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All In Hand

Water babies

Miss Vicky Thu Mar 15, 2007

Gordon went swimming for the first time on Tuesday. We have signed up for Parent and Tot lessons at the Plant Bath, starting in 2 weeks, but the Ottawa Area Groovy Moms meetup organized an outing the the new aquatic centre in Aylmer. Wow. This is one nice pool. They don't use chlorine, so it's good for babies' skin. There is a kids' pool as well as deeper pool with lanes and a water slide. The kids' pool has all kinds of sprinkler fun, and they have these floating boats for smaller babies. Kind of like an exersaucer for the water. Gordie was a little perplexed at the beginning, but really enjoyed it.

It's important to me that Gordie learns to enjoy swimming at a fairly early age. I love the water; swimming is my absolute favourite activity. As a kid I swam competitively for a number of years. We're talking 5:45am practices and everything. I quit when was 15 because the time commitment was too great and I was not interested in taking it to the next level. I had other interests and was starting to really feel torn. A few years ago, when Mom and SABLE started dating, I was drawn back into swimming. SABLE has been a serious Masters swimmer for a number of years. He got Mom into it, and they invited me to swim with them one day when I was visiting. I realized how much I was missing being in the water - and not just swimming, but the kind of structured practices you do when you're a competitive swimmer. So I bit the bullet and found myself a Masters Team here.

Only when I got back into swimming did I realize how traumatic it had been to stop. Because when I did stop, I really stopped. Although I always talked about going swimming, I just could never bring myself to go with any kind of regularity. I stayed away from Masters teams because I was afraid it would be too intense, like when I was a teenager.

But I was wrong. It's a completely different vibe... much more supportive. Much less pressure. Even when I went to a meet (which many Masters swimmers don't do), it was a much different atmosphere. There's a huge variety of abilities and experiences, not to mention ages. Every swimmer is encouraged and supported. Let me tell you, when an 85 year old completes a 200 meter Individual medley, everyone is on their feet cheering and clapping, no matter HOW fast or slow they are going!

It was a little humbling when I started. Although my technique was good (muscle memory is a wonderful thing), I just did not have the endurance that I did when I was younger. It took me a while to let go of the high standards I set for myself - standards that were firmly etched into me from my childhood. But I did get faster quickly, and I was able to do the practices without taking breaks to catch my breath. And once I let go of the hyper-competitive teenager that threatened to pop out of my past self, I had a lot more fun. I even enjoyed the morning practices, which at the time worked better than evening for me.

There is something about pushing off the side of the pool for that first length, streamlining through the water and waiting as long as possible before breaking through the surface for your first stroke. It just feels amazing.

I fell away from it after a shoulder injury... and then that pregnancy and campaign schedule kind of got in the way. Then Mom and SABLE, now Ottawa residents, decided to start a new swim club at the Champagne Bath. They like to swim there because the water is cooler (and it's a lovely pool). The Ottawa Centre Masters club swims Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. There are a number of different coaches and swimmers with different levels of experience, skill and speed. They get together for brunches and social gatherings as well as swim - another perk of Masters swimming. I must admit my attendance at practice has been spotty as I try and negotiate Gordie's schedule, but it has been great to get back in the water again.

(UPDATED) More food options: CSA

Miss Vicky Tue Mar 13, 2007

Another option for folks looking to buy local and/or organic produce is Community Supported Agriculture. Basically, you buy a "share" in a local farm - this goes towards the cost of operating the farm and paying the farmer, thus giving them some much-needed security. In return you get a weekly portion of fresh-picked veggies through the growing season.

Sound interesting? Want to find out more? Come meet Hilary Chop, farmer extraordinaire of Teamwork CSA, at the Table restaurant (Wellington and Holland) next Wednesday, March 21 between 11am-noon.


Party time!

Miss Vicky Sun Mar 11, 2007

Well, my campaign treasurer has handed the books over to the city, I've sent out donation receipts, and - happily - I have no election debt! This is great news. So we're celebrating this Wednesday with a party for volunteers, donors, friends and supporters - 7pm at the Cube Gallery (7 Hamilton Ave N). Come join us!

We'll be taking donations for the families who lost their homes in the Forward Ave fire. So if you want to make a contribution, however small, to the fund, or drop off some clothing, please come on by.

5 months!

Miss Vicky Thu Mar 8, 2007

Gordie is 5 months old today. I can't believe it. The months have just whizzed by... which is quite amazing when you consider just how long some days can be when you're home with an infant!

We celebrated today by heading out for a stroll - without the infant car seat!

5 mo He's a strong little dude - holding his head well, sitting for a few seconds before keeling over into a faceplant, able to stand with support from the trusty overall straps. He can grab his soother and plunk it back in his mouth.

Then there's the bouncing. He's a champion bouncer in the jolly jumper. He's flipping from tummy to back (can't quite make the other way, though). He's drooling up a storm (no sign of teeth yet). Bridgehead

So we headed off to Bridgehead, where we ran into some pals. That's his buddy Quinlan in the back, with mom Christine. Gordie loves Bridgehead, especially when there are other kids around. He's a social guy. Wonder where he gets that from?

Spa-Fia and other IWD activities

Miss Vicky Tue Mar 6, 2007

well, it's International Women's Week and there's a lot going on. My personal pick? Spa-Fia at Le Nordik Spa in Old Chelsea. 50% of the spa fee that evening goes to support the Feminist Alliance for International Action, a great NGO that holds our government accountable for its international commitments to women's equality and human rights.

