DIY Raised Planter Box

It’s April and that means that, while we can’t plant our gardens just yet, we can get everything prepped and ready to go. I love gardening, but I hate how my back and legs hurt after a morning crawling around on the ground. I’m no spring chicken anymore! That’s why I love today’s DIY project – making your own Raised Planter Box! All the joy of gardening, all the satisfaction of growing your own food, the sense of accomplishment from making something, and none of the aching muscles!

Video via Wicked Makers

If you try your hand at making your own Raised Planter Box, send us an email at wallaceburgseniorcentre@gmail.com with pictures of your creation!

Walk At Home Workout with Meredith

In this exercise video Meredith is guiding you through an easy–to–follow beginner walk at home workout! This is a beginner level workout but can still be challenging for anyone at any level. This routine uses no equipment and can easily be done in the comfort of your own home. This workout incorporates the best of cardio exercising and range of motion movements that will be sure to leave your whole body feeling great afterwards. Remember to only do movements that you are comfortable and keep a chair close by if you would like extra stability during your session.

Video via Senior Fitness With Meredith

You should always consult your physician or other healthcare provider before changing your diet or starting an exercise program.

Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup

This soup is a personal favourite, so how could I not share it with you? I love the flavours in this soup, and it is so easy to make. Bring your soup game to the next level. You won’t regret it!

Ingredients

  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cans of Condensed Tomato Soup
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped or 2 tbsp. of sun-dried tomato paste
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 package cheese-filled tortellini
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, for garnish

Directions

  1. Combine garlic and olive oil in a large stock pot, and saute over medium heat until golden brown – be careful not to let the garlic burn.
  2. Add tomato soup, tomatoes, half and half, chicken stock and spices to the pot. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Drop tortellini in the soup, and cook according to package directions.
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with parmesan cheese.
  5. Enjoy!

As always, if you have a favourite recipe that you would like to share, email us at wallaceburgseniorcentre@gmail.com

Recipe and image via Key Ingredient

Virtual Tour – Ottawa

The Canadian capital is home to about 1 million people, numerous colleges and universities, research and cultural institutions, and many national museums. It is also the heart of Canadian politics, where our iconic Parliament Hill nestles up to the Ottawa River.

Join Ottawalks as they journey through Canada’s capital city at night. See Parliament lit up, the bustling night life at Byward Market, and many other popular sites by the glow of the city lights.

Video via Ottawalks

As always, if there is a specific city or site that you want to have a virtual tour of, just let us know and we will do what we can to make it happen!

Trivia Thursday

Today is the 48th edition of our Trivia Thursday, and my first attempt at making a trivia post! With it being so lovely outside, I wanted to make today’s trivia post full of interesting little tidbits about Spring! Test your knowledge and see how much you know about this wonderful season!

As usual the trivia questions will be listed with a short story below which has the answers hidden within it. Some answers are obvious while others might be harder to figure out. The answers are posted with in the comment section. Do you think you can find all the answers?

Please feel free to leave comment and let us know how you did.

Ready…. Set… Go….. Have Fun

The Questions:

  1. What is usually (but not always) the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere?
  2. Which holiday falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal (Spring) Equinox?
  3. What myth is associated with the first day of Spring?
  4. These two flowers are usually the earliest to bloom each spring.
  5. This day is observed internationally as a day to raise awareness a bout environmental issues.
  6. The opening of the cherry blossom in March or April signals the start of spring in this country.
  7. According to Greek myth, the return of spring coincides with the return of this goddess.
  8. Spring is the most popular season to make this large purchase.
  9. The early Egyptians built this monument so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the spring equinox.
  10. These flighty creatures are more likely to swarm during the spring but are actually more docile than at other times of the year.
  11. April Fools Day is believed to have started in 16th century France when this was changed from the Julian version to the Gregorian version. With this change, the observation of New Year’s changed from April 1st to January 1st. Those who continued to celebrate on April 1st were called “April Fools.”

The Story:

Three sisters, Elizabeth, Jane, and Lydia, were out for a walk one mid-April day. The trees were starting to bud, and the tulips and daffodils were poking through the soil beside the path. The birds were singing, the honeybees were flying from flower to flower, and the laughs of children playing could be heard.

