It’s December and I am still in Ottawa!!!

It’s been 8 busy months since I moved to Ottawa and I will try to give the summary version of the year to date.


Work wise I have been involved with the flu clinics for Ottawa Public Health.  I have mostly been involved with helping them set up systems to track people and vaccines.   Here is the link to the site.

It’s been a bit of an anti-climax after H1N1.  Everyone has lots of war stories about last year.  Glad I was watching from the sidelines.

Ottawa had a municipal election in Oct and the new mayor put in a budget freeze. I was about to hire 2 nurses to do vaccine outreach but that’s been put on hold until we are unfrozen.  In the mean time I am working on some of the internal business processes around tracking immunization.  Lots of software still being used from the ‘DOS’ years.  I am doing some training on how to use Excel!  Pretty exciting eh?  Fortunately I am working with a very good team of nurses who are all very cooperative and have a good sense of humour.  i feel very fortunate to have landed here. There are lots of people of my age working for OPH so I feel more at home than in Toronto with the young eager beavers.  Moving to Ottawa has been a big transition but it is better than Toronto.  Although there is more happening to Toronto, Ottawa is easier to handle.  Everything feels more stable.  Politics are still front and center here and it has a trickle down effect to the City of Ottawa.  There is a new Board of Health being created so senior management is gearing up for a round of reports for the new board.


I am renting a large townhouse in Neapean which is about 30 min south of Ottawa.  My office is about a 20 min drive in the direction of Ottawa.  Nepean is sort of like a Burnaby or North Van for Ottawa.   It’s an area of new housing development, somewhat like Calgary.  I am considering buying a townhouse in the new year as I figure I am here for the long term.  The prices are so cheap compared to Vancouver.  You can buy a brand new 1500 sq ft townhouse for  $ 250,000.  After so many job changes I feel I need to stay put for a while.  I love the large kitchen and all the space.  I have a spare bed room and bathroom in case anyone wants to visit.  I am a 10 min walk to the river which has some nice walking trails.  I have done some cycling during the summer.  The bike trails are excellent.  They are paved and go along the rivers for miles.  The canal hasn’t frozen over yet so no skating so far.


So far it hasn’t been that bad.  I have bought a few pairs of  long underwear that help when the windchill is – 15.  However there is only a couple of inches of snow on the ground and it’s – 4 so it’s still warm enough to go out of a long walk along the river or canal.


I needed a winter project so I have been reviewing my French. Most of the people I work with are bilingual and many are Francophones. I have an on-line computer program and some DVDs that I am listening to. I have gone to a few French conversation classes but in Jan will start a class at Algonquin College which is right beside where I work. OPH offers French classes and I have been approved to take their classes in April.  I hear French spoken around me all day.  It’s a surprise to hear so much French spoken in Ottawa.  It’s kind of fun to be addressed in French and respond when I am out shopping or even in the cafeteria at work.

My other winter project is the clarinet.  I started play last fall.  Since I have been in Ottawa I play every Wed with my friends Barb and Glen who I have known since 1970.  Barb plays the sax and drums (not at the same time) and Glen plays the keyboard.  He generates most of our sheet music from Band in a Box for the sax and the clarient.  We are not ready for Utube yet though. Maybe another year before we are ready! In the mean time here is a differnt take on the Messiah on Utube.

I miss everyone in Vancouver, especially my dyad and my stock group.  I haven’t had time to pay much attention to the market but APPLE has done well for me.

Here is my Christmas gift of ‘food’. 


No need to brown these tender turkey meatballs spiked with jalapeno and cilantro because they cook right in the simmering soup!  Low-calorie Prep time: 30 minutes Cooking time: 25 minutes Degree of difficulty: easy

 8 ounces ground turkey
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 large egg
2 ‘tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons seeded and minced  jalapeno peppers, divided
2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
1- tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 can (14or 16 ounces) tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cans (13 or 14 ounces each) chicken broth
2 cups water
1 cup frozen whole-kernel corn
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½  teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced
Fresh cilantro leaves,for garnish

  1. For meatballs, combine turkey, bread crumbs, egg, cilantro, 1 tablespoon of the jalapenio, 1 teaspoon of the garlic, salt, and red pepper in a medium bowl and mix well. Shape into l-inch balls.

2 For soup, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and remaining 1 tablespoon jalapeno and cook until onion is softened, 5min (might be less!) . Stir in tomatoes, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic, chicken broth, and water. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Add meatballs and return to a boil.

3.Reduce heat, cover, and simmer soup 10 minutes. Add corn, lime juice, and pepper; simmer 5 minutes more, Spoon soup into bowls and top each with avocado and cilantro. Makes 6 servings.

PER SERVING Calories 225 Total Fat 13 g Saturated fat 2 g Cholesterol 63 mg Sodium 1,067 mg Carbohydrates 17 g Protein 12 g 2,000 

Download file soup0001

Merry Christmas to all


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