What the Hygge?Finding Cozy Winter Rituals in Westport - theHumm November 2020

What the Hygge?Finding Cozy Winter Rituals in Westport - theHumm November 2020

By Sarah Kerr

On a beautiful day in October, I spent the day exploring the picturesque village of Westport with my two kids, aged 6 and 2, and hiking Foley Mountain. I wanted to write about finding your hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) — the Scandinavian ritual of seeking coziness and comfort in simple experiences — in Westport. I mean, Westport is the most incredibly cozy village in the hills, perched below Foley Mountain and overlooking Upper Rideau Lake. Just driving into town from Perth will take your breath away. Meet up with a friend, as we did, or go with someone you love and — bam – that’s all the hygge you need for a getaway this winter!

The Visit Denmark tourism site describes hygge as “creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people”. But also, “the warm glow of candlelight… cozying up with a loved one… and sitting around with friends and family and discussing the big and small things in life”. Okay, that’s a little vague. It says that their long dark winters, and Christmas, is hygge high season. So basically, everything that gives you that cozy, snuggly, you-are-loved feeling, in the midst of the darkness, is hygge? Yes! And Westport has got us covered with the cutest Inn, shops, and atmosphere to experience it. So I highly recommend that you go for the day to meet a friend, or go for three days if you can get your sister-in-law to stay with your kids. It’s been known to happen! And if necessary, just pack those kids up and take them. And here’s what you do when you get there…

First of all, we’re all growing pant sizes in quarantine (this is a team effort, right?). And look, I’m not suggesting you stop treating yourself. No, no, no, quite the opposite really. But one of the easiest ways to take in the spectacular views of the Village is by hiking Foley Mountain Conservation Area. And who knows, the fresh air and moving our quarantined bodies might just lead to feelings of well-being. It certainly surprised me. Now, just to be clear — I did this with two 2-year-olds and a 6-year old. This was not a vigorous hike! The well maintained (short and) sweet trails give you access to beaver ponds and lookouts, and you realize the $7 day pass it is well worth the time and money.

From there, we cruised down to The Cove Country Inn for lunch on their patio overlooking the Westport Pond and Upper Rideau Lake and had some tasty comfort food. The kids got chicken fingers and mac n’ cheese and us moms opted for noodle bowls and Caesar salad. And wine of course – it was after noon. Nearly. The Cove has been run by the Cowan family since 1988, and if you decide to take them up on their package to “Stay 2 nights, get the 3rd Night FREE”, then you’re likely to run into at least one of the three generations! The Cove boasts (nearly) nightly live music and comfortable rooms for you to snuggle in and experience village life. And all the COVID protocols are in place.

Now if you didn’t pack your slippers or PJs, not to fret. This village draws shoppers from far and wide, thanks to shops like the Village Green. You can pick up anything you need in buffalo plaid or that Canadiana grey sock material here for all of your Instagram-able winter fashion desires. They sell moccasins, scarves, pajamas, books, games, socks, blankets, home décor, stocking stuffers, puzzles and so much more. Basically, this place is a one-stop Christmas shop. But as I’ve been reading, hygge isn’t just about stuff, it’s about a feeling.

So if you want that feeling, grab a maple latte or your favourite hot drink and some delicious baked goods at The Cottage Coffee House while you pop over to Lake Effects and pick out your favourite Adirondack chair. These are no longer only for summer, folks — we need serious seating for around our campfires that will be going ALL winter long! Don’t forget to check out the Canadian art and pottery at the Dancing Moon Studio, Art On Centre, and Back Stairs Pottery. And, if you’re so lucky as to catch a break without the kids on the weekend, book a wine tasting and wood-fired pizza lunch at Scheuermann Vineyard and then dinner on the patio or in the taproom with reservations at Westport Brewing Co. Just note, pretty much the whole village is closed on Sunday & Monday, so I would recommend going later in the week for the best hygge in Westport.

