Friday 29 March 2024

Book ~ "No One Can Know" (2024) Kate Alice Marshall

From Goodreads ~ Emma hasn't told her husband much about her past. He knows her parents are dead and she hasn't spoken to her sisters in years. Then they lose their apartment, her husband gets laid off and Emma discovers she's pregnant - right as the bank account slips into the red.

That's when Emma confesses that she has one more asset: her parents' house, which she owns jointly with her estranged sisters. They can't sell it but they can live in it. But returning home means that Emma is forced to reveal her secrets to her husband: that the house is not a run-down farmhouse but a stately mansion and that her parents died there.

Were murdered.

And that some people say Emma did it.

Emma and her sisters have never spoken about what really happened that night. Now her return to the house may lure her sisters back but it will also crack open family and small-town secrets lots of people don’t want revealed. As Emma struggles to reconnect with her old family and hold together her new one, she begins to realize that the things they have left unspoken all these years have put them in danger again.

Fifteen years ago Juliette, Emma and Daphne's parents were found murdered in their house and though they couldn't prove it, everyone thought Emma did it. Juliette was old enough to take off and Emma and Daphne were put into foster care. The sisters have had no contact, by choice, since the murder.

Now married and pregnant, Emma and Nathan, her husband, have no choice to but to move back into her childhood house she still owns with her sisters as Nathan recently lost his job and Emma's not working. That's when Nathan realizes that there is a lot about Emma's childhood she never told him and this causes tension. Wanting to clear her name, Emma starts asking questions about what happened all those years ago.

I wasn't crazy about this story. I didn't care for the writing style and found it draggy and boring but I kept reading because I was curious to know who killed the parents. The "whodunnit", though, which we find out at the end, was ridiculous and I wasn't buying it. The book jumps back and forth in time, which I had no issue with, from today to around the time the parents are murdered. It is written in third person perspective from Juliette's, Emma's and Daphne's points of view. I didn't find any of the characters likeable and Nathan's character didn't really add any value. As a head's up, there is swearing.

Paupers Pub, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at Paupers Pub (on Bloor Street W, east of Bathurst Street).

Gord had Fish ‘n’ Chips (Fresh cod, beer battered in the English tradition and made to order. Served over crispy chips with a side of cabbage slaw, tartar sauce, and fresh lemon) ... he said it was good.

I had Butter Chicken (Housemade Indian butter sauce with tender chicken, basmati rice, and naan). He liked his fish and chips. My butter chicken was good … just the right amount of spice and the chicken was tender. There wasn’t enough sauce for the rice and naan, though, so I asked for a bit extra. It came nice and hot but I was surprised they charged me extra for it. I’d had it last summer and there was plenty of sauce. 

Our servers were chatty and friendly.

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Twisted Hat

I finished knitting another twisted hat. It’s a fun and easy pattern once you get into the repetitive groove.

I found the pattern here.

Directions are for size small; changes for size large are in parentheses.

Hat circumference at bottom edge: 16 (18)" [41 (46)cm]; Hat stretches to fit 20 (22)” [51 (56)cm]

I used 4.5mm [US 7] and 5.5mm [US 9] needles and 4 ply yarn. 

Hat is worked in the round on double pointed needles.

With smaller needles, cast on 90 (102) sts. Divide sts evenly around double pointed needles. Join to work in rounds, taking care not to twist sts. Place marker for beginning of round.

Ribbing Round: 
[K1 through the back loop, p1] around. Repeat ribbing round until piece measures 1½" [4cm] from beginning.

Round 1: Change to larger needles and knit.
Round 2: [K2, yo, k2, k2tog] around – 90 (102) sts.
Repeat round 2 until piece measures 8 (8½)" [20 (22) cm] from beginning.

Shape Crown
  • Decrease round 1: [K2tog, yo, k2, k2tog] 15 (17) times – 75 (85) sts.
  • Next round: [K1, yo, k2, k2tog] around – 75 (85) sts.
  • Decrease round 2: *K1, yo, [k2tog] twice; repeat from * around – 60 (68) sts
  • Next round: [K1, yo, k1, k2tog] around – 60 (68) sts.
  • Decrease round 3: [K2, k2tog] 15 (17) times – 45 (51) sts.
  • Decrease round 4: [K1, k2tog] around – 30 (34) sts.
  • Decrease round 5: [K2tog] around – 15 (17) sts.
  • Decrease round 6: [K2tog, k1] 5 times, k2tog 0 (1) time – 10 (11) sts.
Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread yarn through remaining sts and pull to gather. Secure end. Weave in ends.

k = knit
k2tog = knit 2 sts together
p = purl
St st = Stockinette stitch
st(s) = stitch(es)
yo = yarn over

Chen Chen’s Nashville Hot Chicken, Toronto, ON

I stopped in and picked up some lunch today at Chen Chen’s Nashville Hot Chicken  (just east of Gladstone/Queen W) ... it’s in my ‘hood. 