It was the first time they had seen each other in several weeks. They walked and talked about their husbands, their kids, their jobs, and got caught up with one another. Eventually the subject changed to where the sisters wanted to take their next vacation.

Elizabeth, always the most adventurous and definitely the most quirky said “I want to do one of those weird tours where you go see creepy things. I would love to go to Japan and see how close I can get to that nuclear powerplant that had a meltdown and see the Haunted Forest.” Her sisters looked at her like she was crazy.

Lydia said that she would love to go on a cruise or to a tropical beach somewhere. “Anything with a beach, basically,” was how she put it.

Jane, always the most practical of them all, said “I was thinking of buying a house actually.”

“In this market? It’s a seller’s dream right now. You think you can find a house at a decent price? You’d have better luck balancing an egg on its tip!” Lydia exclaimed.

“Really Jane, sometimes you have to live a little.” Elizabeth pushed. “Make some memories. Where is someplace you have always wanted to go?”

“Well, I have always wanted to see the Pyramids and the Great Sphinx…”  

“Ooh. That would definitely be an awesome trip!” Elizabeth said, nodding.

Lydia exclaimed “Hey! I just had an idea! We should all go together. It can be a chance for us to hang out for more than a few hours. Jane, you have gotten so busy with little Persephone, and Elizabeth, I haven’t see you since New Year’s.”

“I love that idea, Lydia!” Elizabeth said. “Let me just check my calendar and see when I can make it work.”  She pulled out her agenda and started flipping through it. The other sisters did the same.

“Well, I’ve got a huge project coming up at work. It’s going to take months to finish.  Plus, I need a little time to save up for a trip.” Lydia said.

Elizabeth thought. “Well, what about next March?” That gives us nearly a year to save up.”

“Isn’t Easter in March next year?” Jane questioned.

Lydia checked. “Nope. It’s in the middle of April next year. Close to Mom’s birthday. And Earth Day apparently” she said, looking at her calendar app.  

“The kids have March Break until the 20th. They go back to school on March 21st. Can we leave after that?” Elizabeth requested. “Darcy is great with the kids, but I would feel bad taking off on a trip and leaving him alone to take care of them all day. Plus waiting until after March Break should be cheaper.”

“Yeah, that works for me” Jane said, nodding.

“Me too” Lydia smiled.

“Great! It’s a date then!” Elizabeth declared.

The sisters kept walking, enjoying the warm spring sunshine, and talking of all the sites they wanted to see when next spring came around.

DIY Faux Stone or Ceramic Vases

Have you liked the look of stone vases but not the weight (or the price) of them? Then we have the perfect solution – create your own! Follow Caro’s tutorial to take any old vase or jar from the back of your cupboard and give it new life by painting it to look like the stone vases that are so popular now, and at a fraction of the cost!

Video via Caro Rostran

If you try your hand at making your own DIY stone or ceramic vase, send us an email at wallaceburgseniorcentre@gmail.com with pictures of your creation!

Chair Exercise Higher Intensity with Steve Bottrill

Today Steve Bottrill has us doing a higher intensity workout. Because this exercise takes place while sitting in a chair, it is still safe for many seniors who are concerned about balance to take part while really getting your heart rate going. This video features a lot of cardiovascular movements and include shoulder movements and stretching.

Video via Steve Bottrill

You should always consult your physician or other healthcare provider before changing your diet or starting an exercise program.

Gruyère, Bacon, and Spinach Scrambled Eggs

Ingredients

Scrambled eggs have always been a favourite of mine. But they do tend to get boring after a while. Why not mix it up a little and make this restaurant-worthy take on scrambled eggs?

8 large eggs
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil or unsalted butter
2 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and broken into pieces
2 cups spinach, torn up
2 oz. Gruyère cheese, shredded

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil or butter in 10-inch nonstick skillet on medium. Add eggs and cook, stirring with rubber spatula every few seconds, to desired doneness, 2 to 3 minutes for medium-soft eggs. Fold in bacon, spinach, and Gruyère cheese.
  3. Enjoy!

