Wednesday 31 May 2023

Knitted dog sweater

I just finished knitting a dog sweater I'll be donating to ElderDog Canada, which will be sold in their online shop, used directly as needed in ElderDog activities or included in special ElderDog fundraising. It’s considered a large-sized sweater (the chest is 18 inches). 

I found the pattern at Yarnspirations.

Boar's Head Pub, Stratford, ON

Before we saw Rent at the Festival Theatre (part of the Stratford Festival), Gord and I had lunch on the patio of the Boar's Head Pub.

Gord had corn chowder and wings with salt and pepper. He would get the chowder again but he said the wings were a bit oversalted.  

I had the Buffalo Chicken Melt with Pickles (crispy buffalo chicken strips topped with mozzarella cheese baked on a Vienna roll) and mashed potatoes. A weird combination but it worked and I'd get it again.

Janna was our server. She was friendly and took good care of us.

Tuesday 30 May 2023

Bar Wellington, Toronto, ON

It was nice to have supper on the patio at Bar Wellington at Portland Street/Wellington Street W (they recently just reopened).  There is a park across the street so it's a great spot for people and dog watching.

Gord had Bam Bam Shrimp (tempura battered shrimp tossed in tangy Thai sauce).

I had Baked Macaroni & Cheese (chorizo sausage with sweet cherry tomatoes, cheddar, mozzarella, monterey jack cheeses).

Both were good!

Tavia was our server. She was friendly and took good care of us.

Monday 29 May 2023

Agora Greek Market & Cafe, Toronto, ON

It’s such a nice day so I had lunch at Trinity Bellwoods Park after I visited KC's tree.

I headed to Agora Greek Market & Cafe, which is across from the park on Queen Street W, and picked up something to eat.

I got a Chicken & Potato Souvla Box (grilled marinated chicken, lemon roasted potatoes and grilled pita; served with house Tzatziki). A tasty relaxing lunch sitting at a picnic table at the park!

KC's tree, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, ON

I visited KC's tree this afternoon at Trinity Bellwoods Park.

I was there a couple weeks ago and it's gotten a lot more leaves!

Sunday 28 May 2023

Book ~ "Relish Your Retirement: 501 Fun, Insightful And Simple Ideas To A Blissful Retired Life For Women" (2022) Florance Philip

From Goodreads ~ 501 fun, insightful, simple and enjoyable ideas and things to do in your retirement without spending too much!

Are you now free from the time restrictions of your past workplace? Are you done being tied to the everyday routine of your 9-5 job?

Congratulations! You are now in the happiest chapter of your life!

No boss. No deadline. No pressure. No rat race!

You have more time to do what you want, anytime you want. But maybe you have no idea what to do with your life to keep yourself happy and productive in your retirement.

You might still be missing working despite it being stressful and overwhelming at times ... because your mind and body have gotten used to being active after so many years.

Maybe you have identified yourself with the work you do. You’ve felt secure about yourself because of your job. So, seeing your career end seems to stop you from having a strong sense of self.

Identity loss in retirement is common. You’re not alone – millions of people experience it.

Your transition to retirement might be difficult because of the emotional roller coaster that can follow but you can get through it with time.

The experiences you had while working has shaped you into the wise person you are now - more understanding of the world and, more importantly, yourself.

Your joyful life doesn’t stop when you retire; it is going to get even better!

In this book, you’ll discover how to get the best out of life in your retirement years

✔ Why retirement will be the best chapter of your life 
✔ The 5 stages of retirement you should be aware of - which phase are you in now? 
✔ Unique, simple, unusual and fun things to do without blowing through your savings 
✔ How to improve and maintain emotional and physical well-being in your golden years 
✔ Nurturing your relationships and deepening bonds 
✔ Fun ways to keep your creative juices flowing 
✔ Simple and enjoyable activities for ladies with limited mobility 
✔ Cheerful and indulgent ideas for foodies 
✔ Delightful ways to get outdoors and enjoy nature
✔ A beautiful chapter on giving back to your community
✔ A free bonus that you’re sure to enjoy. 
✔ Insightful activities and journaling at the end of each chapter that you do not want to miss

And much, much more - about relishing your retirement.

Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, you will indeed find something you enjoy with these 501 ideas that cover various activities from indoor to outdoor, from arts to food, from relaxing to merrymaking, and from traveling to snuggling at home. You will find something you’ll love and make you smile!

It’s time to get excited about your retirement ... because it’s about to be amazing!

The chapters in this book include:
  1. Clearing the Identity Crisis Hurdle 
  2. Activities To Develop Yourself During Your Golden Years 
  3. Nurturing Your Relationships and Deepening Bonds 
  4. Keeping Your Creative Juices Flowing 
  5. Challenging Yourself Mentally and Physically 
  6. Building Your Bucket List of Unique, Unusual and Fun Ideas & Challenges 
  7. Learning New Skills Without Pressure 
  8. Getting Outdoors and Enjoying Nature 
  9. Fun Activities for Seniors with Limited Mobility 
  10. Fun and Indulgent Ideas for Foodies 
  11. Getting Involved and Giving Back to the Community

I retired about eight months ago. Though I enjoyed my job, I was looking forward to retirement so my time would be my own. My two main criteria in retirement were to just do the things I wanted to do (and not have to do what I didn't want to do) and not have to get up with an alarm. And so far, for the most part, I've succeeded.

When I retired, I wanted to do everything but knew I had to pace myself. Volunteering was important to me and I've been doing that (as I have in the past).  And I've started doing aquafit.