I got a Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich with “Southern” heat (a tiny kick heat) and no slaw. What a sandwich! The chicken was tender with just the right amount of coating and heat. Yum! I also got a large mac ‘n cheese so I can have leftovers.

Monday 25 March 2024

Book ~ "The Melting Season" (2020) Jami Attenberg

From Goodreads ~ Catherine Madison is headed west with a suitcase full of cash that isn't hers. She's just left the only home she's ever known, a small town in Nebraska, after the only man she had ever known, her husband, Thomas, deserted her. She's also left behind her deepest, most shameful secrets - among them a dysfunctional family she's never quite been able to escape and a marriage whose most intimate moments have plagued her with self-doubt. On the road, she was going to become a new person. Or so she thought.

But running away from the past isn't as easy as she had hoped. When Catherine reaches Las Vegas, she forms surprising new friendships that compel her to reveal what she had sworn she'd keep hidden and teach her what human connection really means. Armed with this new knowledge, she is finally emboldened to uncover the truth about her family, come to understand what destroyed her marriage and prevent her troubled sister from repeating her mistakes.

When the story begins, Catherine is driving west to get away from the small town in Nebraska where she is from. She has a suitcase with $178,000 which she has stolen from Thomas, her estranged husband. She ends up in Las Vegas where she is befriended by Valka, an older woman who is in Las Vegas to celebrate New Years Eve.

As the story unfolds, we find out why Catherine has run away. Her mother is a mean drunk, her father has tuned out and her younger sister is running wild. Marriage to Thomas hasn't turned out to be the love story she thought it would be.

Sounds like a dreary story, right?  Well, it was. The writing style for of the book was dark and depressing too. The only likeable character was Valka and I found her a bit over the top.  The story jumps back and forth in time as Catherine fills us and Valka in on what's been going on. As a head's up, there is swearing.

Sunday 24 March 2024

Men's knitted dorm boots

I just finished knitting Gord a pair of men's medium dorm boots.  I used 6.5mm needles and a bulky navy yarn (wool/acrylic mix).

  • 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)

  • 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.

Saturday 23 March 2024

Local Public Eatery, Toronto, ON (Adelaide Street)

This Local (at Adelaide and York) opened last month (it’s a former TD Bank) and Gord and I checked it out for a late lunch/early supper today. Megan is the manager and Gord got to know her when she worked at the Liberty Village Local

Friday 22 March 2024

Absolute Magic, Keith Brown, Red Sandcastle Theatre, Toronto, ON

Gord and I have seen magician Keith Brown a couple times at the recent Fringe Festivals. When we saw he was having shows at the Red Sandcastle Theatre (on Queen Street E), we bought tickets for his show and the post VIP experience. 

As always, it was a fun time … not only does he do magic but he tells stories and is funny and the show was interactive. 

His show was excellent and we’re so happy we stayed for the VIP experience because it was very up close and personal and mind blowing!

The Roy Public House, Toronto, ON

Gord and I had supper this evening at The Roy Public House in Leslieville.

I had Chicken Pot Pie (Tender chicken, onions, celery, carrots, corn & peas, in a rich sauce topped with puff pastry. Served with house made mashed potatoes).

Gord had Fish’n’Chips (Crispy beer-battered 8 oz. North Atlantic Cod filet. Served with coleslaw). 

Mr. Souvlaki, Etobicoke, ON

I had lunch today at Mr. Souvlaki on North Queen Street with Cheryl and Donna, my line dancing buddies. 

I got my usual … chicken souvlaki, potatoes, rice and tzatziki. I got a bigger meal (minus the Greek salad and with extra rice and potatoes) so I’d have leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

Thursday 21 March 2024

The Theatre Centre, Toronto, ON

Congrats to the Theatre Centre on their 10th anniversary! 

They had a party and fundraiser (the theme was "10 for 10" ... ten unique offerings over ten months) to celebrate this evening and Gord and I were there (it’s in our ‘hood). 

There were drinks, food, a raffle, a silent auction, a make-up bar, a fella painting, entertainment and Mayor Olivia Chow.

Gord and I