Hope for the Best,Plan for the Rest - theHumm May 2024

Hope for the Best,Plan for the Rest - theHumm May 2024

By John Pigeau

“Life changes fast,” Joan Didion wrote. “Life changes in the instant.”

For many of us, that “instant” can come in a doctor’s office, when we’re told we have a life-changing illness. That instant can be overwhelming. Our minds can quickly be flooded by powerful emotions: fear, anger, sadness, confusion, helplessness. To make sense of things, to figure out what it all means, and to know what to do next, we sometimes need help.

Dr. Sammy Winemaker and Dr. Hsien Seow have written an invaluable new book that aims to do just that.

It’s called Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest: 7 Keys for Navigating a Life-Changing Diagnosis, and it’s meant to empower people with practical tools to take charge of their diagnosis and navigate the health care system with confidence, knowledge and calm.

“While your diagnosis cannot be changed,” the book reminds us, “the way you experience your illness can.”

The book’s authors, doctors who have spent decades researching and caring for thousands of seriously ill patients, will be giving a free talk in Almonte at the Old Town Hall on Wednesday, May 22 beginning at 2:30pm. This event is presented free of charge by Mill Street Books, but registration is required. Please contact the store at 256–9090 for more information.

Vicki Bassett will be moderating the event. Bassett is a long-time nurse who has spent most of her career working clinically and in leadership roles in acute care hospitals in Ottawa, Owen Sound and Almonte. More recently, she has been working as a Nurse Educator in primary care at the Ottawa Hospital Academic Family Health Team.

Bassett is passionate about sharing the book’s positive, practical, hopeful message. She thinks Hope for the Best, Plan for the Best is an invaluable resource for anyone facing a serious illness.

She notes a key passage Dr. Winemaker writes in the Preface: “This book is filled with hope. Although I cannot change that you received a life-changing diagnosis, I hope to improve your experience living with it.”

Bassett says, “This is my hope for all who read the book as well, and why I am so passionate about sharing this incredible resource.”

“Very simply,” she adds, “the messages of the book ring true and make so much sense in my experience, as a nurse for over 40 years. As I read the book, I found myself saying ‘yes, yes, yes!’ I love the creative way the authors distilled their experience and research into the ‘7 keys’ for navigating a life-changing diagnosis.”

“The stories included in the book, illustrating the benefits of ‘being in the know’ versus the harms of ‘being in the dark,’ resonate with my experience as a nurse, and personally. The practical tips provided for patients and families provide invaluable guidance,” she adds.

Like the doctors who wrote the book, Bassett is mindful that our healthcare system is currently lacking when it comes to the availability of physicians — particularly specialists — and that people may not have access to the care they need, nor the information. She believes Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest is a book that might help bridge those gaps for some patients, as well as their loved ones.

“With our health care system’s complexities and stresses,” she explains, “I believe the ideas in this book can help patients and families feel more in control, less anxious and ultimately more prepared to walk the often difficult road of adapting to a life-changing diagnosis. As a nurse, I see the gaps, I hear the distress, and I believe this book can help patients, families and health care providers work better together, to achieve better outcomes.”

Many life-changing illnesses can cause people to be in a great deal of pain, sometimes too much pain to read a book. What then? I asked Bassett. As a long-time nurse, she understood how that would be problematic.

“I have experienced severe back pain at times during my life, and in those times the last thing I would be interested in doing would be to read a book,” she says, “especially a book that required some focus and reflection. All I think about at those times is how to get comfortable — get some sleep, etc. — and what I can do to make things better.”

Still, she says, if you have someone taking care of you, the book may be quite helpful.

“If there is someone in your ‘inner crew’ who is up to reading the book with the goal of learning more about how they might be helpful — or how to navigate the situation as a caregiver — then hopefully the book would be useful in this way.”

Helpfully, the book also comes in audio format.

One thing the book advocates is asking questions of health care providers. Information, after all, is power. And patients deserve to get all the vital information they need.

Bassett agrees wholeheartedly.

“I work in primary care and patients can request ‘long’ appointments when they have a concern that will need some time,” she notes. “If you have a family doctor, this should be possible. This isn’t always an option with specialists though,” she points out.

