The People Are Coming!The People Are Coming! - theHumm February 2020

The People Are Coming!The People Are Coming! - theHumm February 2020

By Glenda Jones

I feel like I’m living in that Ikea commercial — in a big flap because company is coming, important company who’ll be here for a few days, and who might be opening cupboards or looking under beds, and yikes! Do I really want them to see the pet fur that at any moment could come alive down there?

It’s Alan’s major birthday on March 1 (everybody sing!) and our kids — well, grown adults — are gathering for the occasion. It’s a long time since we were all together, so this is momentous. I want to make a good impression. This is one time when low lighting is not going to cut it.

After the doldrums of flu season in December and procrastination season in early January, I am now hit with the cleaning season bug. I’m dragging stuff to recycling, to the Hub, to the garbage, anywhere to get rid of excess. Alan has to keep his stuff tidy or it’ll be gone. The dogs are sleeping on top of their toy basket, in case I have at that and dump their favourites.

I actually enjoyed cleaning the cupboards. I discovered treasures in unlikely places, a sheaf of letters my Mom wrote us in 1998, poems written in six-year old French and little paintings of apple trees, and thank-you notes from people I have long forgotten. There was also a collection of post cards I kept because I liked the pictures, plus one hilarious one from my sister that I kept because she wrote a silly verse on it. None of that got turfed.

There was a ratty looking kindergarten project in the recipe book cupboard. We all have one of these: two paper plates, one cut in half, sewn together with red yarn, and Happy Mother’s Day on the front in primary printing. It still holds the bits and bobs of kids’ art, and some little recipes they wrote out for things like “hot choclat”. In the front is a yellowed sheet gently folded with the recipe for Crunchy Granola, a big hit sent directly from CBC’s This Country in the Morning with Peter Gzowski in 1972. The cleaning was put on hold while I reminisced and whipped up a full batch of granola. I’d have had the “hot choclat” too, but alas, no cocoa in the cupboard. No, I couldn’t part with any of those things.

On to the next cupboard, and I got serious. No one needs three wine bottle bags, two thermoses, five mismatched chipped mugs or six paper plates that are crushed. And what about a spaeztle maker? Now I have one shelf with little on it, always a good thing in this house where I consider an empty drawer the height of luxury. The glasses are all sparkling, the odd ones are discarded, so everything is pristine and a treat to behold.

The space under beds is a no man’s land that has been a godsend when the people are coming. Bed skirts hide a lot of area, and before we got Miss Diva I used it with gay abandon. She, however, discovered my hiding place and proceeded to chew corners of everything from picture frames to fabric. She leaves her toys under the bed and when she pulls them out, all dusty, I feel pangs of guilt for at least ten seconds. I have to hang upside down to vacuum under there, but it’s getting done, all in the name of “the people are coming”.

The closets are a particular challenge, but if a guest should hazard to open one I don’t want them crushed under the detritus that could spring out unbidden. We double-shelved all our closets, probably not a good idea in hindsight, since we can’t reach and never see the stuff on the top shelf. Surely no one will want us to drag down that clutter. However, I swear hangers have bred freely in the dark; what began as five is now a mass of fifty-five. Wicked things! There are three duvets in there, and multiple useless sham pillows. (Have you ever figured out a purpose for those piles of pillows that are decorators’ delights?) Art works in boxes, balls of yarn, antique silverware, and the crème de la crème: my grandmothers’ wedding dresses! There are four boxes of photos, three stuffed toys, two lovely hats and one handmade quilt. I’ve repacked it all securely and am hoping it will stay there.

If I get really serious, I’ll take down the curtains and dust the high places. I’ll clean the light fixtures and maybe polish the silver. However, I don’t want to overdo it, right? Probably best if I content myself with what has been accomplished so far, and hope that a quick vacuum the day before guests arrive will suffice. I’ll make favourite meals and smile a lot, and maybe no one will notice the rest. After all, housework is self-replicating, and no matter what is done one day it has to be redone the next, especially when we live in this constant swirl of beautiful dog fur. I used to tell the kids, “you can write your name in the dust, but you can’t put the date”. So bring on the people — we’re ready as we’ll ever be!