Recipe and image via Good Housekeeping

As always, if you have a favourite recipe that you would like to share, email us at wallaceburgseniorcentre@gmail.com

Virtual Tour – Vatican City

Today is Good Friday, so what better place to tour today than Vatican City? Most people either aren’t aware or tend to forget the fact that the Vatican is its own country, and not part of Italy. Vatican City covers just 121 acres and has a population of 825 people, making it the smallest country in both size and population. But it is also one of the richest and most powerful countries on earth, a place with a rich history and that has some of the biggest collections of art in the history of mankind. Journey through the Vatican’s main attractions including the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica (including the rooftop of the basilica), the Vatican museums, and enjoy the history and the most famous pieces of art of this unique country.

Video via Travelzilla. Iam

As always, if there is a specific city or site that you want to have a virtual tour of, just let us know and we will do what we can to make it happen!

Happy Easter!

Easter has been seen as a time of new life and renewal as the Earth shakes off the cold snow of winter and the flora and fauna begin to appear again. It is such a hopeful time of year, with the promise of great things to come.

This past year has been challenging for everyone. As we move into another shutdown that will keep us from our friends and family, know that there is hope around the corner as more and more people receive the vaccine and good weather will allow us to be outside and more active than this past winter.

We at the WAAC hope that this Easter inspires you to new hope, happiness, and prosperity. Wishing you the hope and beauty of springtime and the promise of brighter days ahead.

Centre Closure Due to Provincial Shutdown

Just a little while ago, Premier Doug Ford announced that Ontario has pulled the COVID-19 Emergency Brake and the province is once again going into shutdown. This newest shutdown is to last from Saturday, April 3rd until Friday, April 30th.

What does this mean for you?

  • The Centre will be closed until we are out of shutdown. Victoria will be available to answer inquiries via phone or email Monday to Friday from 8:30 to 4pm.
  • All pool playing sessions are canceled.
  • All exercise classes are canceled. For those who have already paid for April sessions, please contact Victoria in the office at 519-627-6224 to make arrangements to pick up your refund.
  • Sue’s Kitchen will be closed. She will be taking Frozen Food orders, which will be available for pickup only on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8am until 11am. Please call 519-359-6832 to place your orders.

Our website and Facebook page will continue its regular posting schedule, as well as posting any relevant updates. Be sure to follow at www.wallaceburgadultactivitycentre.ca or www.facebook.com/WallaceburgAAC/ for the latest.

We will be working hard to prepare to reopen the Centre as soon as possible once the shutdown is over. Know that in the meantime, we are thinking of you and sending our warmest thoughts to you and hope that you all stay safe and healthy in this trying time.

Sincerely,

WAAC Board of Directors and Administrative Coordinator

Reminders for Those Playing Pool

Our pool tables are hopping – so much so that we are looking at adding afternoon sessions to the calendar (see our previous post for more information on that)! It’s so great to see people enthusiastic about playing!  The WAAC just wanted to send out a friendly reminder about several of our pool table protocols.

  • Registration is required for pool. You must register in advance with Victoria in the office (you can call, email or stop in the office to save your spot).
  • You will be allowed to register for up to 5 days a week.
  • Registration will start on Thursdays for the following week.
  • Spots are reserved on a first come, first serve basis.
  • A maximum of eight (8) players will be allowed in the pool area at a time.
  • No spectators or guests allowed.
  • Drop-ins will be allowed only if there are available spots.
  • Please pay prior to beginning play. If you need change, please see Victoria in the office.

Adhering to these protocols will ensure that we are following all COVID-19 government regulations. This will help keep you and our community safe and allow us to continue to offer this program.

Possible Afternoon Pool Sessions

Due to the extreme popularity of our pool tables, we are looking at possibly opening an afternoon session to accommodate everyone! The afternoon session will run from 1:00 until 3:30. The cost would be $2 for the entire afternoon.

This is where you come in. We need your help to determine if there is enough interest to run this program. Please take this short (only 1 question!) survey to let us know if adding an additional pool session is of interest to you:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6K5BKSC

Thank you for taking the time to complete this quick survey. Your feedback helps us develop programming that is of interest to our members. It is our hope that, as the vaccines roll out and cases decline, we can add back more of our programs and activities.

