Author Archives: Thelma

The low-down on the upload

I took over the volunteer webmaster position for our community website when the previous person moved back to the US a few years ago. He was a coder and I am not, but he assured me I could learn all the PHP and HTML and ABCs easily enough. He was overly optimistic!

I managed to update the website he created a few times by copying and editing bits of code but, to be honest, the site changed so infrequently I had to relearn each time I made changes, and I wasn’t enjoying the experience.

Last year I figured out how to make a basic WordPress site and built a new community site. Today I messed something up and now need to restore the site using a backup I thankfully downloaded. Unfortunately this is my Internet connection speed right now:

By the way, the answer to the question is that I’m getting exactly what I expect to get.

The file is 575 MB, so I think a trip to Summerside (45 kilometres away) to grab some wifi will be in order next week, and fingers and toes crossed the backup works.

Smacking vegetables

Today’s culinary revelation is smacking vegetables, which is not a description of how delicious they are but rather how you give them a good bash before cutting them. This is to ensure that any dressing clings to the uneven surface created by said bashing rather than sliding off neatly sliced chunks. Meera Sodha led me to this epiphany via this vegan recipe for sesame noodles with smacked courgette, and this video dramatically illustrates the Chinese cucumber smack she references. Smashing!

Vegan Creole Rice

I subscribe to The Guardian because I deeply value their news reporting, but I also really love so many of their food writers and recipes!

This vegan Creole rice by Meera Sodha is delicious and pretty easy. I’ve made it a few times and it is so reliable. Last night we had it with some Mighty Mushroom Bites (oh, the plastic packaging, but so good and vegan!). Tonight I’ll take the leftovers in another directions and serve them with some of Ranald MacFarland’s sausages.

Recipe hack: use bottled roasted peppers if you can’t be bothered to char your own. If you don’t have the jasmine rice they prescribe, buy a little and try it. And now that you have jasmine rice, try a Kylie Kwong fried rice recipe.

Grease is the word

Changed the seats and spring in my mother’s Delta kitchen faucet today, thanks to this clear video from YouTube user funbro1 aka How To Bob.

Removing the handles took much longer than actually replacing the seats and springs as they were corroded on and prying them off came too close to mangling them for my liking. Bob put silicone grease on some of the parts during reassembly to help the handles turn more easily, which I had never thought of doing. I didn’t have any silicone grease, but do have a 20-lifetimes supply of food-grade bearing grease purchased a couple of years ago to repair an old hand mixer. I dabbed some on the set screws, nuts and handles to make it all easier to take apart for future repairs.

A little robin told me to breathe

I speak robin now. I’ve heard them singing outside my window my whole life. They wake me up and they lull me to sleep. It’s only this spring that I have finally been able to understand what they are saying. 

The dawn chorus is easy. They are calling out to find a mate, to show they own a patch of forest or meadow. I am here, where are you? I’m the best, bet you are, too!

Right now the robins who nested in the red pine tree in our yard are busy all day finding food for their newborn floppy-necked babies. They still find the energy to sing morning and night. This is who you are, you are a robin. Every ounce of me honours every ounce of you.

In this time when we are thinking and talking about breathing and not breathing – don’t get sick, don’t make others sick, I can’t breathe – I stop breathing, and then I hear my life-long friend the robin:

Look up, this is all there is. Now, this is all there is. See, it’s gone, but you can catch the next now. Now.

Breathe.

The river and sky and trees I share with the robins.