In memoriam – Dr. Bill Buttle - theHumm February 2020

By Kris Riendeau

I honestly can’t remember when Bill Buttle first started contributing Artbeat cartoons to theHumm, but I think it was some time within our first year of publishing. So for the past two decades (give or take a year or two), his humorous take on the world of art and music has had pride of place here on page 2. On Sunday, January 19, Bill passed away peacefully in Arnprior at the age of 79, leaving behind grieving family and friends as well as legions of Artbeat fans throughout......


Charles Spratt A Four-Decade Love Affair - theHumm February 2020

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

It is a true gift to discover a passion that endures and rewards for the rest of your life. Charles Spratt is grateful that he has had forty years to enjoy what it took him forty years to realize — he is an artist.

Interviewing artists is always an adventure. When he ushered me into the basement of the tastefully appointed home he shares with his wife Pat in Stittsville, I was astonished. Spratt’s man cave is unusual and fabulous. I would like to return a......


Thaw Out at Frozen Jr. in Carleton Place! - theHumm February 2020

By Linda Beiglee & Sherrie Seward, CoProducers

This enchanting modern classic from Disney is based on the 2018 Broadway musical, bringing Elsa, Anna and the magical land of Arendelle to life onstage.

A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen Jr. examines the emotional relationship between Princesses Anna and Elsa as they embark on a journey. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. With a cast of beloved characters, and laden with magic, adventure and plenty of h......


Hard Hitting Blues at Blues on the Rideau - theHumm February 2020

If you like your blues hard and heavy then you won’t want to miss the Bill Durst band at the Cove on February 21. Blues on the Rideau producer James Doran explains: “This will be Bill’s first visit to Westport, and I don’t know why it’s taken this long for us to get him here. I promise that anyone who loves Texas roadhouse-style blues (like ZZ Top) will really enjoy this band. This power trio blues rock is as good as it gets!”

Growing up in Wingham, Ontario, Bill was influenced by Mo......


Almonte’s Seedy Saturday - theHumm February 2020

By David Hinks

The fifth annual Almonte Seedy Saturday will soon be here. That’s right — fifth year — what an amazing anniversary!

Seedy Saturday comes to the Almonte Civitan Club on Saturday, February 8 from 9am to 3pm. Once again there will be guest speakers all day on a wide variety of topics, more than forty artisan vendors and not-for-profits, door prizes, plenty of seed swapping, and homemade brunch from the Civitan canteen. Johvi Leeck, a young local entrepreneur and owner of t......


Key for Two
Laugh the Winter Away at the Station Theatre
- theHumm February 2020

By Smiths Falls Community Theatre

February is the dreariest of months — if you aren’t a winter person. There’s snow, cold, wind… it seems to have been here forever and seems like it’s never going to end. You need a pick-me-up! A night to forget about it all and just submerse yourself in a whole lot of nonsense. That’s where the Station Theatre comes in. Our production of the traditional British farce Key for Two by John Chapman and Dave Freeman is sure to lighten your mood!

First-time director Linda Pipher has put together a g......


Shift Happens: A Documentary Series
The Impact of Humans on Our Planetand What Can Be Done About It
- theHumm February 2020

Studio Theatre Perth, Biosphere Environmental Education, and Three Green Peas are pleased to announce a series of documentary films at the Studio Theatre in Perth.

Five award-winning environmental documentaries shown over five months will cover climate change and environmental challenges caused by human activity. One documentary from the series was presented in November 2019, and four more will be shown in February, March, April, and May of 2020. These films explore the dangers facing our......


Family Time & Mid-Winter Milling! - theHumm February 2020

By Miss Mills

OK — we’re tired of being indoors already, so it must be time to head outside for some awesome activities and marvellous milling about. No problem — Mississippi Mills has you covered (or uncovered, as the case may be)!

Monday, February 17 is Family Day in Ontario, and there are many affordable (and free!) activities to enjoy close to home. In Almonte, Pakenham and area, you can enjoy free public skating, explore local history, have fun outdoors, eat pancakes or catch a screeni......


Marion Bridge
Where Past and Present Jostle for Forgiveness
- theHumm February 2020

By Heddy Sorour

Studio Theatre Perth’s upcoming production promises a heart-warming evening of discovery. Marion Bridge by Daniel MacIvor is a humorous and touching story about the power of realization and how it heals more than it harms.

“It’s a drama, with lots of comic moments. They’re amusing characters and the language is amusing and clever and it just flows,” enthuses director Barb Guthrie.