In the meantime, take care and stay safe!

How to Make a Two Seam Tote Bag

I love sewing and I always fall in love with fabrics and usually buy more than I should (which is something I picked up after not having bought enough for a project before!). This Tote Bag Tutorial is a great way to use you that extra fabric up. If you like the look of this Tote Bag, but not the size, you can also adjust it to suit your needs. This bag is so easy to make and is cute too! I love the little pop of interest the contrast top gives the bag!

If you try your hand at making a Two Seam Tote Bag, send us an email at wallaceburgseniorcentre@gmail.com with pictures of your creation!

April Exercise Classes – Register Today

Classes for our 4-week April Session are filling up quickly, but we do still have several openings in most classes. In fact, due to BOTH Pilates classes filling up almost right away, Dianne is offering a 2nd Pilates class on Wednesdays from 10:15 to 11:15 for those who couldn’t get into the other classes.

Registration is also now open to non-members, so if you have a friend who has expressed interest in taking a class, let them know (see chart for cost breakdown). Registration ends this Thursday, so contact Victoria at 519-627-6224 to reserve your spot today.*

For those already registered or wishing to take the Wednesday Pilates classes, please be aware that Dianne is not able to have class on Wednesday April 7th and will hold a make-up date on Monday April 12 instead. Class time and location remain the same.

*Just as a reminder, if a class does not meet the minimum number of participants (7 minimum for classes held at the WAAC, 8 minimum for classes held at Trinity United Church), it will unfortunately need to be canceled.

Easy Chair Exercise with Ball with Steve Bottrill

Today Steve guides us through a gentle chair exercise with a ball. You can use any lightweight ball you have around the house for this exercise routine. After a quick warmup, Steve leads you through several ball exercises. He closes the workout with some breathing techniques. Keep an eye out for a surprise visit from Steve’s cat!

Video via Steve Bottrill

You should always consult your physician or other healthcare provider before changing your diet or starting an exercise program.

Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles

It’s the last Monday of the month, which means it’s time for a great dessert recipe! And with Easter coming up on Sunday, why not make today’s dessert recipe Easter-themed? These Easter Egg Cookie Dough Truffles are adorable and tasty! I really have to have one these, but only if I can gift the rest of the batch away!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of butter room temperature (see note)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (see note)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • pink blue, purple, and white candy melts

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a large stand mixer, cream the butter and the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes. Beat in the vanilla.
  • Slowly add the flour, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  • With the mixer still running, slowly add in the sweetened condensed milk. You may need to stop the mixer periodically to scrape down the sides. 
  • Once it is fully combined, stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Form the dough into one inch balls, and then shape into eggs. Place on a wax paper-lined pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Melt the candy melts according to the directions on the bag. Keeping the truffles in the refrigerator, and removing only three or four at a time, dip them in the candy melts one at a time with a fork. Gently tap off any excess chocolate and let dry on wax paper.
  • To add the stripe decoration to the eggs, dip a fork in a different candy melt and simply drizzle over.

Notes

Butter Note: The butter should be soft, but not at all melted. You should be able to push your finger into it but not all the way through the stick. To achieve room temperature butter quickly, cut up the butter in one inch pieces and leave out on the counter for a half hour.
Flour Note: To prevent risk of e. coli, spread the flour on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then proceed to use in this recipe.

Recipe and image via Simple Joy

As always, if you have a favourite recipe that you would like to share, email us at wallaceburgseniorcentre@gmail.com

Virtual Tour – Jerusalem

Easter weekend is next weekend and Passover starts tomorrow. It is fitting that today’s virtual tour takes us to Jerusalem, the heart of the Abrahamic religions – Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. Each year, during Passover and Easter thousands of worshipers flock to Jerusalem’s holiest sites. Unfortunately, this year that won’t be possible so we’re bringing these breathtaking and spiritual sites to you in a special virtual tour.

See the Tower of David, the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and numerous other historical sites in this beautiful tour

Video via Israel

As always, if there is a specific city or site that you want to have a virtual tour of, just let us know and we will do what we can to make it happen!