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All In Hand

Here you'll find the sum total of Miss Vicky's Remarks thus far.

Salsa Night

Miss Vicky Tue Jan 30, 2007

Some intrepid neighbours have organized a bunch of couples from the street and surrounding area to do a beginners' salsa class on Wednesday evenings. The Webgeek and I went last Wednesday, and although we revealed how scottish we really are, we had a great time. It's going to become a regular gig; we're signing up for the full 10 classes, thanks to the assistance of Grandma and Grandpa's babysitting. But you can drop in as well, and we've been encouraged to spread the word. The class is from 7-8 on Wednesdays at Sueno Salsero, on the corner of Wellington and Stirling.

Jeanne d'Arc Reprieve?

Miss Vicky Sat Jan 27, 2007

Huge congratulations to Miss Fish, Dagne and others who have worked so hard to save Westboro's Maison Jeanne d'Arc. LACAC, the city's Local Architecture Conservation Advisory Committee voted unanimously to give the building heritage designation. Well, to recommend that it receive heritage designation. Ultimately that's council's decision. No real word from our councillor on this - at least, she wasn't interested in organizing a public meeting on the issue. The issue goes to Planning and Environment Committee on February 13. It would be great to have supportive voices from the community at that meeting.

From today's Citizen article, it sounds like Barry Hobin now acknowledges there is a significant desire to save the building and although he thinks it's a "horrible piece of architecture", he doesn't want to go against the community's wishes. So he's going to look at another use for the building to try and find a compromise.

Great work!

House on wheels

Miss Vicky Fri Jan 26, 2007

Well, when I agreed to have my home invaded by the Kitchissippi Times, I never imagined what it might yield. I just figured it would be fun to show off our kitchen and all the things I love about our house. And it was fun, the article and pics turned out great. Then this week I got a call from a gentleman who has lived in the neighbourhood for decades and knew my house well. Actually, he knew the house next door even better; he had worked on its renovations in the 50s, and knew the owner, Len Dugas, whose daughter sold me my house. He told me that my home was actually originally located on Hinton. When that part of Hinton was up for demolition to make way for the Queensway, M. Dugas bought the house, put it on a flatbed and moved it over to Sherbrooke where he had a foundation all ready to go.

Who knew? Now my curiosity is really piqued. Now I'd love to know how old the rest of the house really is. And whether more homes were moved when the Queensway was built.

Kitchissippi folk - what do you know about your homes? Have you ever looked into their history?

Heather Crowe's Legacy

Miss Vicky Tue Jan 23, 2007

A film about Heather Crowe, the Newport server who recently passed away from lung cancer, (thanks to a lifetime of workplace exposure to second hand smoke) premiers this evening at City Hall. "Heather Crowe’s Legacy: An Ordinary Canadian’s Extraordinary Gift" is a short film by Judy Redpath and Richard Austin. The event takes place at 6:30 and is sponsored by Ottawa Public Health and various tobacco control groups.

Decoding King

Miss Vicky Mon Jan 22, 2007

Local Artist Andrew King has ingeniously combined two great things - his paintings (which we admire greatly here at the Finishing School) and Geocaching, an activity the Webgeek and Miss Vicky have been considering taking up (or at least giving it a try). Geocaching is a high tech kind of orienteering/treasure hunt that involves running around the countryside looking for hidden items using GPS receivers. It's always sounded intriguing to us. But add the extra fun of clues hidden in paintings and free art, and it'll be impossible to resist!

So here's the deal. King has hidden three paintings in waterproof containers somewhere in the Ottawa Valley. Beginning February 2 at the opening of the next Cube Gallery show and continuing on King's website, clues will be revealed that will give treasurehunters single digit numbers. These will eventually make up GPS coordinates, revealing the location of the hidden paintings. Then it's a race to see who gets there first!

Whatever possessed Andrew King to do this? Check the Citizen article or his website for more!

Home Invasion

Miss Vicky Thu Jan 18, 2007

We at the Finishing School were invaded by Lesley Buxton of the Kitchissippi Times recently. If you've ever been curious about our humble abode, check out this week's issue!

Oh, and also noted in KT - Councillor Leadman will be holding a budget consultation meeting at 7pm on Feb 15 at the Churchill Senior Centre... more on this later

Maison Jeanne d'Arc update

Miss Vicky Wed Jan 17, 2007

It's crunch time for the Maison Jeanne d'Arc - see the update at Miss Fish's site and consider attending one of the committee meetings listed there.

Around the Rainbow

Miss Vicky Wed Jan 17, 2007

Family Services Ottawa is launching a new project to support diverse families in childcare, preschools, schools, and the community. Around the Rainbowlaunches next week with a series of events at Family Services à la famille Ottawa, 312 Parkdale Avenue. Here's the info I received:

Open House: January 22, 7:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Gay, lesbian, bi, trans, two-spirit, and queer (glbttq) parents/guardians with children age 0 to 6 are invited to drop-in, check out the project, enjoy conversation and sweet treats! There will be an opportunity to sign up for our upcoming project launch and art event that you and your family can participate in!

