Monday, June 15, 2009

Wine Tasting Party Chez Helgahume, Part 2

On June 6, we hosted another wine-tasting party Chez Helgahume.

This time, some white wines were incorporated -- partly due to demand, partly due to the heat. We compared three different Sauvignon Blancs, and four Cabernet Sauvignons, all coming from different countries. As before, the cheeses were selected by experts at the House of Cheese, whose great customer service (and products!) I cannot recommend enough.

While Chilean wine is usually very nice, these two finished on the bottom. The CabSav had some suspected corkage, which is an unfortunate risk in buying so many bottles. My favourite SauvBlanc, Oyster Bay, surprisingly finished with a lower score than the half-priced (but also tasty) Two Oceans. Then again, Two Oceans beat out all the competition despite being the only cheap wine on the table. Good job! :-)

So, in honour of the cheapo wine winning the competition, the final HelgaHume wine-tasting party shall feature ONLY cheapo wines! Nothing on the table will be over $15. Well, except the cheeses.

Got any recommendations? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

We have a cat.

So Dave and I were walking home from having midweek beers on a patio, and came across a sweet little cat wandering around Holland ave. Now, for those of you unfamiliar with Ottawa, Holland avenue is a very busy road, with buses and SUV's cruising by at top speed. Not a good place for a cat to be meandering.

Seeing she had a collar and tag, we took her home to call her owner. (No worries, we locked the basement door to avoid cat/bunny "acquaintance" from occurring.) BUT, when we tried to call the number, it was unassigned!!! Uh oh!

It's late, it's a weeknight, the Humane Society is not open, we can't go knocking on doors, and we have a little cat mewing expectantly at us. We can't just set her outside again to let her get hit by a car... so we put her in the kitchen for the night, with a dish of water and a bit of canned salmon. However, our house being old means that no doors in it really, actually close properly (besides the basement door), so it took no time at all for her to find her way into our bedroom. She snuzzled up to Dave, who by this time had become her buddy.

Anyhow, this morning we put a call in to the Humane Society, who matched us up with Gracie's owner (who had reported having lost her). The owner is due to arrive today to pick the cat up.

So the lesson? Please ensure your pets are tagged with current contact information! It would have saved Dave and I fretting about what to do last night. Though that being said, our 12 hours of being cat owners was kind of fun. And it was a pleasure to meet Gracie; in my experience, cats don't get much cuter or sweet-tempered than her.

I guess all of this just goes to show that we're in serious pet withdrawal. ;-)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

It's official.

This blog began in order to chronicle our adventure in New Zealand.

It continued on by chronicling the move back to Canada, and our re-integration into Ottawa life.

And now, Dave and I are officially announcing our third phase of adventuring, soon to be underway... in August, we are moving to Victoria, British Columbia.

Why the move? Well, Dave got offered an excellent job with the BC public service, doing important and cutting-edge work with citizen engagement. As for me, I'm not sure what I will do when I get there... but there seems to be a load of promising options, so I'm not at all worried. :-)

The plan is to stay for 2-3 years, then return to Ottawa.

There are most certainly some aspects of this opportunity that make me sad... we have so many wonderful friends here, and a fantastic house in an exciting part of town, and I simply love my job. I will miss them all terribly.

On the other hand, what an amazing adventure to be embarking on! Dave and I are very blessed to have this opportunity, and fully intend to make the most of it. Dave's job is very cool, and I now have a chance to step back from my day-to-day work and evaluate what direction I want for my career. I get to choose my path based on the knowledge gaps I want to fill in the next few years. Exciting!!

(Or maybe I can just spend my days ogling the cute bunnies on the UVic campus.)

Plus, Dave has a fantastic friend-base in Victoria who I am eager to get to know better. From what I've seen, they are lovely people.

More details will come as the date nears. But in the meantime, rest assured that Ottawa most certainly hasn't seen the last of us. We'll be back like a bad smell. ;-)

Friday, June 05, 2009

An interesting aside...

So I have promised to reread The Omnivore's Dilemma and share some of its highlights.

This plan, however, has suffered from a highly unexpected crimp -- all of a sudden, this book has gone from NO demand to HIGH demand! When I first checked the book out from the Ottawa library, many of the copies were checked in, and there was no waiting list. I was able to renew my checkout for weeks upon weeks due to no one wanting the book afterwards.

Now it is the opposite. I now have to queue for even receiving the book at all, and then once I have it, I cannot even renew it due to the waiting list after me.

So what's going on? How did this dramatic change of demand happen? Has the zeitgeist taken a sudden and collective interest in this years-old book? Has there been a renewed publicity for the author, Pollan?

...or, is it possible that this blog has something to do with it...?!? That's a scary thought! Hmm...