Monday, January 29, 2024

Monday Mural

I'm linking up at Monday Mural

August 2018 - Toronto ON

Around Parkdale, along Queen St. West

Emily May Rose is a Toronto-based artist and illustrator. Her work incorporates a recurring cast of characters, typography, narratives, and tessellated imagery. She explores urban themes and her own personal experiences living in the city, generally placing animals like raccoons into the scenarios in a humourous way to make light of their situation. Her work appears in many formats aside from murals, including editorial illustrations, gallery shows, apparel designs, and installations.

Sunday, January 28, 2024

One Word Sunday

  One Word Sunday

January 2024

RED Scotia Plaza billboards announcing the upcoming NHL (National Hockey League) All Star game to be played here in Toronto February 3.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Dual Citizen

Linking up with Marg at The Intrepid Reader

January 2024 - Toronto ON

We defrosted the old freezer and John looked at new models online.
I had my usual chatty chats with BFF and T on the weekend. It was too cold for anything else. Saturday was -15C (5F) wind chill of -23C (-9F). 

Monday I went for a haircut and then to Longo's. I remembered to get a photo of the newly opened TD Terrace building.

This picture is for Jinjer The Intrepid Angeleno who lamented the lack of a PATH in LA in last week's post where I mentioned how far we can travel downtown without going outside.

John went out to lunch with a friend at the Judge and Jury (gluten free Monday) and he had a Reuben sandwich.

Tuesday John woke with a sore throat so I did a quick trip downtown to stock up on cold items.

Wednesday John slept until noon! So I spent the morning on my laptop, reading this and that, did Wordle and the puzzle so as to not make any noise. 
He isn't coughing as much, it is more a head cold. I made tomato soup for lunch. John spent the rest of the day dosing on and off for the rest of the day. I did a quick run to pick up some vegetables.

Thursday and I might be fighting off his cold, fingers crossed so we had a very low key day. John had a nice nap in the afternoon.

Friday John felt a little better (still coughing) and I'm not bad, a little lethargic and scratchy throat and runny nose but that's about it. Another lazy day.


I baked a carrot cake and I iced it with this maple cream cheese frosting. I had to bake it an additional 25 minutes. Delicious frosting but note to self - use the whipping attachment! Note 2 to self - add chia seeds!

Saturday roast beef roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts

Sunday leftover roast beef sesame beef Thai dinner with rice noodles. This recipe's suggestion that you cut the leftover roast beef into very thin slices and marinade them made for an incredibly delicious meal, only slightly too salty from the soy sauce.

First time using these wider noodles and they needed more than the 4-8 minutes cooking time recommended on the package. These are a great gluten free solution that don't cost an arm and a leg.

Monday OMG John suggested fish so we had salt and vinegar potato chip haddock with a ranch buffalo salad kit.
Tuesday I did fish tacos with the extra fish and salad. Yeah, us, we finished the package of tortillas!
Wednesday bacon, mashed potatoes and sauteed cabbage. 
Thursday the same as Wednesday, not much interest in coming up with something else.
Steak and  sweet potato fries.


Prime Suspect 11973 Tennison tells the story of 22-year-old Jane Tennison's first days in the police force, in which she endured flagrant sexism before being thrown in at the deep end with a murder enquiry.

Before We Die BBC series 2021- a British crime drama television series. Adapted by Matt Baker, it is based on the Swedish series of the same name (Innan vi dör), which was created by Niklas Rockström.
Veteran Detective Inspector Hannah Laing (Sharp) investigates the murder of her colleague and lover Sean, which leads to her being embroiled in a major plot by the powerful Mimicas' crime family.

Queen & Slim is a 2019 American romantic road crime drama film. The film tells the story of a young couple who go on the run after killing a police officer in the heat of an argument as self-defense during a traffic stop.

The Great Hack is a 2019 documentary film about the Facebook–Cambridge Analytica data scandal. The documentary focuses on Professor David Carroll of Parsons and The New School, Brittany Kaiser (former business development director for Cambridge Analytica), and British investigative journalist Carole Cadwalladr. Their stories interweave to expose the work of Cambridge Analytica in the politics of various countries, including the United Kingdom's Brexit campaign and the 2016 United States elections. SCARY MESMERIZING

American Nightmare is a 2024 true crime television series. The series covers the March 2015 kidnapping of Denise Huskins from the home she shared with her boyfriend Aaron Quinn in Vallejo, California. The Vallejo police department and the FBI assumed the kidnapping was a hoax staged by Huskins and Quinn, and Huskins was labelled "The real Gone Girl" by the media. The couple are eventually vindicated when a detective connects another home invasion in Dublin, California, to Huskins' kidnapping, leading to the arrest and conviction of Matthew Muller.

