Friday, June 28, 2013

Da Capo -- From Eatwell -- Yummy for Sunday -- Sunshine Waffles for a crowd

Sunshine waffles with fresh local strawberries and maple syrup, and (non local) bananas and cheesey sausage.  

Here's a treat from Eatwell -- a cookbook I compiled for our 30th anniversary Stairwell Carollers reunion.
You need a waffle iron for these.

I haunt second-hand stores and found an antique Sunbeam iron. 

Scrubbed well and coated with non-stick spray it works amazingly.

Holly Massie
Preheat waffle iron.
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups large flake oatmeal
½  cup buckwheat flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. wheat germ
Add in with mixer on low:
3 ½   cups plain low-fat yogurt
4 eggs
½   cup light extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. honey  OR  2 tbsp. artificial sweetener
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½  cup orange juice
1 cup chopped nuts (we prefer pecans or slivered almonds)
2 tbsp.  baking powder
Don't overmix!
Batter should hold its shape but not be stiff.  If loose, add an additional  ½   cup large flake oatmeal.
If you are using an older waffle iron, coat surface with non-stick spray.  Drop approximately 2 ½  ladles of batter per large waffle and cook as your waffle iron’s   
directions or until golden brown.
Serve with maple syrup or sugar-free syrup, sliced bananas or strawberries and sausages or bacon.

I like to vary the ingredients -- adding fruit or different grains.  As long as your dry and wet ingredients are balanced, have fun!
IMPORTANT-- if you own a pet bird do not to use any non-stick appliances; the fumes from an overheated teflon surface will kill them instantly.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Get set! Auditions for the Stairwell Carollers choir coming in August

Josée loves being a member of The Stairwell Carollers -- you would too!

               Our next round of auditions will be held at St. Columba church, 24 Sandridge, Ottawa, Ontario, consecutive Wednesdays Aug 21, Aug 28 and Sept. 4, 2013.

We are looking for Tenors and Basses. 

Sorry girls, try us next year.

The Stairwell Carollers sing sacred and secular renaissance, medieval and selected contemporary choral pieces a cappella. Our director, Pierre Massie, has written many original works and arranged countless others, so our repertoire is unique. He also sings with us, within the tenor section, which allows the whole choir to have a more intimate and emotional connection to our audience in concert. 
Stairwell Carollers Christmas concert, National Gallery, Ottawa

The Stairwell Carollers began at Ottawa University, where I met Pierre in first year. My fate was determined that first Christmas season when he asked me to join him caroling in the residence stairwells.

Contact us  to set up your audition,  don't wait -- email Holly at infoATstairwellcarollersDOTcom :) Remove the AT and DOT and replace them with @ and .

The Stairwell Carollers rehearse on Wednesday evenings from 6:45 to 9:00 at St. Columba Anglican Church, 24 Sandridge Rd. (Manor Park).  

For more information, visit  

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 2013 Choral Music Love Link-up Extravaganza

Red Choir binders and Basic Black at 2013 Spring concert

Try visiting as many of these bloggers as possible and leave a quick comment like, "Hello! I love choral music too, and I hope you have a wonderful week!" I'd also love it if you could leave a comment here about this project.

Grab our Button

Friday, June 7, 2013

Where's my retweet? Ten ways to function humanely on Twitter

Painted Lady Butterflies communing Photo, Holly Massie, all rights reserved
Recently, I  was  frustrated with people who didn't retweet my content even though I was following them and retweeting theirs. I didn't get it. Why weren't they retweeting my fabulous tweets?

Lacking any social skills growing up, (I was so spoiled ) when it came to dealing with people I would just state what I wanted or needed -- no "good morning", no "hello, how are you?" People thought I was aloof or snobbish or full of myself. In reality, I was shy and lacked self-esteem. Boo-hoo. I often didn't get what I wanted or needed because I was perceived as rude. 
Penny, our dog, didn't like me either

I grew up. I'm not like that anymore. It took a long time, too.

Damn, if I didn't repeat the same mistake online.

You know, this is weird, because as a drama teacher, for years I've been teaching kids that the most important thing is self-awareness. Awareness of self, awareness of the world around you, awareness of others, awareness of your situation, your emotional state etc. and here I'm making the mistake of being unaware, blind and kind of callous to other people online.  

My Twitter revelation -- try to be an aware, polite human being online...

1. Retweet with an @mention if you want someone to retweet your content. @mention them with the content and then pay back with a retweet.  You'll soon discover who wants to actually have a conversation with you and interact with reciprocity. You might even root out some of the bots that are following you. 

He may not be interested in your content
2. @mention with discretion. Don't @mention people that aren't going to be interested In your content.

3. Follow back.  It's only polite -- follow back.  I follow manually so that I can avoid following porn sites and robots. I am reticent to follow people who only follow a small number of people back.