However, “one thing I can suggest is using key # 7 from the book — Invite Yourself,” she says. “Prioritize the most important question(s), and at the beginning of the appointment be respectfully assertive and state what it is you would like to discuss. This takes planning and thought to make sure that you make the best use of the time you have with the doctor, to address your most pressing concerns. If more time is necessary after that, ask to book another appointment sooner rather than later.”

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest is filled with practical, engaging, helpful suggestions like this. As one palliative care physician writes, “This book is like a conversation with a wise coach on adapting the system so that health care is tailored to your individual preferences.”

Bassett thinks so too.

“This book is life-changing, I believe, in its wisdom for all of us,” she says. “No one wants to think about facing a life-changing diagnosis — but the reality is many of us will, or someone we love will. This book is practical and creative in its approach and has the potential to significantly help patients and families on these difficult journeys.”

For more information about this talk, please visit millstreetbooks.com/events or call Mill Street Books at 256–9090.


David Desormeaux — A Journey ofJoy and Discovery - theHumm May 2024

By Sally Hansen

Art… and Soul

Many books are written about the therapeutic value of creating art, and art therapy has become a respected and growing field of professional practice that nurtures emotional healing. Carleton Place artist David Desormeaux is a compelling testament to its claims. His recent immersion in the delights and challenges of watercolour painting has renewed his joie de vivre.

His eye-catching paintings bring joy to observers too. David renders familiar and frequently overlooked ob......


Art in the Attic
A Tradition Continues on Mothers’ Day Weekend
- theHumm May 2024

On Saturday, May 11 and Sunday, May 12, the Almonte Old Town Hall will come alive with the Art in the Attic show, a free event hosted by the Almonte and Area Artists’ Association. A vibrant and colourful show of art and fine craft, Art in the Attic is the perfect destination on this special Mother’s Day weekend. The show is open from 10am to 5pm on Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday. The Old Town Hall is located at 14 Bridge Street in Almonte.

For over three decades, artists and artis......


A Planet is a Poem - theHumm May 2024

In Amanda West Lewis’s latest picture book, A Planet is a Poem, science and poetry combine in an out-of-this-world exploration of the wonders of our solar system. From a ballad of Earth and an ode to the sun to a villanelle for Venus and a sestina for Saturn, it contains 14 original poems about planets and other bodies in our solar system. Each poem is written in a different poetic form that’s been chosen to reflect the object’s unique characteristics, and each is bursting with......


Electrify Lanark Forum
Explore Local Electrification and Decarbonization on May 18
- theHumm May 2024

By Sue Brandum and Sadie Brule

If we’re supposed to switch to Electric Vehicles, use electric heat pumps to heat and cool our homes, and use electric hot water tanks, lawn mowers and appliances, where is all the electricity supposed to come from?

That’s the big question behind the day-long Electrify Lanark Forum hosted by Climate Network Lanark (CNL) on May 18 in Perth.

CNL got its start four years ago when 120 citizens from across Lanark County came together to launch the organization and set up a range of working......


The Harmonies of Haydn & Bruckner - theHumm May 2024

The Kanata Choral Society will close their 37th season with a performance of Haydn’s Missa Brevis in F and Bruckner’s Locus Iste and Ave Maria, showing the contrast between the lively music of Haydn and the grandeur and spiritual depth of Bruckner’s music. The programme will also include music by Mendelssohn as well as some madrigals.

The conductor will be Scott Auchinleck, the choir’s music director. Soloists will be Bryanna Vanderlek, soprano, and Cameron Hunter, soprano. Instrumental accompaniment will be provided by pianist Eliana Kurilov de Castro, violinists Carolyn Ho and Will ......


A Litany of Literary Events from ARW - theHumm May 2024

By Jessie Carson & Jenn Snider Cruise

Almonte Readers & Writers (ARW) are delighted to present another exciting month of community events and educational opportunities throughout May.

On Wednesday, May 8 from 7–8:30pm at the Library, ARW is proud to be partnering with our sister-group, the Almonte Writers Guild, on the presentation of the first Writing Craft Book Club! The conversation will focus on Anne Lamott’s Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life (1994, Pantheon). Since its publication, Lamott’s book has b......