Information Session: January 22, 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Hear from project participants about their experience with creating inclusive and safe spaces for children from glbttq families. Learn more about the project and find out how you and your family can become involved!

Community Art Event: January 24, 9:30 am to noon
Gay, lesbian, bi, trans, two-spirit, queer (glbttq) families, and their allies, are invited to participate in an interactive workshop facilitated by a local community artist. Together you will create a work of art representing diverse families.

Project Launch: January 24, noon to 1:00 pm
This will feature a brief presentation on our project and guest speakers from the education, and lgbttq community. This launch will provide an opportunity for parents, educators, and community members to network and learn more about the project and show their support for social inclusion of all families.



Miss Vicky Mon Jan 15, 2007

You're probably wondering how we're faring here at the Finishing School. I think we're settling in quite nicely. The Webgeek has been back at work for a while, but works at home a day or two a week. I'll let him speak for himself about how he feels about that. Gordon and I are starting to settle into a bit of a routine, although we could use some advice from parents in the 'hood about things we can do (beyond walking up to Bridgehead) to get out of the house during the days. I'd love to hear about classes, playgroups, reading circles, excursion ideas, whatever.... and I'll post a summary of ideas in a couple of weeks.

So far our most regular gig is Mom and Baby Yoga at Rama Lotus. We've been regular attendees since before the holidays. Gordon likes the baby yoga part of it. I like that you get a bit of baby time and a bit of Mom yoga in as well, and the atmosphere is relaxed so you don't have to worry about fussing, nursing, changing, or whatever you need to do during the class. We do a lot of the yoga moves at home as well - it helps with the fussy moments.

Fortunately, we've been blessed with a pretty content baby, so there is usually a reason for the fussy moments. So far anyway.

Things change every day with a wee one, but we have had a couple of major transitions lately. The first was the transition to cloth diapering. G was too wee for the Extraordinary Baby Shoppe'sCloth diaper trial rental program, so we used disposables for the first couple of months, until he hit the magic 8 lb mark. We discovered a few things about disposable diapers....1) your baby is either a huggies baby or a pampers baby. If you use the wrong kind on them, bad things happen. Gordon is a pampers baby. 2) Disposables hold a lot of liquid. For some reason this disturbs me. 3) Your garbage output skyrockets once you start using them. It was stunning. And heavy! The Webgeek was on the fence about cloth diapering until he saw the amount of garbage we were putting out. I think he became even more motivated than I was!

The trial went well. You get a few different kinds of diapers to try out. A lot of folks thought we were nuts to opt for cloth - bad memories of sticky pins, awkward rubber pants, messy soaking rituals, I guess. But there are so many different types of diapers now, and many of them are as easy to use as disposables. Pins have been replaced by the ingenious Snappi or wrap cover with handy velcro or snap closures. We tried prefolds, fitted diapers and different pocket diapers, and opted for Fuzzibunz for our major investment. We also have some prefolds and wraps, thanks to a friend who has passed along her stash to us. And I found a Mom-run home business in Aylmer; her gorgeous fleece pocket diapers are really cosy. We've been putting one through a trial and plan to get a few more shortly. And that should do us for a while.

We have weathered the transition well. I had a bit of a scare when our dryer broke the day we were to take delivery of the trial diapers (we are currently saving for an upgrade from our 22-year-old washer and dryer). But the laundry has not been too onerous, there is no soaking ritual, Gordon finds them comfy and there have been few leaks or 'splosions. So far, so good! The other great thing is that for every person that thinks we're nuts there is one who uses cloth and has great advice, tips and tricks to offer.

Transition number two: moving Gordon from the moses basket bassinet to the crib, and from our room to the nursery. Thanks to a funky musical mobile and the Webgeek's super sleep-inducing techniques, it's going well. And it will be even better once I'm not lying awake listening for sounds from the baby monitor!

Actually, Gordon is starting to settle into a sleep routine. He is napping now in the daytime and moving away from the up-every-three-hours-to-feed pattern at night. And for this, Miss Vicky is very grateful.

Urban Planning 101

Miss Vicky Sat Jan 13, 2007

The West Wellington Community Association has invited city planner Alain Miguelez to give a presentation to community members about the planning process. Have you ever wondered how the city plans to manage growth? What the heck is the difference between "infill" and "intensification"? How the Official Plan relates to your neighbourhood... and how it is reflected in reality? What information is used to make planning decisions?

Alain Miguelez will help demystify the planning process, and will give you important tools to participate effectively in the neighbourhood planning initiative currently underway in Hintonburg and the West Wellington mainstreet.

Urban Planning 101
Wednesday, January 17, 8pm
Fisher Park School

Please note seating will be limited. For more information contact wwca@westwellington.ca

Also on January 17 is an open house about the redevelopment of Ecole Sacre-Coeur on Melrose. Sponsored by our councillor, the open house will take place at the Hintonburg Community Centre from 6:00 to 7:30. The developers plan to convert the school to condominiums, including a small addition to the roof, and add 8 stacked townhouses at the rear of the site, close to the play structure in Hintonburg Park.


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