Griselda is an American biographical crime drama streaming television miniseries. Griselda chronicles the real life of savvy and ambitious Colombian business woman, Griselda Blanco, who created one of the most profitable cartels in history.


It's been a long time since I read Denise Mina, but I had seen a book by her at Reese's Pop-up library last week.
I really struggled to finish Conviction, but I did. The book makes no sense at the beginning and then gets really bogged down with multiple storylines and really strange characters.

I read five pages of The Other Mistress and gave up.

Factory Girl, however has my attention!

Friday, January 26, 2024

Weekend Roundup

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

1. Starts with "D"
2. A Favorite
3. DARK - chosen by Tom

Starts with D



Thursday, January 25, 2024

Throwback Thursday - Matrimonial Cake

September 2017

It seems date squares have always been called matrimonial cakes in Manitoba!
Some feel it is called matrimonial cake because of the two separate layers brought together by dates which symbolizes two people courting and solidifying the relationship in marriage. Others feel that the smooth and rough textures of the date squares represent the easy and difficult times of a marriage. Some believe that it was individually wrapped, handed out at weddings, and then single gals would place it under their pillow and dream about their future husband.

Somewhere on the Praries 2017

This week's drive started in Jasper BC at 0 C and Friday saw us in Dryden ON

Click here for the drive from Kamloops BC to Jasper AB

Six Word Saturday

We woke to a brisk morning, 0 C, but we had plenty of clothes and we bundled up to walk to the lodge for coffee and some shopping.
What a magical setting! So peaceful.

We went looking for a Tim's in Jasper but then decided to wait until we were on the road.

Gas kept getting cheaper as we drove through Alberta.

Click here for more of our drive from Jasper to Edmonton.

Edmonton and we're booked into the West Edmonton Mall Inn, on points. It was right across from the mall and we walked over.

I am not a shopper and I get the same stores in Toronto. I was more interested in the entertainment.
The link above includes photos of the mall.
It begins in the late 1940s, when the Ghermezians left their homeland for New York. In the ‘50s, they began to move north and west. Jacob Ghermezian, the family patriarch, sent his eldest sons to Montreal where they were educated and re-established the family business, selling Persian rugs. In the ‘60s and ‘70s decided to settle in Edmonton. In the late ‘70s they hatched the idea of WEM.

The Mall opened in September 1981 and was 1,140,560 square feet and featured 220 stores and services.

September 1983 - increased the size of the Mall by 1,129,800 square feet and brought the Ice Palace Skating Rink, Galaxyland Amusement Park and another 240 shops and services.

September 1985 - World Waterpark, Deep Sea Adventure, Dolphin Lagoon, Sea Life Caverns and Professor Wem’s Adventure Golf and the Mall grew to a total of 5.2 million square feet, occupying a total land mass of 120 acres.

In 1986 Fantasyland Hotel, another 12 storeys were added. This hotel offered guests the opportunity to travel the world in its five theme room styles.

During the ‘90s, Phase IV opened and included mega-versions of Chapters, Starbucks, HMV and Scotiabank Theatre/IMAX 3D Theatre. West Edmonton Mall Inn opened across the street in 1999 to accommodate the increasing number of tourists.
We stopped in a pub for snacks and a beer. A new gluten free beer for John from Whistler BC.

We had picked up some items for dinner in our room.

Shadow Shot Sunday Chihuly
Inspired Sunday

We leave Edmonton after a very brief look downtown and head for Medicine Hat in Saskatchewan.
Click here for our drive.
This view is going to get very old and boring in another day.

The landscape changed as we entered dinosaur domain in the Canadian Badlands.
Drumheller is known as the dinosaur capital of the world because of the high concentration of fossils located in the area.

The world-renowned Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is Canada's only museum dedicated exclusively to the science of paleontology. In addition to housing one of the world's largest displays of dinosaurs, the museum offers a wide variety of creative, fun, and educational programs that bring the prehistoric past to life.

Senior rate was $14 each and well worth it.

We were not prepared for such a wonderful piece of Canadian history.
This museum is stunning.

See me???

We drive into the town of Drumheller. As with any tourist town there are other museums in the area.

