trees being toppled and ornaments being broken. It's a quick read and the stories were cute and heartwarming.

I was surprised, though, at the amount of people in the stories who let their cats outside. I live on a busy street and our cats are never allowed outside. They are happy and safe with their inside world because they don't know any better (indoor cats have longer lifespans).

Tuesday, 22 November 2022

Book ~ "Wonderland" (2015) Jennifer Hillier

From Goodreads ~ Welcome to Wonderland. By day, it’s a magical place boasting a certain retro charm. Excited children, hands sticky with cotton candy, run frenetically from the Giant Octopus ride to the Spinning Sombrero, while the tinkling carnival music of the giant Wonder Wheel - the oldest Ferris wheel in the Pacific Northwest - fills the air. But before daybreak, an eerie feeling descends. Maybe it’s the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls. Or maybe it’s the terrifyingly real House of Horrors. Or maybe it’s the dead, decaying body left in the midway for all the Wonder Workers to see.

Vanessa Castro’s first day as deputy police chief of Seaside, Washington, is off to a bang. The unidentifiable homeless man rotting inside the tiny town’s main tourist attraction is strange enough but now a teenage employee - whose defiant picture at the top of the Wonder Wheel went viral that same morning - is missing. As the clues in those seemingly disparate crimes lead her down a mysterious shared path of missing persons that goes back decades, she suspects the seedy rumors surrounding the amusement park’s dark history might just be true. She moved to Seaside to escape her own scandalous past but has she brought her family to the center of an insidious killer’s twisted game?

Vanessa was a police officer in Seattle and recently moved back to her hometown of Seaside to take on the role of deputy police chief.  On her first day on the job, she is called to Wonderland, a tourist traction that keeps the town alive, because the a decaying body, nicknamed Homeless Harry, has been found under the ferris wheel. That's the same ferris wheel Blake, a Wonderland employee, climbed last night and took a selfie and posted on social media before he disappeared. And the security guard didn't show up for work. Are they connected? As Vanessa investigates, she discovers many secrets have been covered up by the police chief, the former deputy police chief and the town. Since she's new in town, she doesn't have the same loyalties and she's determined to find out what's going on.

I've read other books by this author and I thought this one was okay. It is written in third person perspective with a focus on where the action was. I wasn't crazy about the "whodunnit" at the end and thought the reason of why they did what they did wasn't realistic. I found the allure of Bianca, the CEO of Wonderland, unbelievable that she could attract and get pretty well EVERY man who worked there. As a head's up, there is swearing and violence.

Monday, 21 November 2022

Fan and feather dish cloth

I just finished knitting a fan and feather pattern dish cloth ... I like this pattern and have made many over the years. It’s the first dish cloth I’ve knitted in almost a year.

I used a 5mm needle and Bernat Handicrafter cotton (the colour is Crown Jewels). 


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.

Sunday, 20 November 2022

Book ~ "Snowball" (2006) Ellen Miles

From Goodreads ~ Charles and Lizzie Peterson are very good with puppies. They want one of their own but their mom isn't ready for them to have one full time. For now, they help take care of puppies that need to find a new home. They are a foster family for young dogs.

The Peterson kids hear about Snowball. Someone left the fluffy puppy all alone at a gas station in a tattered, old box. Snowball is sick and hungry. He needs a family of his own. Can Charles and Lizzy find one that is just right?

Charles is in grade two and Lizzie is in grade four. They have been bugging their parents to get a dog but their mom is a cat person and has said no. She agrees to let them foster dogs so they can see what it's like having the responsibility of having a dog. Their father gets a call that a Westie puppy was left at a gas station and needs a home. Charles and Lizzie are allowed to foster the dog, who they name Snowball, but they discover that Westies need a lot of attention and supervision and happily they find the perfect home for him.

Though this book is a quick read and directed at elementary-aged children, I found it entertaining. There are lessons included in the story like teaching a dog commands and tricks and there is a puppy tip at the end. It is written in third person perspective and first person from Snowball's point of view. It is the second in the Puppy Place series, which currently has 64 books in the series.

Knitted scarf

I just finished knitting another scarf with Bernat Baby Velvet Stripes yarn (the colour is Hop Along).

I used one skein and 4.5mm needles.  I cast on 40 stitches and did garter stitch  until the end.

The scarf is about 9 feet long … soft and cozy!

Saturday, 19 November 2022

Cat Shelter Building Workshop, Toronto Street Cats, Toronto, ON

I spent this morning volunteering with Toronto Street Cats building cat shelters.  The workshops are held throughout the fall and winter season in the garage of the Toronto Humane Society.  It's my fifth year volunteering with them ... it's so nice helping the kitties in Toronto keep warm and dry during the cold winter. 71 cat shelters were made and 103 were sold!