Volunteer with Almonte Celtfest! - theHumm May 2024

Celtfest — the amazing small-town Celtic music festival — prides itself on being totally operated by volunteers. If you are a music festival enthusiast who enjoys working with the public and is comfortable speaking with and helping people of all stripes, young and old, Celtfest needs you! Some volunteer roles may be more physical than others, while some may involve making sales and being responsible for money. Please visit almonteceltf......


The Start Rocks the Chaffey’s Lock Hall - theHumm May 2024

By Gay Henniger

The Chaffey’s Lock and Area Heritage Society (CLAHS) is thrilled to announce that they are welcoming one of their favourite bands to open the 2024 Music Events Headliner Season in the historic Chaffey’s Lock Community Hall on May 18. Hailing from Ottawa, The Start is returning with their amazing show and fantastic dance music. “This band played here for a sold-out crowd two years ago, and ever since then we have been asked ‘when are you bringing back The Start?’” notes Gay Henniger,......


The Playing Hooky Day - theHumm May 2024

By Glenda Jones

We’re adults. We have responsibilities, we have plans and schedules and places to be and people to see. If we want to attend an affair, it had better be a few months from now, because we’re busy people. We go to meetings, we take classes, we have medical appointments. What we don’t have is spare time. At least, that’s what we think.

When our kids were in school, I allowed them one mental health day per year to simply stay home and do nothing. I even sent a note to school declaring they were kept h......


May Events at MERA - theHumm May 2024

By Alexis Scott

This May, MERA (McDonalds Corners/Elphin Recreation & Arts) has plenty of fun activities for all ages. Join us at 974 Dalhousie Concession 9A in McDonalds Corners to stay connected to your community.

Murals are a big part of MERA’s history. To celebrate our 25th anniversary, we have invited Wakefield artist Marie-France Nitski to help create a new mural. It was thoughtfully designed with community input to present messages and symbols of hope. We would like to invi......


Relay for Life at ADHS - theHumm May 2024

By Jack Lockhart

On June 4, students will be back at it again for Almonte and District High School’s 5th annual Relay for Life event. After having great success at the event last year, with the students raising over $40,000 for cancer research, they are ecstatic about this year’s event and hope to surpass this year’s goal of $30,000.

Relay for Life is an event in which a community, organization, or school comes together to raise money for cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society. Throughout this......


Laugh, Cry, Be Inspired
Studio Theatre Presents The Diary of Anne Frank
- theHumm May 2024

By Ben Bennett

A classic story of an innocent and imaginative girl forced to face the realities of hiding from persecution in war-time Amsterdam opens on May 16 at the Studio Theatre in Perth.

The Diary of Anne Frank is a stage adaptation of The Diary of a Young Girl, the young Jewish teenager’s actual journal, which was recovered after the war. It was first published in 1947, two years after Anne’s death in a concentration camp. This dramatization was written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Ha......


Red Trillium Studio Tour - theHumm May 2024

How often do you do that? It’s a wonderful concept. The journey and the stops you make are simply for pleasure! There is just such an experience awaiting you on the Red Trillium Studio Tour, taking place on June 1 and 2 from 10am to 4pm each day.

Studio tours are the relaxed, slow paced, pleasant way to enjoy art and fine craft — and our beautiful spring — all in one package. Red Trillium artists are looking forward to opening their studios this spring, and have once again created an enj......


Summer Concerts at the Kemptville Street Piano - theHumm May 2024

By Lisa Poushinsky

To music fans throughout the region and beyond, I am thrilled to announce the return of the Kemptville Street Piano Summer Concert Series! Taking place rain or shine on Saturdays from 1–3pm at the North Grenville Public Library, the concerts are for all ages, free to attend, dog-friendly, and start on June 1, continuing weekly until August 31.

The lineup this year has something for everyone, including R&B piano great Jeff Rogers, blues guitar queen Jesse Greene, internationally renowned cello monster Raphael Weinroth-Browne and his ensemble Musk Ox, art-folk bilingue trio Moonfrui......


Garden Showing for Ukraine - theHumm May 2024

By Norma Moore

Can anyone have too much beauty or magic in their lives? I don’t think so. Come and experience both at the opening to the public of the private Moore Garden on June 8.