These are unprecedented times, so we need to be kind to ourselves and others. As Albus Dumbledore reminded me while I was binge-watching my annual fall Harry Potter marathon, “happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”. So spark up the bonfire, light about a thousand candles, and get your snuggle on. Please just be a good Covidizen and practice your S.M.A.R.T. (self-isolate if symptomatic, wear your mask, avoid touching your face, remain 6-feet apart from everyone outside of your household, and twenty-second hand washes) COVID protocols. Then go find your hygge in Westport!


Showing the Local Love for the Holidays! - theHumm November 2020

By Kris and Rob Riendeau

Here at theHumm we’re big on local economies. The retail and service businesses in the small towns that we cover play a huge role in the cultural life of those towns. Each store, restaurant, or small enterprise attracts and serves a particular clientele — some inside the community, some from outside. Some businesses host their own special events; others join together with local festivals to make the whole experience more vibrant. Many provide support in cash or in kind to local initiatives. ......


Thanks So Much for Your Support!
And Sorry About the USD Thing…
- theHumm November 2020

By — Sarah Kerr

Wow! We have been blown away by your support for theHumm and the arts & entertainment scene in the Ottawa Valley. Since our letter in the October issue that invited you to help us become reader-supported with our new patronage campaign patreon.com/theHumm , we have received so many lovely emails and notes of encouragement. This has been so uplifting, and we are truly grateful for the reminder that you like what we’re doing here at theHumm. T......


Margaret Martin – Coping with Art“The Artist’s Way - theHumm November 2020

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

After many years as an elementary school teacher, Portland artist Margaret Martin is now focusing on her own artistic abilities with beautiful results.

Many of her acrylic paintings reflect her love of nature and landscape. Her paintings are deeply emotional statements about her connection to and gratitude for the natural world. Her waterscapes and landscapes testify to the restorative, healing, and inspirational powers nature bestows on us if we take the time to cont......


Leave Them With Scott!Your Leaves Can Help Farmers Regenerate Soil - theHumm November 2020

By — Scott Hortop

Would you like your fall leaves to be used to help Almonte area farmers regenerate healthy soil?

As part of my personal attempt to address the climate emergency, I have been learning from the work of a professor in New Mexico how to produce a very special type of compost from leaves. It is called fungal dominant compost and it serves as an inoculant for degraded soil to re-enliven the microbial, biological life of the soil. For more information, check out this California State University websi......


A Century ofWriters Helping Writers - theHumm November 2020

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Authors Association, the National Capital Branch invites all writers to take part in the 34th Annual National Capital Writing Contest. Award recipients will be published in the 2021 Anthology and will be part of the (virtual or live) centenary celebrations.

The Canadian Authors Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit national arts service organization with a local presence dedicated to promoting a flourishing community of wri......


Food Bank Stocking Drive
COVID Won’t Stop Santa Claus — or Sandy Claus!
- theHumm November 2020

By — The Lanark County Food Bank

The Lanark County Food Bank Stocking Drive has already begun. A lot has changed, but the need for the support of the community is stronger than ever during this year of COVID-19. Looking ahead, we know Christmas will also bring special challenges. And that’s why we are already turning our minds to making merry and starting to collect for the LCFB — The Hunger Stop 12th annual Christmas Stocking Drive.

Sandy Schappert is the spirit behind these Christmas Stockings filled with toiletries. Acting upon ......


It’s a Chocolate Party in CP! - theHumm November 2020

The Granary’s Annual Chocolate Party is still happening in downtown Carleton Place this year, with COVID safety measures in place. Bring your mask, wash your hands and join in the fun — from 2 metres away!

From December 2–6 the Granary will be offering daily gift bags, prizes, samples and great deals on all things chocolate. This year they are focusing on local chocolate including Camino, Hummingbird, Chocosol and Ludwig.

On Saturday, December 5, the Town Singers will be serenading f......