Our mission: improve the lives of Toronto’s homeless cats by offering spay/neuter services, free for feral cats, and building overwintering shelters. We are also working to increase public awareness about Toronto’s homeless cat population and the importance of spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return (TNR).

We are part of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, working together to implement strategic TNR programs to sterilize Toronto’s feral cats, decrease shelter intake and reduce euthanasia rates.


Last week we had prepped a lot of shelters by taping the insulated walls so we started today by taping the tubing in the shelters. 

Before
After

Once we caught up, volunteers started the beginning by putting together the  insulated wall inserts (I did tubing all morning).

Thom cut the tubing for the entrance ways, cut the Styrofoam for insulated walls and drilled holes into the bins after the insulated walls had been taped inside.  Judy put the straw in the bins and closed them up. 

Friday, 18 November 2022

Book ~ "The Last Flight" (2020) Julie Clark

From Goodreads ~ Claire Cook has a perfect life. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career and he's not above using his staff to track Claire's every move. But what he doesn't know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.

A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets - Claire taking Eva's flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it's no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva's identity and along with it the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

Claire and Rory seem to have a rich fairy tale life. But Rory is actually a controlling and abusive husband and over the years, the physical abuse has gotten worse. Knowing no one would believe her if she spoke out and that she would be punished by Rory if she left, she devises a plan to escape and disappear and is counting down the hours. A last minute change in her travel plans, though, ruins everything.

Eve was raised in foster homes.  After getting kicked out of university 12 years ago, she did what she had to do to survive. But that's all closing in on her and she knows she has to run. She meets Claire in the airport bar, each telling their stories about wanting to disappear and decide to swap tickets ... Claire is going to head to Oakland and figure it out when she gets there and Eva was going to head to Puerto Rico and live on the money she banked in overseas accounts. Except the plane to Puerto Rico crashes and all aboard are killed ... and it's assumed that Claire is among them.  That suits Claire fine but with no money and no contacts, she heads to Eva's house and now has to deal with what Eva was running away from. Eva at the last minute decided to not get on the plane after all ... and Claire suspects she didn't.

This is the second book I've read by this author and I liked it. The story was interesting and I liked the writing style. It jumps back and forth over six months and I was okay with this as it built up the back stories. It's written in first person perspective in Claire's and except for a couple chapters in third person perspective in Eva's voice (the chapters are labeled so you know who is the focus). I liked both Claire and Eva and was cheering for them. I was happy with the ending. It was farfetched at times but I went with it.

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Book ~ "Goldie" (2006) Ellen Miles

From Goodreads ~ Charles and Lizzie Peterson love puppies. They want a puppy of their own more than just about anything. They know dogs are a lot of work. But their mom still doesn't think their family is ready for a puppy.

Then Goldie arrives. She is a sweet golden retriever who needs a home. Goldie is very young. She doesn't know how to be a good puppy yet. Will Charles and Lizzie be able to help her?

Charles is in grade two and Lizzie is in grade four. Their father is a fireman and he is called out in the middle of the night because of a fire. When he gets home the next morning, he has a golden retriever puppy named Goldie. Charles and Lizzy have been bugging their parents to get a dog but their mom is a cat person and has said no. She agrees to let them foster Goldie so they can see what it's like having the responsibility of having a dog. This makes them excited but sad that they'll have to find a home for her.

Though this book is a quick read and directed at elementary-aged children, I found it entertaining. There are lessons included in the story like socializing and housetraining a dog and there is a puppy tip at the end. It is written in third person perspective and first person from Goldie's point of view. It is the first in the Puppy Place series, which currently has 64 books in the series.

Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Book ~ "The Lies I Tell" (2022) Julie Clark

From Goodreads ~ Two women. Many aliases.

Meg Williams. Maggie Littleton. Melody Wilde. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She's a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be - a college student. A life coach. A real estate agent. Nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you need to hear, and by the time she's done, you've likely lost everything.

Kat Roberts has been waiting ten years for the woman who upended her life to return. And now that she has, Kat is determined to be the one to expose her. But as the two women grow closer, Kat's long-held assumptions begin to crumble, leaving Kat to wonder who Meg's true target is.


When Meg was in high school, her mother started dating a man who stole (legally) their house, leaving them homeless. When her mother died shortly after that, Meg continued to live in her car. Getting a job at the YMCA gave her a place to shower and wash her clothes, going to the library gave her access to WIFI and going on dates gave her the chance for decent meals and leftovers. But there had to be a better way to survive ... and so started her life as a con artist.