Tour the extensive gardens, planted over many years; watch butterflies on the wildflowers or birds bathe in one of three beautiful bird baths; enjoy the scents and the sounds of spring. You will hear classical musicians playing in the gazebo, the sounds of a piano on the breeze.

Listen to the sound of gently falling wate......


AGH Run/Walk
Fundraiser for Women’s & Newborn Health
- theHumm May 2024

Walkers, runners, and even crawlers of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in the 11th annual AGH Run/Walk for Women’s & Newborn Health, sponsored by Canadian Tire (Carleton Place), on Saturday, June 8. The morning will feature fun warm-up activities, children’s entertainment and games, pre- and post-run/walk food and refreshments. Everything gets underway at 8am behind the Hospital and Manor on Spring Street.

Incredible prizes will be awarded to everyone who fundraises in suppo......


Borrow Toys fromthe Perth Library! - theHumm May 2024

The Perth Library is now offering a Toy Lending Library! Created with the support of Lanark County Best Start, the collection is made up of high-quality toys and puzzles aimed at ages 0–6.

“Families can borrow these materials just like borrowing a book from the Library,” says Heidi Taber, Children’s Librarian. “By creating a free accessible collection, it allows all children and all families to have access to high quality materials that promote learning through play and foster a lo......


JB Arts – at theHeart of Almonte Art - theHumm May 2024

By Cecilia Kelly

When my neighbour retired recently, she said she was thinking of finally taking some art lessons in her free time but had no idea where to start. My answer was: “ask Jeff Banks… I bet he’ll know.” When Jeff Banks opened a little art studio in Almonte almost 14 years ago, he only dreamed that JB Arts would become such an established staple of the local landscape. Operating on the belief that anyone willing to do visually creative things should be encouraged to pursue art, his motto is “Dress for a......


Taste of the County 2024!
Fundraiser for Therapeutic Riding Program at Stonefields
- theHumm May 2024

By Amy Booth

The ConnectWell Therapeutic Riding Program would like to invite you to our Taste of the County Food, Beer and Wine Tasting Gala on Monday, June 3 from 6–9pm at the beautiful Stonefields Estate in Beckwith. Come out with your friends to celebrate spring and treat yourself to a delicious evening for a really great cause.

Some of the exceptional local cuisine, beer, cider and wine on offer this year will come from Black Tartan Kitchen, The Grand Hotel, Final Score Sports B......


Hike for The Hospice Hub
Fundraising Event Takes Place on June 2 in Perth
- theHumm May 2024

By Margo Bell

“Like the North Star guiding a weary traveller through the night, hospice care supports caregivers and their loved one facing illness, so you can navigate this challenging journey together.” — Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association

Established in March of 2023, The Hospice Hub is a community-led initiative serving Perth, Smiths Falls, Portland, Westport and surrounding areas. We are a grass roots, not-for-profit organization with a volunteer working Board, volunteer Executive Director, and a myriad of volunteers with a wealth of expertise. We have recently added a paid part-time......


Tay Walk 2024 - theHumm May 2024

Whether you are a visitor, are new to Perth, or have lived here all your life, Friends of the Tay Watershed invite you to join them on Saturday, May 25 between 2–4pm for a free, fascinating guided tour along the Tay River and Canal between Last Duel Park and the park next to the Rainbow Bridge at the top of Mill Street.

Bring your family, bring a friend, park and start your walk at either Last Duel Park (ample parking) or at the top of Mill Street (limited parking). Pick up the Tay Walk Map a......


Support Your LocalLocal Farmers’ Markets! - theHumm May 2024

As you walk away from the farmers’ market with your canvas bags filled with fresh local produce, plants, organic meats and assorted other delicious goodies, you just can’t help feeling good. Supporting small-scale market farms means voting with your dollars for the option that is easier on the planet than large, mono-crop industrial farms. Having to plan the trip to the market means planning meals, which is a great way to reduce both wasted food and extra trips to the grocery store. Growers at the marke......


Hope for the Best,Plan for the Rest - theHumm May 2024

By John Pigeau

“Life changes fast,” Joan Didion wrote. “Life changes in the instant.”

For many of us, that “instant” can come in a doctor’s office, when we’re told we have a life-changing illness. That instant can be overwhelming. Our minds can quickly be flooded by powerful emotions: fear, anger, sadness, confusion, helplessness. To make sense of things, to figure out what it all means, and to know what to do next, we sometimes need help.

