Things I Love Thursday – Being outside

Since returning to Toronto from Austin, I’ve been working on something, with a sense of both urgency and excitement that has also resulted in me being a bit of a shut in. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to work from home for the last year or so doing freelance web-development work, but a new, and more personal project is my current work in progress. That said, I’ve been dreaming of sitting outside, even with my laptop, and maybe a nice glass of tea, or a zevia. Today, was the first day I’ve done that for a while. Why the sudden change? JC and I have been trying to build an outdoor table for the last few days. We bought this Applaro table from IKEA this weekend. A semi impulse purchase after going to have a dinner of Veggie Balls in their dining area. Our existing outdoor table has been shifting with the weather, and had become pretty unstable (to the point where trying to rest both a laptop and a mug of tea was inviting disaster. So, step one, buy a new table. Step two involves actually putting the table together, and we both did it, but separately. I opened up the box and did the table, JC attached one of the legs, and one side of the brace, and I finished it up today. This piecewise construction worked out great, and letting myself leave it alone for a while had a positive impact on my life. I’m usually a finisher,…

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Street Art, Sunsets, Strombo, Shelter Pet Project – Things I love Thursday

Today’s Thing I Love Thursday list it brought to you by the letter S, and the number 4. I’m currently in Edmonton visiting my parents, which is really nice, and just a couple of days ago I was taking in the sunshine and warmth of Los Angeles and Southern California. So, there are lots of things to love, and it’s been a great couple of weeks. Here goes the list: Travelling I’m grateful that we were able to go enjoy both ExpoWest and see a few of the California sights and restaurants while we were visiting, and I’m grateful that I was able to go home for a night before flying off to Edmonton. I love our sweet troupe of cats, including the temporary members of the household. To everyone that doesn’t think cats express love without ulterior motives, I’m not convinced. Our cats love us. They came excitedly to the door when we came home, and it’s not about food – because they always have food and water available at all times. Great Street Art/Activism. This “Not Your Mom, Not Your Milk” was stenciled outside a grilled cheese restaurant by misteruncertain on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles. I was delighted to see it. An Ocean Sunset with JC I was happy this week to be able to put my feet into the Pacific ocean again and watch as the sun appeared to slowly fall into the sea as we stood watching on the Santa Monica Beach, cool waves splashing against our…

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Things I Love Thursday – Chilis on Wheels, maybe other things

So I’ve had a busy & short week this week because Ontario’s new Family Day holiday that happened this past Monday. JC and I spent the weekend mostly inside, with the exception of going to Sadie’s Valentines Day prix fixe diner (which by the way, was the first time this month we’ve gone out to eat – it’s a whole new world.) Like last week, my obsession with puffins has not gone away, if anything, I started looking for more information about them, including a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum to see if they had any puffin information. (& also to visit the Douglas Coupland Exhibit.) Chilis on Wheels A friend shared the story of Chilis on Wheels today and it was easily the nicest and best thing I read all day Michelle Carrara and her son delivering warm chilli to hungry people in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. I’m especially touched by this because she’s working with her son to help people without losing sight of the larger systems involved in inequality and hunger. Post by Chilis on Wheels. She identified a hole in the existing support network and is actively working to fill it. That she’s using vegan chilli to fill that void doesn’t hurt either. She’s currently doing a fundraising campaign so if you’d like to support it, you can find it over here. That’s all for now, but I hope you’ve had a great week!

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Things I Love Thursday – These posts. Snow. Puffins. Basketball.

Snow Last week it snowed heavily, or as heavy as it gets in Toronto, so I went out there with my (well – JC’s) trusty blue shovel and got to work first with our sidewalk and walkway, and then I move on to some of the rest of the neighbourhood or whatever I have time for that day. You see, I like shovelling. I like winter. I like snow. I like when people are able to walk or move along the sidewalk with ease. But after shovelling for around three or four hours, and working my way back to my house, one of my unfortunately nearby neighbours came out of his house and told me I was wasting my time and that the city would take care of it. It took me a second to even comprehend what he was saying. Maybe it was exhaustion, but I just felt fucking awful. I walked home dejected, after feeling pretty happy getting the sidewalk near Sorauren park cleared off and a far-away friend had told me about a less mobile friend that could use some de-snowing, and then I could just walk around shovelling people’s front sidewalks that hadn’t been done yet. But here I was feeling choked up over this jerk, who probably was just trying to save me the trouble, but instead made me feel like a stupid chump that then felt even dumber for going home and crying about it. It was like I was in kindergarten and I…

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Things I Love Thursday/Friday -Bowlritos

I started writing this on Thursday, and then Friday appeared, and ended. But I’m still posting it. We’re working on a few things over at the JorEl house, and most of those things are good. In grown up news we recently bought some pretty spiffy new appliances to replace the old ones that came with the house. This week has been spent dealing with that – because unfortunately SOMEONE (me) failed to measure the narrowest part of the doorway. So we were well on the road to New Appliancetown, the old ones were removed, and just as they brought over the new ones… nope. Too narrow. So we got someone to come in and hack off part of our door and drywall. Seems like the perfect time of year to do it (just jokes – it’s not). But… we’re one huge leap towards being able to do our own laundry again. And while the laundromat is fun and all (& wash and fold), I miss that fresh fluffy warm blanket out of the dryer feeling. Tomorrow is the day. Tomorrow. I hope. Hope is no longer needed. Mission accomplished. We have grown up appliances and I’m genuinely excited to use them. JC was delighted by the fact that they make sounds when we open them. We’ll see how long this delight lasts. My review copy of JL Fields’ new book Vegan Pressure Cooking arrived in the mail, which is exciting in general, but even more so, when paired with the…

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Things I Love Thursday – Cookbooks & Friends

