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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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 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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A Final TILT for Vegan MoFo – Things I Loved – Soup, Salads, and Pumpkins.

I’ve enjoyed looking through all the posts and thoughts and recipes throughout Vegan MoFo, having all the blogs collected together on Feedly has been pretty great, and while I’m still (STILL) lamenting the loss of Google Reader, feedly does a decent job of aggregating RSS feeds, and I like that it’s integrated with a bunch of other services I like to use. I woke up feeling terrible this morning, I had to scrape myself out of the bed cocoon I had created with pillows, and try to get in motion, because I tend to follow one of Newton’s law’s of motion, this one especially: An object that is at rest will stay at rest unless an external force acts upon it. Even sitting up makes a huge difference in how I’m feeling, and I feel better when I’m moving around, than when I’m laying in one place being miserable. But it was tough. JC was kind enough to pick up some ginger, and then chopped it up, and boiled it in a pot of water, with some slippery elm bark blended beefree honee, and a splash of cayenne in an attempt at shortening the duration of these crummy feelings. Also, I realize it’s not Thursday right now, but it was when I started! 🙂 Any other hot tips? What do you do to feel better? (other than make samosa soup?) On with the Vegan MoFo TILT I’ve done three other VeganMoFo TILTS, and you can see them here: first week, second week,…

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Things I Love Thursday: Vegan Mofo Edition 3

Three weeks of Vegan Mofo already? Kind of, at the very least it’s the third Thursday of the month and my third time trying to do a round up of all my favourite posts from the week. A bit of a complication with veganmofo this month (cue my excuses) is that we are in the USA for ExpoEast this weekend, & spent yesterday in Washington, DC walking around to every museum we could find (beware: there are a lot of museums in DC). Lately, I feel extra terrible at blogging when I’m not at home. And I`ve only recently figured out the reason. It’s the keyboard. I really love my desk top keyboard. It’s a relatively heavy, clicky, Razer mechanical keyboard made for gaming, so for me, every keystroke is really satisfying. It feels good to type. And I’m not alone in this love for mechanical keyboards, there is even a whole subreddit dedicated to it, and this life hacker article is a great intro to why someone might prefer such a keyboard. The more I’m away from home, the more I realize just how much I miss my green keyboard monster. Soon though, soon we will be reunited, and that’s good. Because I have a lot more travel posts to write, and a whole bunch of work to do. I also just want to say – I love Washington DC. I love the Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries. I love them even more, because I can go to any or all of them for…

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