The towering dinosaur – 4.5 times the size of a real T-rex – marks the visitor information centre in Drumheller.
 Can you see me? Between his toes, look for my pink t-shirt.

Time to hit the road! Ah, Saskatchewan! Known as the Land of the Living Skies, it is so flat that there is more sky than anything in my photos from the car.

We are in Medicine Hat for the night, again on points in a Ramada, the worst accommodation so far but served its purpose.
We made sandwiches for dinner.


Monday Mural Port Angeles WA
Foto Tunes memories
Good Random Fun

John takes the car in for an oil change and we set out around 11 for Regina.

Click here for our drive.

The world's largest teepee is just outside Medicine Hat.

We pulled over to get photos of the bison!

And we reach Saskatchewan...flat....

Moose Jaw was a good spot to stretch and walk a bit, it is also full of murals.

Calgary architect James McTeague designed the building in 1913 as the Monarch Theatre, but World War I delayed construction. In 1916 it was taken over by the Allen Theatre chain and the design was changed. When the Grand Opening took place August 19, 1916, it was the largest theatre in Saskatchewan. Its policy in 1916 was showing films up to October 1, and then through the winter it hosted all the road shows appearing at the Walker Theatre in Winnipeg, as well as a vaudeville circuit. Every Sunday it was open for the use of churches and church societies, free of charge.

The theatre originally held 580, but expanded to seat 910 (460 in the balcony and 450 on the main floor). In 1922 the name changed to the Capitol Theatre.

In 1929 it was renovated for sound, becoming the 21st theatre in the Famous Players chain and the 6th in Western Canada to receive Movietone and Vitaphone equipment. The renovation cost $50,000 and included electrical and ventilation systems, new drapes and new stage. The ventilation system was quite advanced and cost $10,000; one of the intake louvers still exists. More than 1,000 people were on hand for the first showing of talkies.

The Main Street facade retains the decorative design of Claybank brick and a prominent marquee.

This mural was behind the theatre.

We hit Regina at rush hour and find our hotel a SheratonFour Points - points.  Nice hotel with a lovely lobby.

Dinner room service, salmon and steak.

Tuesday Treasures

Regina SK to Brandon MB

This is only the second breakfast that we have paid for in a hotel on this trip!
No photos as I thought mine looked weird when it came but it was delicious.

Feta Scrambler..............................................$12 Feta cheese, roasted tomatoes, fresh spinach, mushrooms and hollandaise sauce.

Meat Lovers Scrambler.................................$14 Loaded with bacon, sausage, ham, and cheddar cheese. Egg Creations no-fat, no-cholesterol egg alternative, available upon request for any of our omelet or scrambled egg dishes.

Gluten free bread was available on request.

Regina is a pretty city and had a good vibe to it.
Best coffee shop name ever!

The Saskatchewan Legislative Building was built between 1908 and 1912 in the Beaux Arts style to a design by Edward and William Sutherland Maxwell of Montreal. The Maxwells also supervised construction of the building by the Montreal company P. Lyall & Sons, who later built the Centre Block of the federal Parliament Building in Ottawa after the 1866 Parliament Building was destroyed by fire in 1916. Piles began to be drilled for the foundations during the autumn of 1908 and in 1909 the Governor General of Canada, the Earl Grey, laid the cornerstone. In 1912, Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught, by then the serving governor general, inaugurated the building.

There are plaques for all of the Queen's visits to Regina.

The Royal Saskatchewan Museum was established in Regina as the Provincial Museum in 1906 to "secure and preserve natural history specimens and objects of historical and ethnological interest." It was the first museum in Saskatchewan, Canada, and the first provincial museum in the three Prairie Provinces.

Today is a better, that is, less boring drive as we have some towns to stop into.
Indian Head is located in the heart of Saskatchewan's richest farmland, and beside the Canadian Pacific Railway's main east-west line. Those two facts have had a great influence on the history and development of the community.

Little Mosque on the Prairie is a Canadian television sitcom created by Zarqa Nawaz and produced by WestWind Pictures, originally broadcast between 2007 and 2012 on CBC. Filmed in Toronto, Ontario and Indian Head, Saskatchewan, the series was showcased at the Dawn Breakers International Film Festival.

A satirical look at a Muslim community living in Canada, when Little Mosque began airing in January of 2007 its debut was an internationally covered event.
However, it eventually became hokey as do most sit-coms.

Some random photos.

This cracked me up - Seniors Happy Hour Club.

Wolseley, also known as the "Town with the Swinging Bridge".