What about January? I could complain about the cold, a standard Canadian past time, except I find it familiar, and almost pleasant assuming the wind is to a minimum. I like the familiar crunch of my boots on the snow and the cement when the temperature gets to a certain low level. And I like knowing that in this hustle and bustle of a big city, there are other fellow prairie ex-pats living here that feel the same way. On with the Thursday list: Jadłonomia Over the past two months I’ve been attempting to get a vegan cookbook for my mother and her birthday earlier this month, sure this would be easy, if not for the fact that it required more effort than just ordering it from amazon and being done with it. Jadłonomia – a Polish vegan cookbook, was not on amazon at all. It’s not in a local bookstore (at least not local to me), and I had to dust off some cabinets in my brain to read a few Polish websites to successfully place the order. And when there are technical difficulties in another language, things become extra fun. Emails are exchanged, as I provide both English and Polish text, in hopes of being understood in one language or another – occasionally hearing nothing back, occasionally not being sure if people just don’t understand what I’m writing (in either language) but eventually, everything comes together. A fortuitous and almost serendipitous post and tip by a fellow fan on…

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Things I Love 2014 (beware pictures!)

I feel like it’s been too long since I took a moment to write a TILT. Too long. Last year even! To be honest, I started writing this last week, on January 1st, which also just happened to be a Thursday but got side tracked. But really, what better time to look back on 2014, and say, you were pretty decent, and I liked you? Better late than never? I suppose that’s been my policy for blogging in general. 2014 was a year of awesome travel, great experiences, and lots of plans & plots that are sure to carry through to 2015. The first few days of January 2014 were spent in the southern United States. We rang in the New Year in New Orleans. I never blogged about it, but what a beautiful way to ring in the New Year, off in the French Quarter, so many people from so many different places together. February 2014 is when one of my favourite fundraisers in Toronto happens – Recipe for change. I took a bunch of pictures and enjoyed the whole event greatly. I’m looking forward to it this year too. March 2014 was my first visit to Los Angeles, and when we attended the incredible ExpoWest, where natural and organic product makers, marketers, and retailers converge on to an expo building in Anaheim, California. Looking forward to this year’s expo as well. But what I really want… is to go back to this beach and run around in sandals in March.…

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Things I Love Thursday – Community

It’s been a tough week – not so much on me, I’m far removed from it, but it’s still kind of tough to be on the other side of the country. My dad went in for surgery earlier this week, but it sounds like everything is going fine. I’m left thinking about how I’m so far away and how nice it would be to be “home” during this time – where home is with my parents in Edmonton instead of my new home, with my chosen family – JC, Emmie, Kes, Marmo (aka Football), and our ever changing motley crew of foster cats. It would be nice to be able to visit the hospital and chat and annoy my father directly, but conveniently, cell phones are no longer banned in the hospital, or at least not in his ward, so I can call and bother him all I want (so I do). So this Thursday, one of the things I love is Family. My collections of families; genetic, chosen, by-marriage, the digital world of connections, the feline family that has chosen me. I feel lucky to have it all.  Even when I don’t always particularly like them all… I love them all. Nanowrimo Nanowrimo, aka National Novel Writing Month, continues, and I’m plodding along slowly, but actually hitting my word count goals or somewhere close to them on most days (yes it’s only been 6 days…) My story is also giving me nightmares, which of course manages to fuel my writing further.…

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Things I Love Thursday – Something Good.

In this week’s TILT, I’m going to skip mentioning autumn. Okay, just once. I like autumn. A lot. I like cold crisp air and crunchy leaves. (okay, that’s still autumn) And hats. And hot rooibos tea. (mostly symptoms of autumn) And all things pumpkin. (fine still autumn) Yesterday evening I had a pot of water with cinnamon bark, anise, cloves, and orange simmering on the stove.  It’s one of those wonderfully powerful combinations of smells that make me feel warm – like a nice fluffy blanket for my olfactory senses. I foresee this happening again. Especially as it gets colder. I love that we spent last weekend at PieBird Vegan Farmstay (a blog post about our time away is coming up tomorrow.) A beautiful technology-free weekend, in colourful Northern Ontario. Plus we got to borrow a cat. And they have a farm sanctuary there. We read so many books. And stepped on so many crunchy leaves in the forest (spoilers: it was perfect.) It sounds like our newest foster cats will get adopted which is nice. It really does get easier to foster over time, because it makes me feel good when our temporary cats find great new forever homes. I’ve found what I believe is a good safe level of attachment to them for my heart, it’s an attachment that is flexible, but still real enough to make them feel loved and cared for. Flexible enough that it doesn’t completely break my heart to let them go. I recommend it to…

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Things I Love Thursday – Autumn, as usual.

I love Autumn. I’m going to continue saying it, until it rolls into winter – then I will be less enthusiastic. But until then I will bask in the changing colours and the slightly cooler temperatures (which I prefer.) I love that the weather is perfect for mid afternoon coffee stops, while also being comfortable for outdoor walking. I’m looking forward to the Marineland Closing Day Demonstration on Sunday, and I’m looking forward to bringing along JC to his first Marineland Demo. We’ve booked a weekend at PieBird Farmstay in Nippissing, in Northern Ontario later this month to celebrate our wedding anniversary, which should be a tonne of fun. I’ve never been that far north in Ontario, and it looks like a lovely little place, both as a farm sanctuary AND bed and breakfast, so I’m looking forward to sharing more about the food and location in a few weeks. If you’ve been there, I’d love to hear any highlights of the Nippissing area, as I’ve never been up there. Hopefully I’ll get to meet Sunshine, and the rest of their rescues! Overall, it’s been a nice and busy week. And I’m greatly looking forward to the weekend.

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