4. Say thank you.   It doesn't hurt. It's only polite. It costs nothing. It's nice -- just do it.  then go retweet something to your followers that your compassionate tweep cares about.

5. Write relevant replies and don't overstay your welcome. The old saying "guests and fish smell after three days" can also apply to replies. Make sure you're not just replying, replying, replying just to keep the conversation going. I hope you're not that lonely.
pals forever

6. Be Nice. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. I know a lot of comedians thrive on the opposite, but you're dealing with people on Twitter. This shouldn't be your forum for being clever, or showing off your intellect, or making fun of someone else. If you have to criticize, Send a DM.

6. Create relevant lists. Wouldn't you rather be on a list that's called cool Canadian bloggers or great musicians then a list called everyone who followed me list number 15? BTW, Twitter has increased your allowed number of lists, so now there is no excuse. Nuff said...

7. Don't automatically automate.  Watch that your timeline doesn't get too repetitive and self involved. Since it represents you online, you want it to represent you the best way it can.

Summer Lilacs Photo copyright Holly Massie

8. Give others some space! If they don't follow you, or retweet your content, or answer your question after you @mention them -- stop bothering them -- have some self- respect. Twitter is a public forum -- everyone watched you stalk that person and will remember it.

9. Be honest. You don't have to give out your address or phone number or measurements, but lying about accomplishments or whether the photos you use are really yours will come around and bite you in the Twitter feed some day.

10. Rinse and repeat. Try this with Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and all of your other online interactions.

So tell me what you think. can I do better? Do you have something to add?  I'd love to know What you think.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

SIX THINGS ... Concert love and the day after

               I Love This! Posted on Facebook just before the Concert by a fellow Stairweller. I want to know who wrote this because I have a  Blog post writing job here for you. Sorry, no remuneration of course.

Six things to look forward to tonight: 

1) Pucelete/Je languis/ Domino, A striking and historic medieval song with three separate melodies from when polyphonic music was new (you'll hear medieval tones in the harmonies) 

2) O Jesu Christe, One of our favourite sacred pieces that (for some of us, at least) evokes mist rolling in and bells tolling at twilight. 

3) Spirited Italian and Spanish songs from the Renaissance, and drinking songs in French and German.

4) A reception of tasty treats - some healthy, some indulgent, some both 

5) Ambience: St Barnabas is gorgeous, with incredible acoustics, and if we have a thunderstorm, we promise it will enhance the music and experience! (also the church is nice and cool). 

$2,000.00 gift to Serenity House Renewal
6) Presentation of a donation to charity and the awarding of two musical scholarships.

Right on all counts! 

I'm sure it brought in a few audience members out of the rain. 

 And oh, how it rained! When Pete gets those videos up on YouTube, listen for the thunderous downpour thrumming on the roof.

And the church was packed! 
Full house at St. Barnabas
Congrats to the PR committee for a great job informing the public via the various media. 

Also thanks to all the Stairwellers who pounded the pavement of Ottawa and Gatineau putting up a few hundred posters and flyers.
Rene, bass, adjusting a light while Rex, bass, looks on
Thanks to Susan, Diana, Rene and the tech crew for lighting. We couldn't do it all without  Nicole and her crew who wrangled all the food for the reception from us Stairweller cooks.
Nicole, alto, busy cleaning up the leftovers
Genevieve working hard selling those CDs for charity
Also a big thank you to Michel and Genevieve for once again womaning the CD table.

I'd like to send a shutout to some loyal twitter tweeps who retweeted our message to thousands of their followers --


We not only got the word out, but gained many new twitter followers. We also made some great connections to local Ottawa area movers and shakers.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Stairwell Carollers CD now on CD Baby! Soon coming to ITunes! Ottawa Concert at 7:30 PM tonite!

Cantate Domino -- CD cover
Finally, Cantate Domino is available through CD Baby. Soon available on ITunes.

Here is the direct LINK to CANTATE DOMINO at CDBaby

Be sure to not miss tonight's concert. It's your one-time chance to hear our Spring Repertoire mixing Sacred and secular songs and sung in our signature A capella style.

Except for Tourdion -- where we have a drum.

That can't really discount us as a cappella can it?

Did I mention a free reception after and door prizes??

Cya there!

Tickets now only at the door. 

Arrive early as there is no reserved seating. 
Our full selection of CDs and our cookbook will be available for purchase at tonight's concert. All proceeds go to benefit local charities and support our annual scholarship.



Listen to excerpts of  CANTATE DOMINO - a selection of Renaissance Sacred choral pieces.

Order Cantate Domino directly from our official website

Cantate Domino is dedicated to the memory of Paul Churchill, Tenor, whose voice and heart will be forever remembered.  

If you live in the Ottawa area, you can purchase our CDs directly from choir members. 

You can also buy them at Ottawa area stores, online, or at our live concerts.

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