Friday, November 27, 2009

Is A First Love Always The Sweetest?

How do we learn how to love? Is it just something that happens to us as a special glance comes our way? A brush of the hand? A captivating scent? A closeness that pulls at us like a magnet? Young love starts us on a journey of intimacy and wonderment of how the heart can twist and turn and bleed with hot passion. Whether we stay in our first love or whether it becomes a building block for future relationships better suited for us, that first young love will always hold a coveted place in our heart. Although we have made full disclosure, it is hard not to feel like we are carrying a mysterious secret from your 'now love', as only we can know truly how that person made us feel. And only we know the full range of colours and the sharpness of those memories. Today I am listening to the sound of that voice that captured my heart some 33 years ago. That seven year experience ended in a heart wrenching train wreck. I can't help but think that only he knows me, as it was he who branded my innocent heart with that imprint of first love.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Follow Where Your Heart Leads You

Some days are just like the rest. The chores, the errands, the work and little details of nothingness that someone can't live without. But what happens when a little glimpse of something else sneaks into your head, through all that busy stuff? A flash of an image that just doesn't seem to belong but it is too enchanting to ignore. This happened to me in early March as I spent the afternoon pushing many piles of paper around my desk. The words "I saw you today out of the corner of my eye" just amplified in a loud but pleasant voice. I couldn't ignore it. I scribbled the words on a little scrap of paper and added it to one of the piles. It snuggled its way into the folds, not to be revealed again until Easter weekend. And eventually these words spilled into a poem, leading the first stanza. I am not a poet. I am not a writer. But a feeling compelled me to seize the day and do something completely different. Just live in the moment. Live in the heart.


I saw you today out of the corner of my eye,
strolling the market and discerning the bounty.
You would graze your hand over the colourful foods,
gauging their scents for your next great creation.

I watched very quietly, wanting to approach you.
I longed for your friendship that has faded to past.
Your dark eyes glistened and would dance with sly laughter
and your black hair flirted round the strength of your jaw.

We once talked like sisters about our uncertainties
on how to raise children in these fast moving times.
But our lives have been keeping us so far apart
where I can remember they were once intertwined.

The time that has past holds so many dark secrets
which might just explain our drifting connection.
I know you know lonely since you’ve been there before.
But do you know my lonely? I think it’s the same.

You snatch up a garlic and a basket of romas,
a fresh bunch of basil and some wild pungent onions.
Oh to be at your table tonight for this banquet
For that intimate moment breaking bread with close friends.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Food Indulgence with Knowledge - Can The Ottawa Citizen Help?

By the time we are old enough to enjoy food indulgence without a care to budget, we realize we are old enough that we need to do this indulgence with thoughtfulness. Our doctor is after us about the extra pounds, the cholesterol creeping up, as well as the blood-pressure and hypertension. Making smart food choices and pacing the indulgence means being vigilant to understanding what we consume - all the time. Lately I have enjoyed reading the blog of Yoni Freedhoff called Weighty Matters.
Here is a particular post he has asked his readership to share around the nation's capital in a plea to have the local paper, The Ottawa Citizen, take his interest in nutrition analysis seriously and responsibly as they share their many great food recipes with their readership.

Needing A Few Books for Your Summer Read List?

I can't say enough about how enjoyable the February, March, April book club meetings were where we delved into The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies. We read the books in order starting with Fifth Business, then The Manticore and finished with World of Wonders. If anyone is stuck for a summer read program, the trilogy won't let you down.

McKellar Park's Traffic Dilemmas

I have come to realize that maybe this blog is a good way to keep in touch with the community issues that affect us too. And so the theme of the blog grows and tries to find its way.

There has been much said about the traffic volumes that are rising in such established neighbourhoods as McKellar Park. Homeowners are becoming uneasy at the unneighbourliness of cut through traffic as drivers look for the most efficient route to reach their destination. Main thoroughfares are not serving them as they would like, so traffic is spilling into residential areas. Recently, frustrated neighbours took matters into their own hands to deal with the intersection at Windermere and Crossfield, which T's into a large community park. This recently made the local paper since the city was quick to notice the new non-city installed stop signs.
The signs have since been removed and the local councillor, Christine Leadman, is looking to find a solution between her constituents and those who serve the city's directives - our municipal workers.

If this topic is of interest to you, consider attendng the public meeting being hosted by Ms. Leadman on June 24th at Dovercourt Recreation Centre at 7 pm.