We met an Ontario couple with visitors from Germany making the trip west.

Is John well trained? He got this mural at a gas stop when he went inside.

Day's Inn

Day's Inn in Brandon had a pizza joint right next door!
And it was good!

Weekly Travel Theme - COSY Vancouver BC

Brandon MB to Winnipeg MB

Brandon may be the second largest city in Manitoba but there wasn't much to see.

It's a short drive today to Winnipeg.

We stopped in Portage la Prairie to see this former water tank is 85 feet tall. It was moved from the City's water treatment plant quite a few years ago and Coca-Cola paid for the original paint job.

Lunch at Boston Pizza, a Canadian chain who have a gluten free menu.

So why did Gus Agioritis, a former Greek sailor who jumped ship in Vancouver, call his little restaurant Boston Pizza and Spaghetti House when he opened it 48 years ago on 118th Avenue and 124th Street?

Actually the name “Boston” was his third choice, according to Jim Treliving, a co-owner of the chain since 1983. “Santorini,” the Aegean island where Agioritis came from, and “Parthenon” were the first choices, but were already taken. “There was a fellow upstairs called Bill Boston, and Bobby Orr had signed with the Boston Bruins,” Treliving says, suggesting the name was decided more on whimsy than personal meaning.

Treliving, then an RCMP officer who rented a basement suite down the street for $88 per month, was a regular customer. In 1968, he became the first franchisee, opening a BP in Penticton, and then many more franchises in British Columbia, until he and George Melville bought the whole chain in 1983.

Treliving remembers the original restaurant with its red wallpaper, arches and chrome chairs. It had pizza ovens in the front window and a dining room in the back.

We looked for the Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine but never found it.

Since we were in Winnipeg early we decided to visit the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

The purpose of the museum is to "explore the subject of human rights with a special but not exclusive reference to Canada, in order to enhance the public's understanding of human rights, to promote respect for others and to encourage reflection and dialogue."

It was certainly thought-provoking!

It is rush hour when we leave and head to our hotel/ The hotel was so new that the GPS had trouble finding it. It was a brand new Hilton Garden Inn, points, and it was gorgeous.
Since we had a big lunch we were quite happy to have cheeses, pate and cracker for dinner.


Winnipeg MB to Dryden ON

As Hilton Gold we had a complimentary hot breakfast which was excellent. The plan was to just snack for lunch.

As we leave Winnipeg we see an unusual building and realize it is the Royal Canadian Mint so we decide to make a stop.

The Royal Canadian Mint (French: Monnaie royale canadienne) is a Crown corporation of Canada, operating under the Royal Canadian Mint Act. The shares of the Mint are held in trust for the Crown in right of Canada.

The Mint produces all of Canada's circulation coins, and manufactures circulation coins on behalf of other nations.

This was a great find, we were amazed.

The next stop was planned in Steinbach. The Mennonite Heritage Village brings to life the Mennonite way of life from the 16th century to the present day.
Entrance $8 per senior.
We decide to have lunch there and that was a great decision!! They do gluten free as well and John loved their bread.

We share the sampler and an extra soup, komst borscht, cabbage soup.

In the General Store.

Our destination is Dryden ON.  Can you believe it will take us four nights to get home to Toronto!

Dryden ON Comfort Inn

We were excited that there was an Indian restaurant that offered gluten free in town. We got there and it was closed, seems they close at 7:30???? So it was A & W for dinner, that's pretty Canadian.

Photo taken in White River ON

Friday Finds
Weekend Reflections

Dryden ON to Nipigon ON

After a quick breakfast at the hotel we head out at 8:45. It rained on and off during the morning, nothing heavy.

Saskatchewan could borrow some!

The crater on Mars named Nipigon Crater or Crater Nipigon is named after this town.

There are no chain hotels in Nipigon, you take what you can get. When we arrived two guys were waiting and said nobody was in the office. John chats with them, they are from California, retired and the wives suggested they take a road trip so they were heading to Niagara Falls.
John noticed his name against the key to room 114 so we were set.

John had read about a local restaurant, which happened to be within walking distance, Sue Chef, every time he said it to me I thought he said Sous Chef.
It had great reviews for home cooked food.

They didn't have any red wine???  John's hamburger steaks were cooked to death. He said they could have been used as hockey pucks.
I had liver that was delicious, but I did tell the server to just walk it through the kitchen!!
These were not my Dad's mashed potatoes!!! They seriously need a lesson on mashing.