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All In Hand


Miss Vicky Fri May 19, 2006

It's a long weekend and like many we're getting the heck out of town (Miss Vicky needs a bit of a break, and apparently that means cleaning mouse poop out of a cottage that's been shut since Thanksgiving). But before we do, we're planning on hitting the latest CUBE exhibit, "Nocturne". Opening reception is this evening, with music by the Megan Jerome Trio. Here's the notice we got:

Friday May 19TH (7 pm - midnight) Vernissage for "Nocturne" features the Megan Jerome Trio. The Trio includes Megan Jerome (voice, piano), Petr Cancura (sax, mandolin, voice) and Mike Essoudry (drums, percussion, voice). Megan grew up on Sudbury Sunday singalongs where after-dinner coffee came with family and friends gathered around the piano, playing and singing songs from the 20s through folk tunes, old and new. Megan, Mike and Petr met at Carleton University's music program, and were friends long before the trio took shape. "The Megan Jerome Trio deserves a wide audience. Composed of three of the most accomplished musicians in Ottawa...the group emphasizes original compositions by Jerome and Cancura and the songs by Jerome are in the art song tradition, melodic, yet with edge and humor".
- Charles Gordon Ottawa Citizen

For more about the Trio and/or to hear samples of their music see their website

To view the latest podcast about "Nocturne" from Cube , click here

Ottawa Morning host watch

Miss Vicky Tue May 16, 2006

Speaking of comings and goings, Lucy van Oldenbarneveld is back from Rwanda and hosting Ottawa Morning for a few weeks. While I've enjoyed Hallie Cotnam, I missed Lucy's sense of humour. She cracks me up... which is hard to do at 6:30am!

Comings and goings

Miss Vicky Tue May 16, 2006

I keep hearing of different arrivals and departures in the 'hood. So I thought I would start a running list. Some of the changes are positive, others not so much. Some may even require action - more on that later.

Recently I noticed a "for lease" sign on the building housing Wellington Cleaners (Wellington and Clarendon). It's the local post office, so I was a bit concerned (it does house the PO box for my campaign donations, after all!). Turns out it's moving at the end of the month, to the block between Rosemount and Sherbrooke - right around the corner! That's great for us, not so great for Wellington Village residents. At least it is still walkable for everyone, however.

I can't say as much for our local LCBO, which is apparently being shut down in the wake of the giant liquor store going up at the site of the Westboro Loblaws. Judging from the conversations I had during ArtsPark, folks in the 'hood are pretty distressed. It's not about losing convenient access to liquor - it's that shift from a local service that folks reach by walking to a big-box approach that is geared towards cars. What say you folks? Shall we start a petition? Watch this space for more news.....

Speaking of car culture, we're also losing our most excellent Richmond Canadian Tire. It's a fabulous store, packed to the rafters with everything you could possibly need. Like the LCBO, it's being closed to make room for a big-box Canadian Tire on Carling Avenue.

Other comings and goings: BeadNik, the great bead store on Hamilton in the Parkdale Market, suddenly disappeared a few weeks ago. Apparently a new landlord has acquired the building.... the CUBE is staying for the time being, thank goodness, but it's lost a great partner business which offered kid-friendly activities while parents perused the gallery next door. The good news is that a local photographer is opening a studio one space over and may use both spaces to create a new performance space (maybe to serve as an off-Wellington hotspot when the GCTC opens?). That will definitely add a nice dimension to the market. Now all we need is a good cafe...


Miss Vicky Sun May 14, 2006

Yesterday the Webgeek, Winston and I went to school. Or therapy. I'm not quite sure which.

We had a three-hour session with a canine behaviourist from Barkbusters, which works with families and their pooches on specific issues. Winston is a great dog, but he has some.... habits. So we wanted a way to work on these issues, knowing full well that any class is more for us than him!

The session started with a long discussion about Winston and his quirks and habits. His diagnosis: separation anxiety. She also suggested that his reaction to other dogs while we're walking him on a leash (he gets pushy) comes from fear rather than aggression. So we have some work to do, to reassert our place in the pack (Winston tends to think he's top dog, especially when we're walking).