There are some great ideas in this book, some I'm already doing and some I want to do (like learn how to tie dye and take a first aid/CPR course). The suggestions range from simple and cheap to more complex and expensive. I worked in the retirement industry for many years (so like reading books about retirement) and the majority of the people I spoke with would have trouble affording a lot of the things the author is suggesting because they will have trouble even being able to afford to pay their basic bills.

It was a fun book to read and will help those who are struggling to figure out what their retirement will be figure it out. I haven't had an issue yet spending my time.

Saturday 27 May 2023

Hurricanes Roadhouse, Toronto, ON

After I finished volunteering at Quest XO Chocolate, Gord and I met for supper on the back patio at Hurricanes (Bloor W/Dovercourt). I was craving wings and a cold beer and that's the first place I thought of as the wings are good and it's not far from our 'hood.

We both ordered wings and fries ...

Gord's wings were salt 'n pepper
Mine were Buffalo sauce

Both were really good!

Doors Open - Quest XO Chocolate Lab, Toronto, ON

It's Doors Open weekend here in Toronto and we usually go check some of the places out.

Explore some of Toronto’s most architectural, cultural and socially significant sites for free during Doors Open weekend. This year’s theme is City of Sound. Examine how music and sound have helped shape the city with a program of exciting performances, engaging tours and insightful talks.

This year I thought I'd do something different and I signed up as volunteer.

When I checked out the schedule of places I could volunteer, I saw that Quest XO Chocolate was on the list. Gord and I had done a fun Chocolate Painting Meditation workshop there in February and it's nearby so I signed up to volunteer there.

Chef Quest had a training session for the volunteers on Thursday evening and Miki and I stayed on to help her get ready for today.

Me and Miki
Quest, Miki and I
Quest, Miki and I

Doors Open was from 10am to 5pm today (and tomorrow) and we all arrived around 9:30am.

Twenty-five Liberty, located on the southwest corner of Liberty Street and Atlantic Avenue, is an industrial three-storey brick and wood beam structure with classical decorative motifs and symmetries commonly found in industrial vernaculars of the period. The site is located in the heart of the Liberty Village Neighbourhood. Historically, the area was part of the military reserve surrounding Fort York, but by the 1830's, part of the area was opened for residential development, places of worship, schools, and other public buildings. In 1901, notable architect, George Martel Miller, constructed the site for the Ontario Wind Engine & Pump Company, which already had other foundry buildings nearby for manufacturing wood and iron products.

Friday 26 May 2023

Book ~ "Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun" (2023) Elle Cosimano

From Goodreads ~ Author and single mom Finlay Donovan has been in messes before - after all, she's a pro at removing bloodstains for various unexpected reasons - but none quite like this. When Finlay and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they had "borrowed" in the process of saving the life of Finlay's ex-husband, the Russian mob did her a favor and bought the car for her. And now Finlay owes them.

Mob boss Feliks is still running the show from behind bars and he has a task for Finlay: find and identify a contract killer before the cops do. The problem is, the killer might be an officer themself.

Luckily, hot cop Nick has just been tasked with starting up a citizen's police academy and combined pressure from Finlay's looming book deadline and Feliks is enough to convince Finlay and Vero to get involved. Through firearm training and forensic classes (and some hands-on research with a tempting detective), Finlay and Vero use their time in police academy to sleuth out the real contract killer to free themselves from the mob's clutches - all the while dodging spies, confronting Vero's past, and juggling the daily trials of parenthood.

Finlay is an author and divorced mother of two. She and Vero, her friend and nanny, have been involved in a couple murders ... people think they did the killing but they didn't. They have gotten themselves involved with a Russian mob boss who wants them to find out who EasyClean, a contract killer, is. Finlay and Vero suspect it's a police officer so when Nick, a hot cop who likes Finlay, conveniently is starting a weeklong citizen's police academy, they sign up so they can figure out if EasyClean is there. The situations they got themselves into while at the academy were ridiculous.

This is the third in the Finlay Donovan series ... I recently read the first two. Though it does work as a stand alone, it's really helpful if you read the first two books first to get the background on what's going on and the relationship dynamics. It's written in first person perspective in Finlay's voice. I thought there were a lot of characters and at times I had a hard time remembering who they were and what they were about. As a head's up, there is swearing. 

At the end of this book, there is a cliffhanger (the first two books did too) ... and I hate cliffhangers! I like stories to be wrapped up by the time I get to the end of a book rather than an author leaving us hanging so they can make us buy the next book.

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Knitted dog sweater

I just finished knitting a dog sweater I'll be donating to ElderDog Canada, which will be sold in their online shop, used directly as needed in ElderDog activities or included in special ElderDog fundraising. 

It’s considered a large-sized sweater (the chest is 18 inches). Because the colour of the yarn was white, I included a thin variegated strand of yarn in the body that provided random subtle colour to make it more interesting.

I found the pattern at Yarnspirations.

The 3 Brewers Restaurant Micro-Brewery, Toronto, ON (Yonge Street)

Gord and I had supper at 3 Brewers on Yonge Street (just south of  Dundas Street) this afternoon.

Gord had a Lloise Flammekueche (caramelized onions, smoked bacon, sautéed mushrooms, swiss and mozzarella cheeses, baked on traditional flatbread with their famous Flamm sauce) and took half home for lunch tomorrow. I had burger sliders. Yum! 

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Disco, Toronto, ON

Disco, a disco-themed ice cream and cookie spot, opened on Queen Street W (at Dovercourt Road) about 2 months ago. I’ve been wanting to check them out … today I did.