Dr. Sammy Winemaker and Dr. Hsien Seow have written an invalua......


CR5 Live! @ the Library - theHumm May 2024

From out of the stacks and into the sunshine, Live! @ the Library is pleased to present an award-winning 5-piece bluegrass band on Sunday, June 2 in the garden of the Almonte Branch of the Mississippi Mills Public Library. Performing classics from the likes of Bill Monroe, The Stanley Brothers, Jimmy Martin, and the Osborne Brothers, CR5 can often be heard rehearsing in the library on Sunday afternoons in the winter months. The pleasant strains of their strumming persuaded The Friends of the Library to ......


A Bittersweet Decision...
Burnstown Gallery to Close in June
- theHumm May 2024

Bittersweet Gallery — a well-known and much-loved destination for fine craft and art —will close its doors on June 30. The gallery reopens on May 1 after a winter break and will offer patrons discounts on much of the inventory until its closing date.

Owner Cheryl Babineau has proudly represented over 50 Canadian artists and craftspeople for almost 25 years. Bittersweet Gallery has also housed the ceramic works of her husband Richard Gill, who settled here over 50 years ago and has been......


Zombie-ApprovedCoffee to “Die” For! - theHumm May 2024

By Leanne Baker

Are you looking for somewhere to enjoy high-quality coffee, a distinctive vibe, and a very welcoming atmosphere? Deadly Grounds Café in Carleton Place offers an inclusive, friendly space for anyone and everyone to enjoy good coffee or other drinks, sweet treats, and unique merchandise from local vendors and artists. Step into this café and experience more than just the coffee — in a spooky, creative, cozy, horror-themed space filled with the friendliest people.

At Deadly Grounds Café you will fin......


Cycling Without Age Spring Plans - theHumm May 2024

Now that the weather is turning nicer, Cycling Without Age Lanark County (CWALC) is offering training sessions for people interested in becoming volunteer pilots. Not fond of heights? Don’t worry — in this case pilots are the volunteers who pedal the Trishaws — special three-seat electrically-assisted bikes that allow cyclists to provide free rides to the elderly while building friendships. CWALC members Mark Manzon and Treff Peters will be offering half-day training sessions at Stoneridge Manor on ......


Cycle MORE! - theHumm May 2024

A group of cycling enthusiasts is envisioning a remarkable new cycle route that will loop from Parliament Hill along the Ottawa River Parkway onto the TransCanada Trail, to Carleton Place, through the picturesque communities of Almonte and Pakenham, then back through Ottawa’s western rural neighbourhoods and the village of Carp. “Mississippi & Ottawa Rivers Experience” (MORE) will be Ottawa’s and northern Lanark’s cycle adventure — its Waterfront Trail, P’tit train du Nord, Greater Niagara Circ......


The Puppets are Coming!
Almonte’s Beloved Puppet Festival Launches Early Bird Pricing
- theHumm May 2024

The Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival is returning to Almonte from August 9–11, promising all of the fun, folly and felt that you could ask for! Festival passes are on sale now, with special discounts available until the end of June.

While organizers aren’t quite ready to announce this year’s lineup, Artistic Director Noreen Young and Program lead Jenny Sheffield promise that the festival will be a mix of long-time favourites and some exciting new acts. Never fear — the fa......


Exciting Addition to Art in the Garden: Introducing the Sunday Market - theHumm May 2024

Kiwi Gardens is abuzz with anticipation as it prepares to unveil its newest offering: the Sunday Market. Set against the backdrop of the beloved Art in the Garden event that takes place over Father’s Day weekend, this addition promises a fusion of artisanal crafts, natural beauty, and community spirit.

“The Sunday market is more than just an extension of Art in the Garden,” explains Paul Loiselle, owner of Kiwi Gardens and the driving force behind this initiative. “It’s a platform to showcase the......


Miracle of Spring - theHumm May 2024

By Danette Hanneman

Spring is here, and that means the Carleton Place Town Singers are diligently preparing for our annual spring concert. Our “Miracle of Spring” performance is shaping up to be an uplifting event for all. Thanks to our brilliant Musical Director Laurel Tye and her thought-provoking song choices, we have enjoyed the challenge and look forward to performing music full of reflective lyrics and inspiring harmonies, with a few surprises sprinkled in.