We then went through some principles of canine communication - their theory is that dogs will listen to you if you communicate in a way they can understand. So we learned all about passive dominance, how to correct him in a way he'll get, and how to make it clear where everybody in the household stands. We went through a series of exercises - going up stairs, answering the door, going out the door, getting and maintaining Winston's attention, walking - with both of us assuming the primary role. Much to my frustration, Winston responds much better to the Webgeek than me (I can't get the initial growl down). Clearly we have our own sorting out to to regarding top dog status.

Now we've got four weeks of practicing to do to hone our skills. So far he's responding pretty well. But we have yet to take our morning stroll.....

Nifty bike racks and other street furniture

Miss Vicky Fri May 12, 2006

Spacing's blog is such a good source of ideas and inspiration. With the reconstruction of Wellington Street West ahead, and the possibility of some interesting streetscaping, I've been thinking alot about street furniture. I don't mean just benches - although we certainly could use a few of those. I've been thinking about the opporunity to make the street more interesting while retaining function. There is absolutely no need for garbage and recycling bins, lamp posts, bus shelters and bike racks to be as unsightly as they are. Just because something is necessary does not mean it has to be butt-ugly. And goodness, when I think about the worn brown wood-and-steel garbage bins intermittently strewn along the street, or the blue bike bike racks with the ads on the top, or (my personal favourite) the steel garbage/recycling bins just big enough to hold a large, garish advertisement, I just feel depressed.

I love having lots to look at when I walk or cycle down the street - especially interesting, beautiful or unique things. Street furniture can have a lot of potential to capture and delight the imagination. If we're open to being imaginative, that is.

Take the bike racks featured in this post on Spacing's Wire. I figure if Whitehorse can do it, so can we.

(you can find plenty of other examples of nifty bike racks - and more - at the Project for Public Spacessite.

big weekend in the 'burg!

Miss Vicky Thu May 11, 2006

OK folks, get ready for a whirlwind of activity in Hintonburg and environs this weekend. There's a lot going on; it's going to require substantial time management skills to fit everything in AND get some of those nagging household chores done, not to mention treating Mom to something special on Sunday. Here's the scoop:

Friday, May 12
"18 1 Odds; 18 Ottawa Artists in 1 Extraordinary Weekend," A unique group exhibit of Ottawa contemporary professional visual artists opens in the historic Horse Stables House at 155d Loretta Avenue North. The opening reception starts at 7pm, features a live DJ and cocktail lounge and a free signed art print door prize. Other activities will take place throughout the weekend. This will be a great chance to check out some local artists.

Saturday, May 13
Hintonburg Tulip Festival and Parkdale Market opening.
All day in Parkdale Park, just behind the market. 10am to noon: Hintonburg Garden Plant Exchange. Bring your labeled garden plants and exchange with other avid gardeners in the community. The Master Gardeners will also be on hand in the morning to provide helpful gardening tips. The Community Garden Network will have an information table at from noon to 4 pm.
Noon to pm: Tulip fest activities start, including horse and trolley rides, live musing, face-painting, kids' games, hip hop dancing, BBQ and baked goodies. Entries for the the Best Chocolate Cake Contest can be submitted until 12:30; judging is at 1, and the cakes will be auctioned off to raise money for play equipment and the community's hip hop dancing program.

Sunday, May 14
10am to 4pm in Parkdale park. This is the Hintonburg Community Association's most anticipated yearly event - a free, one-day festival of art, music, performance and more. Festivities include:
* Fine art, design, photography and sculpture on display from 50+ participants
* Salamander Theatre for Young Audiences, Tales from the Valley, celebrating the spirit of storytelling and its rich heritage in the Ottawa Valley (suitable ages 4-13 years, 10am)
* Carleton Bovell, modern acoustic rock (onstage, 11am)
* Discover the secrets behind the historic facades of Hintonburg on a guided Heritage Walking Tour (11am, 2pm)
* Finger foods from Indian Express, Emerald Bakery and Carleton Tavern Restaurant (11am-2pm)
* Sneak preview of Victor/Victoria, from Hintonburg's Orpheus Musical Theatre Society, celebrating 100 years in Ottawa (onstage, noon)
* Lucky Ron, Hintonburg's country-stylin' crowd pleaser (onstage, 1pm)
* The McGillicuddy Sisters, a five-member rockin' hillbilly band (onstage, 2pm)
* Hollow Water with songs ranging from soaring pop to raw, epic ballads (onstage, 3pm)
* See what's being created in the QUAD at the Jewellery Fair and Designer Showcase (all day)
* QUADVIEW photo contest voting (all day)
* Feature exhibit: Camera Club of Ottawa (all day)


Any local home brewers?

