Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mural Art in Westboro...

Not much progress on the Westfest mural today. The artist, Sean McInnis, had limited time to work on it, so I thought I'd offer a photo essay of some of the other murals that this talented man has contributed to my neighbourhood. Other than the first one pictured, these murals are all at least 10 - 12 feet tall. Enjoy the tour! PAX...

This is on the side of a local restaurant, Milagro's. The bricks on the left are real - everything else is painted.

This is on the side of a florist shop at Richmond & Edgewood. The only things that are real are the window, the door and the light above the door.

This is on the side of a commercial building at Richmond & Athlone Ave. The crate is real; the rest is painted on the doors of the - can you guess? - delivery entrance!

This can be found on the side of a commercial building at Richmond & Roosevelt. This is entirely painted. If you look carefully, you can see the door knob of the closed door (painted to look like an open door!).

This is on the side of a commercial building at Richmond & Churchill. The only things that are real are a few bushes and the stairway.

This one is near the former Firefighters' Credit Union on Richmond Road.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Visual Celebration...

The commercial building at the corner of my street had its main east-facing wall painted black this weekend. Black. Black?! What could possibly have possessed them to do such a thing?, I wondered. Well, now I know... and I'm absolutely thrilled!

Meet Sean McInnis, an artist who is single-handedly dotting my neighbourhood with amazing murals. His latest masterpiece features Westfest, a free community celebration of the arts. Entering into its 4th year, Westfest is coming up June 8 - 10, 2007. The heart of this festival is, literally, at the end of my street. Should be fun!

I admire Sean's work every time I stroll through Westboro. I had been thinking of taking my camera along and capturing the great artwork around here. When I saw Sean working on this newest piece, I took the opportunity to stop & chat. Quite a friendly guy with a distinct east coast accent... My goal is to stop by daily and see how the mural progresses. I thought it would be neat to share its progress here. So, here are a couple of images from Westfest Mural: Day One.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

The Fever...

I think I'm coming down with a Fever... Stanley Cup Fever. Yes, it seems even a non-pro sport fanatic such as myself can be swept up in the hoopla! It's pretty amazing to live in a town whose NHL hockey team will be playing for Lord Stanley's Cup. I said to Hubby: I think we need to get something for the front of the house - a flag for our front porch would be nice!

Yesterday's game was excruciating to watch (and this is why I don't get into sports too much - I can't handle the stress! :-)). Mom & Dad are in town for a 5-day visit, and Dad, Sis and her boyfriend went to watch the game at a bar on newly-dubbed Sens Mile located downtown along a portion of Elgin Street. Mom, Hubby & I watched it at home. Mom & I missed the first period, opting to go shopping for a bit. Even the local chocolate & gelato shoppe had the game on their TV. It was everywhere!

It'll be fun to see how this city responds... Just how much spirit will Ottawans be able to muster? Will we come out from the shadow of our bigger cousins, Montreal & Toronto? Will the rest of Canada finally discover that there's more to Ottawa than government & hi-tech?? I suspect that a lot of people will discover what we already know: Ottawa really is the best and we wouldn't trade it for anything!



Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Congrats to...

Congrats to...

Hubby, for posting yet another personal record (PR) at the Mississauga Marathon - 3:25:19. Although he didn't qualify for Boston this time 'round, he still shaved about 8 minutes off his previous PR and finished in the top 12% of a field of 1,428 runners. Before we had even boarded the shuttle bus from the finish area back to the hotel, he said: "I'm still booking a hotel in Boston. I can run two more marathons before then, and I'm confident I'll qualify in at least one of them." I am too, Babe.

Congrats to...

My friend Stuart Hickox, for being named as one of three Community Award Finalists for a Canadian Environmental Award in the Climate Change category. As founder and executive director of One Change and the Project Porchlight campaign, Stuart has been a visionary and a true community leader. He turned a startling statistic about energy efficient lightbulbs into a grassroots call to action, empowering us to affect change on the environment - one bulb at a time. I'm proud to know you, Stuart!

