Monday, November 30, 2020

Foto Tunes

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

Into our first week of lockdown I thought I'd share some Christmas cheer...

Twelve Days of Christmas

A poem for the season!

T’was a Month Before Christmas 2020☃️

 T’was a month before Christmas,
 And all through the town,
 People wore masks,
 That covered their frown.

 The frown had begun
 Way back in the Spring,
 When a global pandemic
 Changed everything.

 They called it corona,
 But unlike the beer,
 It didn’t bring good times,
 It didn’t bring cheer.

 Contagious and deadly,
 This virus spread fast,
 Like a wildfire that starts
 When fueled by gas.

 Airplanes were grounded,
 Travel was banned.
 Borders were closed
 Across air, sea and land.

 As the world entered lockdown
 To flatten the curve,
 The economy halted,
 And folks lost their verve.

 From March to July
 We rode the first wave,
 People stayed home,
 They tried to behave.

 When summer emerged
 The lockdown was lifted.
 But away from caution,
 Many folks drifted.

 Now it’s November
 And cases are spiking,
 Wave two has arrived,
 Much to our disliking.

 Frontline workers,
 Doctors and nurses,
 Try to save people,
 From riding in hearses.

 This virus is awful,
 This COVID-19.
 There isn’t a cure.
 There is no vaccine.

 It’s true that this year
 Has had sadness a plenty,
 We’ll never forget
 The year 2020.

 And just ‘round the corner -
 The holiday season,
 But why be merry?
 Is there even one reason?

 To decorate the house
 And put up the tree,
 When no one will see it,
 No-one but me.

 But outside my window
 The snow gently falls,
 And I think to myself,
 Let’s deck the halls!

 So, I gather the ribbon,
 The garland and bows,
 As I play those old carols,
 My happiness grows.

 Christmas ain’t cancelled
 And neither is hope.
 If we lean on each other,
 I know we can cope.

Monday Mural

 I'm linking up at Monday Mural

November 2020 - Toronto ON

Toronto Humane Society on Queen Street East by Uber5000, you can see his trademark yellow birds peeking about.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Soup Weather

November 2020 - Toronto ON

2015 - Blarney Ireland


This year has seen so many seismic events that Oxford Dictionaries has expanded its word of the year to encompass a whole bunch. They include Covid-19, WFH, lockdown, furlough, Black Lives Matter and moonshot. Casper Grathwohl, from OED, said he'd "never witnessed a year in language like the one we've just had".

At the libraries you won’t be able to browse books, periodicals or videos in person at libraries. But you will be able to pick up holds, go to the washroom and book an hour’s worth of time at a computer.

There's always one...we had a BBQ Rebellion to the lockdown.
It is illegal to open a restaurant to patio or indoor dining at the moment. But this owner was determined as he pointed out the inequities to the lockdown rules. Just up the street from his BBQ joint, Costco is open with far more people and in closer contact than his place.
He opened Tuesday and Wednesday and sold out his food before he was forced to close. He tried again on Thursday and this time the police were out in force, they even brought in the mounted unit and had 6 -7 officers on their horses!

In the days before the BBQ culture war started, the city shut down a community fridge that provided free food to area locals, and issued a warning letter to a Black man, Khaleel Seivwright, who built shelters for the homeless that aren’t permitted on city property.

Toronto hair salons fight lockdown by showing how little they contributed to the spread of the virus. I can attest that my salon is one of the safest places I've been.
Last Friday I had an appointment. No walk ins are allowed now and that was the bulk of their business located in the heart of the financial district. My stylist is now only working one day a week. She was the only one working. She had a customer when I arrived, I signed in, filled out the contact details (with a sterilized pen then put into a used container), and had my temperature taken. She wiped everything down before I sat. As she finished me another customer arrived.
The front door was kept open at all times even the temperatures are dropping.
I have said that the stats should be produced/shown to indicate the real contributors to the virus.


It is the first week of lockdown so it will be a short post. We haven't left the building since last Friday! John did go for one walk.
As of Friday Nov 27 we had 1850 cases.

We started the week with typical November weather, gray and dull. But we can't complain November has been an unusually warm and sunny month so far.

But we got our windows washed!

Sunday was like this. 

But, hey, at least we had our summer, John golfed several times a week since May. 

I'd rather be locked down in this weather!

Normally we would be either travelling, just travelled or be planning the winter sojourn. Oh well, nothing is normal, so instead we will cocoon during this lockdown.

We tried a new bourbon.

Up early on Monday morning and it was golden!

Click here to see more of the murals I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.

Catch up on my series on Toronto lanes.

Tuesday we stayed home as well, although John went for a walk. He also took the stuff leftover from the floors down to the locker, the carpet from the den, extra box of flooring, four storage containers, and the extra chairs from the balcony.

The Christmas tree   seasonal decor I ordered for the balcony arrived. It's small but perfect for that space and has lights.

Plants seem happy being inside but it's early days yet, the geraniums are starting to lose their leaves *le sigh*.

The new lobby furniture arrived. One of the manufacturers had gone out of business during the last lockdown so a new source had to be found.

Side lobby. I'm neutral on my opinion, it's nice to have a change, but it is a bit too monochromatic for me.

Main lobby

So glad the stained glass was kept. The art hasn't been received yet, and the ceiling panels need to be completed.

As an aside, I was talking to a member of the board, and he mentioned/showed me the new touchless wave to open option that is being installed in common areas.

New masks received from Mask This Face, half price sale and came with a laundry bag for the washing machine.

I had planned that we would attend many of the outdoor Christmas markets around town as a show of support for these businesses. But lockdown cancelled all of them.

Stackt had Miracle Toronto that was on my list. They then offered their cocktails as boxed kits for delivery.
Photo from their website.