What the Hygge?Finding Cozy Winter Rituals in Westport - theHumm November 2020

By Sarah Kerr

On a beautiful day in October, I spent the day exploring the picturesque village of Westport with my two kids, aged 6 and 2, and hiking Foley Mountain. I wanted to write about finding your hygge (pronounced “hoo-ga”) — the Scandinavian ritual of seeking coziness and comfort in simple experiences — in Westport. I mean, Westport is the most incredibly cozy village in the hills, perched below Foley Mountain and overlooking Upper Rideau Lake. Just driving into town from Perth will take your breath away. ......


Aid-Brigade at MMYCMusic Program in Honour of Aiden Fotherby-Verk - theHumm November 2020

By — Sarah Bingham

Some people don’t need a whole lot of time here on earth to make their mark, to change their community for the better and leave a lasting impact. Aiden Fotherby-Verk was one of those special souls who made so much of the short amount of time he had. As a part of his lasting legacy, his family has generously donated to the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre to create the “Aid-Brigade Music Program” in Aiden’s honour. Aiden’s music program will be a permanent offering at the youth centre and provi......


Guatemala Stove Project FundraiserVirtual Auction Supports Families in Guatemala - theHumm November 2020

From November 6–16, you can help support the work of the Guatemala Stove Project by participating in an online auction of amazing items. Choose from Guatemalan handicrafts, pottery, gift baskets, paintings and jewellery, restaurant and business vouchers, and much more by visiting 32auctions.com/GSP2020 . Proceeds will support the building of chimney-vented cooking stoves for Maya families. These stoves not only reduce the amount of w......


Unusual, Unconfined… Art Abounds in our Area! - theHumm November 2020

By Miss Cellaneous

Sivarulrasa’s 6th Anniversary Show

The 6th Anniversary Show is the Sivarulrasa Gallery’s biggest exhibition of the year, celebrating their sixth year of operations in Almonte! Running from November 25 to December 30, it covers all three exhibition spaces in the gallery. Owner Sanjeev Sivarulrasa is “delighted to showcase sculpture, paintings, drawings and photographic works from our 27 represented artists from Almonte, Ontario, and across C......


Shedding Some Light on Men’s Sheds - theHumm November 2020

John Peters is an active member of both the Hackberry Men’s Shed (an organization that serves Carleton Place) and the Naismith Men’s Shed (which serves Almonte and area). We asked him how area sheds are trying to keep men engaged, connected and supported.

theHumm: According to menssheds.ca , Doug Mackie founded the first Canadian shed after recognizing that many men in his community had both time on their hands and a tendency to......


The Experimental Yard - theHumm November 2020

By David Hinks

I first met Joanne and Rick at a workshop that I was leading on garden pests at the Carp Library three years ago — they were very interested and enthusiastic participants. At the time they were in the process of moving from their home in Orleans to a new home in Carleton Place. I met them again at the Carleton Place Community Garden where they have become volunteers and leaders in this very successful community initiative. In a conversation about gardening, I was invited to tour their home ......


Danah-Lee Set to Release New and Inspiring Music - theHumm November 2020

Ottawa Valley singer-songwriter Danah-Lee is set to release a new and inspiring EP on November 20 titled These Are a Few of My Favourite Hymns. The first EP single, Fall on Me, is coming to all streaming platforms on November 6. Singles will be released each Friday in November. The album is quite remarkable, as all parts have been recorded, mixed and mastered remotely due to the global pandemic.

Danah-Lee has co-produced every arrangement alongside 18-year-old André Mergulhão (a young musi......


The Importance of Indie Bookshops - theHumm November 2020

By — John Pigeau

A friend of mine once told me that in her favourite, most enchanting dream, she’s trapped in a small charming bookstore overnight. So what does she do? After she screams into her hands with sheer joy, she kicks off her shoes and excitedly pokes about, gathering an armload of wonderful books. Then she parks it in a big comfy chair, drapes the owner’s left-behind cardigan over her shoulders, smiles to herself at her absolutely brilliant fortune, and then finally, blissfully, opens the first......