Other IWD events include:

an Equal Voice breakfast with Martha Hall Findlay, (the first in a series of conversations with female members of political parties)
Thursday, March 8th at 8:00 a.m.
Rideau Club, 99 Bank Street, 15th floor
$35 for members/ $40 for non-members
RSVP: capital@equalvoice.ca

Thursday, March 8th at 12:30 p.m.
Making Women’s Human Rights Matter: Dispatches from Canada and Around the Globe
Reception hosted by the Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) and Oxfam Canada
National Press Club of Canada (McClung Library, 2nd floor) – 165 Sparks Street, Ottawa
Guest speakers: Shelagh Day, Poverty and Human Rights Centre, BC, Canada and Co-Chair of FAFIA, Lilian Giovana Lemus Pérez from the Network for Non Violence in Guatemala; Robert Fox, Executive Director, Oxfam Canada Closing Remarks: Her Excellency Ms. Ingrid Iremark Ambassador, Sweden

Free admission. Light buffet to be served.

RSVP’s encouraged but not required

Women’s Rally: “Break the Silence!”
Thursday, March 8th at 5:30 p.m.

Rally: 5:30pm at Minto Park (Elgin and Gilmour)
MC: Renee-Claude Vaillancourt

Speakers: Francoise Roy
Mreama Abdul
Soheila Delvid
Bahija Reghai

March: 6:00pm - leading us to The Well – La Source at 154 Somerset West
(Somerset and Elgin)

Bring children, placards, banners and noisemakers! Celebrating Women’s
Activism around the World!

Learn to dance, taste international cuisine; bring examples of fantastic
women’s activism!

CD launch by Minwaashin Lodge and appearance by Oni the Haitian Sensation!

Thursday, March 8th at 5:30 p.m.
Event hosted by the Canadian Federation of University Women of Ottawa and
the Ottawa Council of Women

National Library and Archives at 395 Wellington Street, Ottawa,

* Dr. Ruth Bell,
* Honourable Sheila Copps,
* Honourable Carolyn Bennett

Thursday, March 8th at 7 p.m.
National Film Board of Canada Screening

Waban-Aki: People from where the Sun Rises

Renowned documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin returns to the village where
she was raised to craft an illuminating account of her own people
while tracing the impact of Bill-C31 on Aboriginal identity.

Screening in English
March 8, 2007 at 7:00 PM
Library and Archives Canada
395 Wellington St., Ottawa

Special guests include
Alanis Obomsawin, Filmmaker
Annie St-George, Algonquin Nation
Jeannette Corbiere-Lavell, Ojibway Nation
Dawn Harvard, President ONWA

For more Information, visit the NFB IWD website.
In collaboration with Library and Archives Canada,
Women Align All Nations and Ontario Native Women’s Association

Thursday March 8th at 8:30 p.m
Fundraiser for Sharon McIvor, Aboriginal lawyer and FAFIA Co-chair

Following the benefit screening:
WABANAKI : People of Where the Sun Rises

You & Your Friends are invited to:
Royal Canadian LEGION (downstairs) at 330 Kent Street, Ottawa
(Fundraiser/Licensed Event)

Music by DJ LUC
Pay want you can! Proceeds go to Sharon Mclvor’s court challenge


Wee G's First Post

Wee G Mon Mar 5, 2007

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Miss Vicky Sat Mar 3, 2007

Ah, so nice to be back. I was in blogging withdrawal while the site was busted. And there was so much to update you about! Grrr!

It was a busy week here at the Finishing School. In addition to the Webgeek's crazy workload, I had a mess of meetings - Newswest, Equal Voice - and a couple of other things going on. It was kind of nice to be out and about, though.

On Monday I was all set to head down to City Hall to watch budget proceedings. But when I noticed it wasn't playing on Rogers I called a friendly councillor's office to find out what was happening. I had a feeling they would pass it quickly once the compromise was worked out. And quick it was. Plenty of short term pain avoided by the band-aid solution of dipping into reserves and coasting on last year's surplus. Of course, the band-aid has to come off some day, doesn't it? So there may be political peace down on Laurier for the time being, but at some point reality is going to come crashing down and it's not going to be pretty.

But I digress. I was telling you about my week. On Tuesday and Wednesday Gordon and I were downtown for Equal Voice advocacy meetings. We're trying to get the political parties to agree to our "Canada Challenge" - that is, to commit to electing more women in the upcoming election. It went pretty well. Gordie charmed the Liberal Northern and Western Caucus and slept right through the lunch with several Conservative senators and members. Then I was having so much fun being downtown I decided to stick around. We hit a few shops on Sussex and then headed to the National Gallery for Gordon's first visit. We were too early for the Ron Mueck (of Giant Babyhead fame) solo show, but we wandered around the contemporary and Canadian collections. Gord's favourite? Frank Stella. I hope he will continue to have such good taste!

On Thursday we were back on the Hill for an early breakfast to kick off International Women's week. Hosted by the NDP women's caucus, speakers included fab columnist Heather Mallick, Ellen Gabriel (president of the Quebec Native Women's Association), and Sarah Ghabrial of the Miss G Project, which is trying to get Ontario to include a women's studies course in its high school curriculum. It was a large crowd of folks from all kinds of different organizations. Very enjoyable.
< br>So, if I had been blogging this week I would have told you about that. And also the launch of the Reel Food Film Festival on March 1, and the Ecology Ottawa fundraiser last night. Which we missed.... Or the opening night party for the new Cube show featuring the Blink collective... which we also missed. But we're back now and I shall do my best to keep y'all up to date from now on.

Stupid stubby fingers

The Webgeek Fri Mar 2, 2007

Our service provider upgraded PHP (also known as 'magic web technology stuff') from 4 to 5 (that's 'different but better'), and it somehow screwed up the site.

Unfortunately, this also coincided with a rather massive deadline at my work, so I couldn't look into it till now.

Sorry for the delay in getting Miss Vicky's virtual soapbox up and running again. The Vitriol is squarely pointed back at me this time. Thank you for your patience.

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