So even though they were a lot little overpriced I decided to order a couple. Get into the Christmas "spirit" as such.
To say their had some learning experiences with this is to say the least but they were always pleasant to deal with. It took two deliveries to get my order right.
First order, I did not order these mugs, I returned them.

Second order, got the glasses right.

He brought a couple of canned cocktails as an apology.

Bad Santa - 2 x 750ml bottles of Campo Viejo Temperanillo
750ml bottle of Kranemann Tawny Port
375ml bottle of Grand Marnier
750ml Holiday Spice Cordial

Yippee Ki Yay Mother F****r! Kit - 200ml bottle of Appleton Estate Rum
200ml bottle of Bacardi Gold Rum
375ml bottle of Wray & Nephew Rum
350ml Pumpkin Almond Orgeat
8-10 Limes
10 Cocktail Umbrellas

Friday was our anniversary and John sent this emoji.

All the museums have closed for the lockdown so the AGO has virtual classrooms that I am going to make an effort to attend.


And who knew there was an chef's art pencil??

Saturday we had Chinese curry chicken, a favourite here. Yes, there is a difference between Chinese curry and Indian curry, as there is with the multitude of various curries.

Sunday roast pork, mashed cauliflower and potatoes with broccolini.

Monday hot Italian sausages, salad and bread.

Tuesday beef fajitas. I am working on getting rid of freezer items and this steak had been there since March (2020, I hope) from Longos. We typically get most of our meat from Costco. BTW the fajitas were delicious with gluten free coconut fajitas that had been hanging around the freezer as well.

Wednesday Creamy bacon chicken and potato chowder as I had thought I didn't have enough beef for the fajitas last night, I also took out chicken breasts so I need to use them. We also had some of John's gluten free bread to finish.
It was good but not as thick as I expected. I also should have added more potatoes. Perhaps I would make a roux (GF) after the bacon and chicken were cooked...

Thursday (American Thanksgiving) i unknowingly took a container of frozen turkey meat out to make something for dinner. Left over from our Thanksgiving last month, I had frozen it with gravy, as Google had advised. This was part of my using up frozen items. I made a turkey pot pie. The pastry, Bob's Red Mill gluten free mix, was also leftover, I had used half the box sometime earlier. The pastry turned out really well and the turkey tasted fine.

Friday we had a tentative plan to go to the market just to get out. We decided to play it safe and stay in. We had our usual steak with a baked potato and used up some languishing vegetables in the crisper, one bok choy, some broccolini. I do not do well with keeping bean sprouts. But again, Google advised me to store then in a container of ice cold water and it worked.


I found and finished The Keepers by accident on Netflix. If you grew up in an Irish Catholic family and went to an all girls high school run by nuns in the late 1960s as I did then this is for you. WARNING it is sad, frustrating and explicit.
The Keepers is a seven-episode American documentary web series that explores the unsolved murder of nun Catherine Cesnik in 1969.

I also watched The Investigator: A British Crime Story, another cold case.

I started watching The Confession Killer, The plot revolves around the 1983 case of Henry Lee Lucas who confessed to over 200 murders in the United States. Years after his admissions, they turned out to be lies.

We finished Suits!! And John will be happy not to hear me say "I know where that is" and "I've been there".

This place was in one of the last episode on Friday and I had to say "I've been there"!!

Am I the last person to hear of BookTube?????? Another article.

I started reading the chilling tale of a pandemic, The End of October, There is (for me) too much detailed information about pandemics and vaccines, but it is definitely a great read and you can skim on the medical details.

Friday, November 27, 2020


 November 27, 2020

Still going strong despite all these months of lockdown!

Weekend Roundup

 Welcome to The Weekend Roundup...hosted by Tom The Back Roads Traveler

My last rounds were coffee and beer. So it's time for some food and sleep!

1. Starts with "V"
2. A Favorite
3. VERDANT chosen by Tom

Starts with "V"

VENICE Yonge St. Toronto ON 2020


VALENCIA Spain 2018 coffee books and tea - what could be better?


Déjà Brew
A catchall for leftover beer, coffee, food, motels and whatever catches my fancy!

VINEYARD Motel Deming NM 2014

Weekend Reflections

 Posting at Weekend Reflections

Distillery District Toronto ON

New and old reflected.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Tuesday Treasures

 Tom the backroads traveller hosts this weekly meme.

Travel Tuesday
Our World Tuesday
My Corner of the World
Timeless Thursdays is hosted by Stevenson Que

Lane names are my new obsession as I wander the city.

Laneways, also known as alleys, are narrow streets that add to the diversity of the overall public space network, supporting the fine grain character of a city. ... Laneways can work as a network for pedestrians to navigate the city and build an overall identity for the city center.

Just 10 per cent of Toronto's more than 3,000 public laneways have a name. Usually the titles recognize community figures, events or local traditions, but many are delightfully strange with brilliant backstories.

"Bistro Lane" 

There have been several Bistros over the past four decades (Bistro 990, Segovia to name a few) located within this area. They are now closed and several condos reside in their original locations.

T for Tuesday I FORGOT!

 T Stands For is hosted by Elizabeth and Bleubeard

Toronto ON

I have featured Jimmy's Coffee shops on several locations for various memes but thought it would be a good addition to T for Tuesday.

JIMMY'S AT GERRARD, including the back story to the name Jimmy's.


Can you believe I forgot to include this famous Jimmy from the Ossington location????

This Jimmy's is in Kensington Market, a fun place to visit. Click on the label/tag below this post to see more Kensington Market sights.

Makes my grammar heart happy as one of my  many  irritations is misuse of LOOSE VS LOSE!!!!

I got quite a chuckle out of this, but not sure if everyone would.