Miss Vicky Tue May 9, 2006

This recommendation comes courtesy of our own local brewmeister, amckay:

Something that I'm pretty sure at least one of your readers might be interested in - Big Strange Brew 6! It's when a bunch of brewers get together to brew a crazy amount of beer! The first such event was held in my back yard 5 years ago (we had 2 events one year, thus the odd numbering), but it's since vastly outgrown it's roots. Now it's out in the country, and 2 or 3 days long to those who want to camp over.

Nowadays BIg Strange Brew still consists of brewing a crazy amount of beer, but it's an all day event that in addition to the headline, consists of lots of excellent food including a vegetarians feast as well as a meat-eater's delight. We have the BBQ and smoker running all day, and at supper time we deep fry a turkey. Bring some potluck if you wish, but it's totally optional. Or something to throw on the Q if you like. Or not. We're easy ...

In the evening is a bonfire and guests are welcome to bring a tent and camp out the night to avoid worries of drinking and driving. Oh yeah, because there are generally a dozen or more awesome homebrews on tap!

Come out and see what homebrewing is all about. It ain't the stuff your crazy uncle used to have behind the kitchen stove.
[Note from Miss Vicky: in my case it would be my dad, who kept his home brew in my sister's closet until one fateful day....let's just say that the explosion put an end to his brewing career]

Get the details here

Comfort Food

Miss Vicky Mon May 8, 2006

I haven't posted a recipe for a while. But this weekend I hauled out an old family recipe - I guess I was looking for some comfort food. And it was so yummy I just had to share it. The best part of these old recipes: they're simple, they require no culinary sophistication, and you have most of the ingredients hanging out in cans or bags in your cupboard.

Tunafish Casserole

Cook 1 cup rice (my Mom used to use Minute rice but I think my rice tastes have evolved beyond that....). Add to casserole dish with 1 can tuna (drained), 1 can cream of mushroom soup (bet you could have predicted that), 1 diced onion, 1/2 cup milk, and liberal amounts of salt and pepper. Mix well and top with grated cheese.

Cover and bake at 325 for 45 minutes - 1 hour. You want the cheese to be bubbling nicely and brown around the edges.

Now, I realize most folks' moms made tuna casserole with noodles. Personally, I think that sounds gross. But to each their own comfort food! And this one definitely works for me. The Webgeek seems to like it too.

random weekend thoughts

Miss Vicky Sun May 7, 2006

That gardening workshop yesterday was extremely useful. We got some good tips for composting, improving soil quality, planting vegetables, and dealing with pests without using harmful pesticides. Lots of good tips from the attendees as well as the facilitator - like the trick for dealing with Manitoba Maples that just won't go away even when you cut them down (drill holes in stump and roots and fill'em with salt).

A few folks there were keen on getting a community garden going, so I'm really hoping they can find some space to accommodate it. If you have any ideas about possible locations, contact Catharine at the Somerset West Community Health Centre.

My campaign is gearing up - today is the first neighbourhood coffee party, and later this week I'll be out on the doorstep for the first time. I've been attending a lot of events, but have been looking forward to getting out and talking directly to voters. It will be interesting to hear what folks have to say.

Gardening in the 'hood

Miss Vicky Thu May 4, 2006

Somerset West Community Health Centre and the Community Garden Network are spearheading an effort to create a community garden in Hintonburg. Apparently last week's meeting was a real success; there is a lot of interest, so they are starting to investigate possible locations. In the meantime, whether we garden at home or are looking for community space, we can all benefit from a workshop on Organic Gardening taking place at the Hintonburg Community Centre on Saturday, from 1-3pm. The cost is $5 or pay what you can (emphasis on the pay what you can - they want to make sure they don't exclude anyone).

Folks who are interested in gardening and lawn care without pesticides should check out a free workshop on Wednesday, May 10, 2006 7 to 9 p.m. at the Churchill Seniors Recreation Centre, 345 Richmond Road. This workshop will be particulary interesting to those of us struggling with grubs.

Finally, Master gardeners will be on hand at the Hintonburg Economic Development Committee's Tulip Festival and Parkdale market opening celebration on Saturday, May 13 between noon and 4pm. There will be a plant exchange from 10am to noon, and the Community Garden Network will have a table there as well.


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