In a recent flyer circulating from Leadman's office about the meeting, it says, "City staff, with Councillor Leadman will be on-hand to speak about the situation currently being experienced regarding the stop signs placed at the intersection of Crossfield and Windermere. The signs have been taken down and the City is looking at posting city-sanctioned ones. Staff will provide all the necessary information about this process and the public will be given the opportunity to ask questions."

2nd Annual Rampfest

Recently we attended the 2nd Annual Rampfest up in Lanark County. It was a private gathering of Ottawa's finest food lovers - mainly members of a local cooking club and also some of their good chef friends here in town. What an afternoon. I tell you this only so you can salivate over the many uses of ramps and if this word is new to you, hopefully you will take a read on the Internet about this fine wild leek. Here is the menu we enjoyed.


Lobster and Ramp Salad Canapé (My personal favourite!!)

Baked Brie with Caramelized Ramps & Sun Dried Tomatoes

Bacon Wrapped Tart of Ramps, Potatoes and Cheddar

Smoked Salmon Rillette with Pickled Ramp Mayo on Baguette

Tart of Wild Leeks & Mushrooms in Garlic Cream

Ramps with Spicy Shrimp & Gnocchi

Hot Italian Sausage with Pickled Ramps & Dijon

*** MAIN ***

Smoked, Ramp Marinated BBQ Beef Tenderloin on a Bun [no picture]

BBQ Poached Salmon in White Wine & Ramps

Ramp Coleslaw

German Potato Salad with Pickled Ramps

Cheeses with Ramp Jelly & Fruit [no picture].

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NAC's The Blue Dragon

Last night was date night and we zipped off to The NAC to see Robert Lepage's play The Blue Dragon. Two hours long and no intermission. What are you thinking? Well the time just flew by. The story was steady and fast moving. But best of all was the eye candy of a very clever set design that also incorporated video and slides in its presentation to make it as 3D as possible. This also seemed to play well with the colours. At times it felt more like watching a movie. If you go, you won't be disappointed. But it is only playing until this Saturday, April 11. Do what you can to move your schedule around to make it happen. You will feel like you got your life on track again. Well at least for a day. BTW...Robert Lepage will be receiving the Governor General's Performing Arts Award in May. Certainly an accomplished playwright, director and actor. It always feels good to see good.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Gladstone - There is no such thing as too much theatre

The Gladstone made its way into the ranks of Ottawa theatre houses in the Fall of 2008. If you build it, they will come. I was at a party Saturday evening where someone said they have not been sitting in a crowded theatre when they have gone to their performances. I made it my resolution to attend the upcoming performance of A Guy Named Joe, starting Wednesday, April 15. We need this venture to succeed. Call up an old friend with whom you have lost touch and make a date to go to The Gladstone. Then two good things will happen that day.

A New Dirty Little Chocolate Secret That Is Growing Fast

I recently experienced Koko Chocolates by Lori Sword and her husband, Jon. Lovely people and getting phenomenal press it seems. Their name is popping up everywhere. (Or am I just noticing since I now know the name.) If someone offers you the Margarita or the Thai Chili, don't turn it down.

True Loaf Bread Company - New Artisan Bread in Ottawa

The True Loaf Bread Company opened on March 12. They are on Gladstone, east of Bronson. Beside The Red Apron. I stopped in there last week to try it out when I drove by. We had a nice cherry and pecan loaf, a sourdough baguette and a fougasse. It was hard to choose from their broad selection. We had a positive experience.

I toasted a slice of the cherry and pecan loaf for a student like dessert. First Nutella, then crunchy Skippy peanut butter, long thin slices of banana and topped with a spread of leftover 7-minute frosting, which tastes like marshmallow in a fluffy sort of way.

Does This Blog Have a Theme?

I live in Ottawa and have for the many years following my university days in Waterloo. I am a self-confessed foodie that enjoys reading and the arts - galleries, movies, theatre, concerts, etc. My professional career was in senior management for a large financial institution running their I/T Services organization. What a departure from how I spend my time now.

My sense is that there is a niche here in Ottawa to get the word out about food and the arts that is somewhere between a Twitter and a full out blog. More like a noticeable tickle. I know I am too distracted to be complete but as I experience things, it just seems nice to share.

I have found a number of food related blogs here in Ottawa and they all seem to have a different feel. Some are reasonably content rich and some are long on author personality. Maybe there is something similar about the arts. My blog isn't about me, about the attention I need, about my charming wit, about my character pros and cons. It needs to be about the content. Get it to you. Make it timely. Maybe thoughtful too in the hopes that it sticks with you and can be useful. Don't over talk it. Respect your busy lives. And if by chance you have comments, I welcome any and all that show respect for the conduct of good debate.

That's me. I just want to be a Tickle.
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