Who, in your life, deserves to be congratulated today??


Monday, May 14, 2007

Give yourself a break...

Here's something interesting to think about on May 15th. Although there is always room for improving ourselves, what would happen if - just for today - we admitted that we are totally OK, just the way we are?! What if we let go of our ideals and illusions of perfection? Our energies just might be directed towards whatever is right in front of us, at any given moment... be that a task or a friend or maybe even a stranger in need.

“If I can forgive myself my imperfections, I can forgive them in others.
If I can forgive them in others, I can be more loving and at ease in the world.
If I can be more loving and at ease, people will delight in my company and be grateful for my presence.
If people delight in my company, than what need have I for perfection?” - Lauren Rosenfeld

Happy Freedom from Self-Improvement Day, Friends... Remember, you may not be perfect, but you are excellent!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mission Accomplished...

I did it! I actually did it!! Just as I had hoped, the adrenaline of a real race atmosphere propelled me towards my goal of finishing in under 30 minutes. My final chip time? 29:30.1 Not too shabby for my first race of the season, huh?! My previous personal best was 31:38.3 from a race last September.

I felt great throughout the run. Hubby laughed when I told him I could have gone faster, but there were too many slow people ahead of me on the narrow running path. :-) This was also my first race where all finishers received a medal. I have my first running medal!

Needless to say, I am thrilled with my results. I'll no doubt be running a few more 5km races this season, and I'll be working towards my new goal: completing a 10km run this fall.

Tomorrow, it's Hubby's time to shine... They're calling for ideal weather and he seems ready to give it his all. I'll let you know how it goes!


Thursday, May 10, 2007

Off & Runnin'...

Well, we're off & running this weekend. Literally. We're heading to Mississauga on Friday, where Hubby will be running the Mississauga Marathon on Sunday morning. This is the one where he's running to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2008. He's trained hard in the past 6 months since New York and, if everything comes together as planned, we'll soon be planning our trip to Boston! For most of us, the very thought of running 42km is enough to just make us go back to bed. But somehow, for some people, it just clicks. He's just one of those people.

I'll be running the 5km race on Saturday evening. It's my first official race of the season. My goal for this season is to run 5km in under 30 minutes. It would be great to do that in Mississauga, but I honestly don't think I'm there yet. I'll let you know how it goes!

So, send good thoughts our way this weekend...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

To swap...or not to swap?

I went wild at a book swap today. Some of you may know that I am on a self-imposed book-buying moratorium. I have only slipped twice since last September, both times buying books related to my new career path. The main reason for this moratorium is that I already own many, many books - including a large number that I have never even read. I figured if I focussed on reading the books already waiting for me on my shelves, I could save a bundle. Plus, the clutter. Oh, the clutter! Did I really need any more?? Indeed, it seems I had problems walking out of a bookstore empty-handed.

The transition has been easier than I expected. I use the public library more, and I seek to borrow books rather than to automatically buy them. And of course, there are still all those un-read books of my own. However today, at work, they organized a book swap. You could bring in books that you no longer wanted, and pick up books given by others. All for the price of a non-perishable food donation for the local food bank. What a great idea! All those months of non-acquisition mode were wiped out in a single 20-minute period. I walked out of there with 12 books, some of them for me... some to offer to others. Here's a sampling:
and the award for "Most Unusual Title" goes to...
All that, and more. All in all, a very good haul! Now, about that clutter...

Monday, May 07, 2007


My heart is heavy. I found out today that a friend is in hospital, cancer running rampant throughout her body (lungs, kidney, bones...). She is being given only a few months to live.

Although this woman is not a close friend, I have been touched by her strength, her generosity and her great sense of humour on many occasions. She is loved by many and her illness is a cause of great pain for other friends of mine.

Yes, tonite, my heart is heavy with sadness...