Kat is a journalist who was an intern ten years ago when Meg's first con came to light and she's been waiting for Meg to return to her hometown. After years of writing fluffy articles to pay the bills, she sees this as her way of finally getting ahead in her career. Kat is able to become friends with Meg all the while waiting to take her down.

This is the first book I've read by this author and I liked it. The story was interesting and I liked the writing style.  It's written in first person perspective in Meg and Kat's voices (the chapters are labeled so you know who is the focus). I liked both Meg and Kat. I was happy with the ending and despite Meg being a con artist, I was okay with her motivation. Was it farfetched at times? Sure but I was okay with that.

Monday, 14 November 2022

Book ~ "Holy Chow" (2022) David Rosenfelt

From Goodreads ~ Retired lawyer Andy Carpenter’s calling has always been running the Tara Foundation. The dog rescue organization places hundreds of dogs in new homes every year. It’s added up to so many dogs and new owners that Andy can’t even do the math. But there’s one dog - and one owner - Andy will always remember.

About a year ago, Rachel Morehouse came to the foundation looking for a companion. In her sixties and recently widowed, Rachel wanted a senior dog that also needed someone. Andy took a liking to her, Rachel took a liking to Lion, an older Chow Chow, and the rest is history.

That is until Rachel calls Andy begging for a favor: If Rachel dies, will Andy take care of Lion if her stepson cannot? Andy agrees, no questions asked and promptly forgets about it ... until he receives a call from Rachel’s estate to attend her will reading. Which is where he meets Rachel’s stepson, Tony, who is promptly arrested for his stepmother’s murder. And he wants Andy to prove his innocence.

Andy has continued to learn more about the woman he so greatly admired and the businesses she ran, and holy chow, was this woman impressive. The person who killed her deserves to be held accountable, and if Tony is to be believed, they’re still out there. And that possibility is too much for Andy to remain on the sidelines.

Andy is a criminal defense lawyer who doesn't want any clients.  Because of the money his father left him and some lucrative cases, he is able to not work and spend his time with his friend, Willie, running the Tara Foundation, a dog rescue that he and Willie formed.  He is married to Laurie, they have a young son, Ricky, three dogs and he is enjoying his life.

Rachel had adopted a dog named Lion from the Tara Foundation and contacts Andy to ask if anything happens to her, would the foundation take the dog back (if tony, her stepson, doesn't want him) and rehome.  Of course, Andy agrees.  He's surprised when she passes away a couple weeks later of an apparent heart attack.  Tony is happy to take Lion so all is well for the dog.  But then Tony is arrested for the murder of Rachel and since he is a fellow dog lover, Andy agrees to take on his case. As Andy and his team start digging, they discover her murder may have something to do with the company Rachel's late husband and Tony's late father had started but others don't want to have known.

This is the 25th in the Andy Carpenter series (I've read them all) and I have been liking this series.  Even though it is part of a series, it works as a stand alone (so you don't need to have read the ones before it to know what is going on).  I like the writing style as it was funny, sarcastic and amusing.  It was written mostly in first person perspective in Andy's voice.

I like Andy ... I think he would be a hoot to be around and he's quite generous with his time and money (he never charges for his services).  Part of Andy's team is the K-Team (Laurie, a former police officer and now an investigator; Marcus, an investigator with "persuasive" reasoning skills; Cody, a former police officer; and Simon Garfunkel, Cody's former canine partner).  Sam is his accountant who is also a computer hack who wants to be part of the action.

Saturday, 12 November 2022

Cat Shelter Building Workshop, Toronto Street Cats, Toronto, ON

I spent this morning volunteering with Toronto Street Cats building cat shelters.  The workshops are held throughout the fall and winter season in the garage of the Toronto Humane Society.  It's my fifth year volunteering with them ... it's so nice helping the kitties in Toronto keep warm and dry during the cold winter. 63 shelters were completed and 23 more 2/3 completed … 131 were sold!

Our mission: improve the lives of Toronto’s homeless cats by offering spay/neuter services, free for feral cats, and building overwintering shelters. We are also working to increase public awareness about Toronto’s homeless cat population and the importance of spay/neuter and trap/neuter/return (TNR).

We are part of the Toronto Feral Cat Coalition, working together to implement strategic TNR programs to sterilize Toronto’s feral cats, decrease shelter intake and reduce euthanasia rates.


We taped the insulated walls together in the bins and then taped the tubing entrances ... I started with the first part (I like it better) then moved on to taping the tubing to the shelters. Thom cut the tubing for the entrance ways, cut the Styrofoam for insulated walls and drilled holes into the bins after the insulated walls had been taped inside.  Judy put the straw in the bins and closed them up. 

Me!
Thom
Before