Friday, December 8, 2017

Spicing Things Up

December 2017 - Toronto ON

I forgot to mention something that happened as we were driving to Florida in November.
We had stopped for gas and a woman came up to John and said:
"Sir, I missed my Greyhound bus, if I give you $20 will you drive me to catch up to it?"

1) She didn't ask which way we were driving! Or give us her destination.
2) How would we get the bus to stop?

She continued to ask the other drivers at the gas station.
We never did see a Greyhound that day.

On the way back, John stopped in Tim Horton's around lunchtime and a man had returned his sandwich saying he didn't like it. Cashier gave him back his money and then said "you may as well take it with you, I'm going to throw it out."


Painters are in for day 2. They did the second coat on the living room and hall and completed inside all the closets.

7 AM emptying our closet

The den

Contents of closets overflowing into bath tub.

Since we were waiting for Bell to show up to fix our internet/cable/phone we took turns going up to the Club to use the wi-fi.

Once they left we could put the stuff back in the three closets.

Bedroom closet.

Dinner was last night's leftover turkey.

Living room and hall are finished with two coats.


This was the view when we opened the shutters.

No painters today.

So we start to put the living room back into shape. We revised the travel wall a little, we took the masks from our bedroom and some other travel items and interspersed them with the photos.

Yes, the painters left their shopping cart of tools, with our permission.

There is space to the left of the wall that will get photos from our cross country trip this summer.

This was the view in the afternoon.

Dinner was pork chops and Brussels sprouts.


John took two more bags to Goodwill, the result of putting the stuff away on the weekend.

Painters are back to do the den and our bedroom so we take turns going out to run errands. They did the two coats on both rooms.

John had dinner with some old colleagues.


Painters again. Today the two bathrooms, pantry and kitchen were started.
We started ribs in the slow cooker before they put up the plastic over the counters.
We just did what we could around them.

Sunset was gorgeous.

Dinner - ribs, rice and broccoli.


The painters are back to finish up the bathrooms and kitchen.

John and I took a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond for some new towels and other odds and ends.
We looked there and in Lowe's for a bathroom mirror but nothing struck us.
I have sent off a sunset photo for framing so the size of that may impact the size of the mirror.

I went downtown to wander and check out the decorations. I was really disappointed in Brookfield Place which normally does great things.

Snowfall: FROST – an impressive 20-foot high sculpture—an abstract take on a snowflake paying homage to Santiago Calatrava’s vaulted design—capitalizing on the natural drama of the building’s six-story Galleria.

Snowfall: GUST– a series of 60 suspended and illuminated sculptures of sizes ranging from three to six feet in the lobbies.

And on the lower level is Snowfall: Flurry. A series of 2000 light-refracting sculptures,

I came home and the painters are finished! Tomorrow we can start cleaning and getting everything back in place.

Oven fried haddock and salad.


We started cleaning the living room and getting it back into order. We will have it all back in order by the end of the weekend.

We headed out to the Distillery District for their Christmas Market and dinner.

There is an admission fee on the weekends and a warning on their website that it gets extremely busy so Thursday was perfect for us, although it was still busy.

We took the shuttle and then grabbed a bus which dropped us at the Distillery District.

Click here for lots more photos.

It was a chilly night but we made a stop in a "new to us" distillery, Spirit of York for a warm libation.

We sampled a flight, 3 for $10, vodka, gin and aquavit. We liked the aquavit over the vodka and gin, which just didn't taste as crisp as other brands.
Aquavit is a flavoured, distilled liquor, clear to pale yellow in colour, dry in flavour, and ranging in alcohol content from about 42 to 45 percent by volume. It is distilled from a fermented potato or grain mash, redistilled in the presence of flavouring agents, filtered with charcoal, and usually bottled without aging. Various aromatic flavourings are employed, usually including caraway or cumin seed; lemon or orange peel, cardamom, aniseed, and fennel also may be used.

There were many vendors and lots of food available.

We had made a reservation at Pure Spirits, a good thing, as we would not have gotten in otherwise. We both had mussels and fries, duck fries for me which unhappily were more like roast potatoes.  The mussels were good but they are better at the Museum Tavern downtown.


Downtown for a haircut and then we needed to get some winter boots for John so we walked to The Bay.

More fun decorations.

The Bay

This tree is 100 sparkling red feet tall in the Eaton Centre.

One of The Bay's lovely windows. Click here for more of the windows and decorations.

We decided to have lunch at Sunset, an all day breakfast spot.

The new photo for our bathroom arrived. Pics next week.

Friday therefore it must be steak.


I forgot to mention last week that I had finished Commonwealth and really enjoyed it but would have liked more insight into the lives of the children.

I finished Dark Corners, as a life-long Ruth Rendell fan I was disappointed. This was released in 2015 just after she passed away. It didn't live up to her other books and it seemed like the ending was left unfinished.

I also finished The Keeper and enjoyed it but intensely disliked the self-important Sean Corrigan.

Distant Echo, also finished. Val McDermid never fails to deliver.

Started Cold Earth.

Friday Photo Journal

Weekend Cooking hosted by

Beth hosts Weekend Cooking where you can post anything food related.
Saturday Snapshots is hosted by West Metro Mommy.


  1. I love your header photo. The Eaton Centre tree is brilliant. Mussels, I love them. We have always done our own painting but with my partner at 68 and me with a niggling back, I think next time, soon actually, we will get professionals in. We have painted here once since we arrived in 2002. But I am not looking forward to the upheaval although perhaps not as bad as when we recarpeted. Each time the tv and associated items are dismantled, it is a new learning experience to put all the wires back into the right holes.

  2. We really need to paint, both inside and out. That’s a common type story here about the woman asking for money, we get beggers asking at gas stations all the time. It gets old. I don’t give anyone money anymore.

    1. It is so sad the amount of homeless people we have on the streets here in Toronto.

  3. Good reading getting done! I just re-started THE BRASS CITY, which I put down when I got busy with work last month. I like your new wall with the mix of photos and art. Love the holiday decorations. How fun to visit the distillery -- probably needed after moving all your stuff around for the painters!

  4. Everything looks so festive and joyful! Wonderful decorations- It feels good to get things cleaned out . Good luck with getting the painting done!

  5. That afternoon shot with the fog is fabulous!

  6. About your comment: Wow, I wonder how you will feel at Christmas, having been away for five! You made a big change this December season - great you could share this with all of us:)
    Oh, painting walls is such an upheaval! Like the new kind of white! Those big snow sculptures are amazing - art displays like that can only be shown in very big spaces - that I miss about the city! Have a beautiful week and hope the painters will be done soon!

  7. Nice tree you have there, minding its own business while the decorators carry on. :) :) All set for the festive season, Jackie. Thanks for the link up.

  8. Having to empty closets is a pain but you now have freshly painted walls. The sunset pics are outstanding.

  9. A cute cartoon...but heck, you were serious! I dread getting my bedroom much stuff to move out of the way! :-) Great photos.

  10. The muscles look fantastic! Haven't had any in a while. Love the cut out of tornoto on your header. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Oh and I forgot, I like your picture wall.

  11. I have to take a nap after reading your post .... lots going on for you! I am sure you feel settled again now that the painting is complete and everything back in its place. The holiday shots such as the 100-foot Christmas tree are delightful!


This blog does not allow anonymous comments.