Zoom with Tim Cook! - theHumm November 2020

Renowned historian and author Tim Cook stopped by Mill Street Books to sign copies of The Fight for History: 75 Years of Forgetting, Remembering, and Remaking Canada’s Second World War. His latest book looks at how Canadians have reframed the war experience over time. He states: “If we do not embrace our history, no one else will.” Tim has kindly agreed to participate in a Zoom presentation on Sunday, November 15 at 2pm. Purchase a signed copy and you will be provided a link for th......


MVTM Announces Winners of New Awards - theHumm November 2020

The Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (MVTM) is proud to announce the KDS Fibre and Textile Art Award winners, recognizing excellence in fibre and textile art. The award has been created as a showcase of the most current and versatile approaches to fibre as a medium. In order to profile the breadth of the craft, three award categories are in place to celebrate the work of emerging, mid-career and established women artists aged 50 and over.

The contest was open to all Canadian female artists ove......


The Art of Raking in the Rain - theHumm November 2020

By Glenda Jones

Raking is a fall rite of passage, the gateway to winter, and a good reason to be outside. Sunny days would be lovely, but not so this year — no surprise, eh? Eschew the metal rake, the fancy leaf collector, and for goodness sakes, a power leaf blower if you live in the ’burbs. We’re going old-fashioned!

Get yourself a good plastic or bamboo rake, not too heavy, not too wide. Before you’re done, you’ll appreciate a smaller rake. Get some decent garden gloves, not the old ones you wore out in the sum......


Learning to Love the Carbon Tax - theHumm November 2020

By — Chandler Swain

So we come toward the end of a doozy of a year. We have all faced up to some intense challenges and proved that, when we really need to change our way of doings things to prevent bad stuff from getting worse, we can do it. Along with issues related to the virus, the most profound problem we all face is the Climate Crisis. However, there is a silver lining to our pulling together for this one: we get a prosperous livable world for our kids and grandkids!

One thing that we and the planet can benefit ......


What’s New for November at Your Library - theHumm November 2020

By Erika Heesen

November can often be a dreary month, as the fall colours fade into gray and drizzle, and eventually into snow. The turning of the seasons is a time for change, and never more so than in this year of upheaval and adjustment. I’m sure that I’m not alone in searching for some type of light and connection to be made to get through these times. With that in mind, I decided to celebrate changes that are happening at our libraries. We’re seeing changes to our hours and spaces, and we’re also joining you virtually with programs via our Facebook pages and “Take and Make” kits.


“Take Me to the Movies”
Adult Learning & Training Centre Fundraiser
- theHumm November 2020

The Adult Learning & Training Centre is a local non-profit that provides free, personalized training to adult learners in Lanark County and Smiths Falls to upgrade their math, reading and computer skills in order to help them gain independence or obtain employment.

They are holding a Zoom fundraiser on November 13 from 7–9pm called “Take me to the Movies”. They will ask movie related questions, the answers are point-based, and at the end the totals are tallied and the people with the most points win great prizes donated from local businesses.

Required is a minimum $10 donation......


Remembrance Day in Carleton Place - theHumm November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has directly affected the execution of this year’s annual November 11th Remembrance Day Parade and Ceremony in Carleton Place and other communities across Canada. However, the good news is that in order to have the residents of Carleton Place remember and pay our respects to our fallen, a much smaller scaled-down ceremony is still being planned, which can be viewed on Facebook Live.

During these unprecedented times, local Legion Branch 192 feels that it is incumbent upon th......


Smiths Falls Makes the Season Merry & Bright - theHumm November 2020

Riding high on the success of their summer/fall PICNIC program, the Town of Smiths Falls will be continuing to focus on local businesses with their upcoming Merry and Bright Christmas Box initiative. By partnering with local retailers, they will be helping them offer fantastic packages of gifts and goodies that will appeal to anyone who “loves local”. Businesses will select their own items to put in the custom-stamped boxes, and then the Town will supplement each box with a complimentary collectable gift, a Smiths Falls Christmas postcard, a Visitor Guide, a Walking Tour Guide, and a Chri......