The play is about three sisters in their thirties who congregate at their childhood “home” ......


Eric Walker: Solo Exhibition in Almonte - theHumm February 2020

Artist Eric Walker has been creating his “painted constructions” — blurring the boundaries of painting, collage, and sculpture — for over three decades. Much of his work is linked to the history and culture of the Maritimes, combining elements of high art with more vernacular forms. Walker aims to call attention to collective history by focusing on a mix of commonplace subjects such as ships, trains, government buildings and cities seen from the ground ......


The Postman Delivers - theHumm February 2020

By Sebastian Weetabix

But first, a word from Weetabix on analogies and terminology, since exactly what is delivered is of interest. “Il Postino” in Italian is, literally, the postman or letter carrier. Il Postino in A......


The People Are Coming!The People Are Coming! - theHumm February 2020

By Glenda Jones

I feel like I’m living in that Ikea commercial — in a big flap because company is coming, important company who’ll be here for a few days, and who might be opening cupboards or looking under beds......


Snow Angel Party - theHumm February 2020

By Sue Cressy

We are celebrating the Tenth Annual Snow Angel Making Party at Highlands Gate (4381 Wolf Grove Road in Lanark Highlands) on Sunday, February 16 from 1–4pm. It’s fun, it’s free, and it is fab......


Library, After Dark
Featuring Jenny Whiteley & Joey Wright
- theHumm February 2020

By Heidi Taber Work

The Perth & District Union Public Library is preparing to use their space like never before. On Saturday, February 22 at 8pm, the library will be transformed into a live music venue for ......


If You Heart Art… - theHumm February 2020

By Miss Cellaneous

Find Faraway Places… in Perth!

As the temperatures drop and we start to feel a little tired of lower light levels and icy pathways, our thoughts tend to travel to Fara......


Indian Creek Orchard Gardens - theHumm February 2020

By David Hinks

“Five acres is not nearly enough”, opined Scott Sigurdson in a recent interview.

Scott is one-half of the dynamic duo that own Indian Creek Orchard Gardens near Pakenham. Scott and his life-......


Church is Not aFour-Letter Word - theHumm February 2020

By Heather Atkinson

Three years ago, I “came out” to the former minister of the church where I sing in Pakenham. I had asked to meet with him, and I was very nervous. I had a big secret to share.

“Reverend,” I s......


The Narrow Years and the Luxurious Years - theHumm February 2020

By Angie Arendt

It’s not much of an orchard as far as orchards go, I suppose. Rumour has it that back when roads around here were mostly dirt and people were still punching a time clock in the mills across the r......


HFT Donuts’Vallentyne Bake - theHumm February 2020

When Ed and Doris Atwell first moved to Clayton, one of the first people they met was Gord Vallentyne. Gord’s brother Bill was often in the Clayton General Store, so they got to know him as well.......


Embracing Winter in Smiths Falls - theHumm February 2020

By John Pigeau

You know, you never hear a ten-year-old say, “Man, I’m so over winter. This is bleak.” Nope, kids are a hearty lot. Playful, adventurous. When I was a kid, February was prime time road hockey sea......


PDHS PresentsA Preview of Spring - theHumm February 2020

Spring will feel just around the corner when Carol Onion of Hillside Gardens treats us to what we might expect this growing season. At the Perth and District Horticultural Society (PDHS) meeting ......


Come toMardi Gras
(Without Travelling Too Far!)
- theHumm February 2020

By Karen DeLuca

On February 22, the Arnprior Public Library, in collaboration with the Arnprior & District Food Bank, will be hosting a fundraising extravaganza sure to kick out those mid-winter doldrums.



Choral Evensong in Perth - theHumm February 2020

The evenings are already getting lighter — a perfect opportunity to come to Choral Evensong at St. James the Apostle Anglican Church in Perth on Sunday, February 16. There will be a prelude ......


Music of Life
River Resonance Chamber Choir
- theHumm February 2020

River Resonance Chamber Choir is a new addition to the Perth choral scene. This twenty-voice balanced choir, comprised of voices from across Lanark County, is led by Nicola Oddy and will perform ......


The Girl, the Ash, the Plantation… and Wilding - theHumm February 2020

By Susie Osler

The Girl

She used to sing as she walked past and up the hill, to the rock where she would sit, looking back towards me, and I towards her. We grew up together. She’d w......