We have been rehearsing our spring repertoire since February, and it promises to be a very fun experience for our audience. Our 2023 Christma......


Carleton Place Will Be Swingin’ This Summer! - theHumm May 2024

By R. Gary Payne

The Carleton Place and District Community Band (CPDCB) will kick off its 2024 Concert Season with a spring concert entitled Swingin’ Into Spring. It will take place at the Carambeck Community Centre, 351 Bridge Street, on Sunday, June 2 at 2pm. Swing is the theme of this year’s concert, and it’s sure to bring back many memories of the big band era with the sounds of the Benny Goodman and the Glenn Miller bands. Admission is $15 and children under 12 are free.

The Carleton Place and District Community Band had a busy 2023 season that included a community concert held in early June, Can......


New Exhibit at Heritage House Museum
- theHumm May 2024

The Smiths Falls Heritage House Museum is excited to be hosting an exhibit entitled Beatlemania: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of RCA Pressing Beatles Records in Smiths Falls, opening on Saturday, June 1.

The exhibit will include Beatles memorabilia from local private collectors as well as artifacts from RCA Victor Smiths Falls and CJET. RCA Victor began pressing records in December of 1953. Over 400 people were employed during its peak, with 75% of the employees being women. RCA began pressing the first Beatles records for the North American market in 1963.

“We are delighted t......


This Is My Story - theHumm May 2024

Having recently moved to Carleton Place, musician Mel Hucul has jumped right into the local scene, organizing the popular monthly Art House Music Series at the Carleton Place Gallery with her partner Don Bray. Mel is also one-half of a musical duo, and she and her musical partner Mark Evenchick are set to unveil their latest artistic endeavour. Their upcoming album release concert for This Is My Story — which is doubling as a fundraiser for the Ottawa Food Bank — promises to be not j......


Brooks and Bowskill in Westport - theHumm May 2024

By Seamus Cowan

Well-known in the Canadian music scene from his time with The Sheepdogs, Jimmy Bowskill is currently touring with his band Brooks and Bowskill, and is also the lead guitar player in Blue Rodeo and the Steve Marriner Band. Busy and in-demand, he continues to record endlessly and tour constantly! In advance of the Brooks and Bowskill concert at The Cove on Saturday, May 11, I caught up with Jimmy to find out more about his musical history and this terrific show.

Seamus Cowa......


Joanna Scissons — An Almonte Tennis Icon - theHumm May 2024

By — Heather Pinsky is the Membership and Social Coordinator for the Almonte Tennis Club

The year was 1955. Louis St. Laurent was Prime Minister of Canada. Dwight D. Eisenhower was the President of the United States. A new optimism was brewing as the second world war had been over for a decade. In southwest London, England, in a stadium called Wimbledon, current Almonte resident Joanna Scissons was playing in the Junior Championships at the age of 17. She was playing against Christine Truman, who later became the youngest women’s singles champion at the French Championships&#......


Emotional Baggage Art Exhibition - theHumm May 2024

The Art Factory in Renfrew and the Carleton Place Collective for Mental Health, Wellness and Arts have partnered to host an art exhibition in honour of Mental Health Awareness month in May.

Entitled Emotional Baggage, this five-week rotating show seeks to demonstrate the diverse perspectives and expressions that shed light on the spectrum of emotions, experiences and challenges associated with mental health through art.

Art has the unique power to articulate the often compl......


Nutritious, Delicious, and Attractive! - theHumm May 2024

By David Hinks

Don’t think you have room in your garden for a vegetable patch, but have a hankering for fresh-picked greens? Do you think that the vegetable patch should be hidden behind the garage? Only got room for a few containers of flowers on your patio?

You might want to reconsider. There are many edible plants that are healthy additions to your plate as well as being a visual feast. They make great additions to flower beds, ornamental borders or containers. An important proviso is that ......


History in Your Backyard
- theHumm May 2024

Did you know that the oldest rural library in Ontario is only a short drive away? The historic Dalhousie Library is presently located in the Watson’s Corners Community Hall at 1132 Conc 3 Dalhous......