Bruce's Blog || Just sayin'. . .

Spring Traditions

Posted on April 22, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

Good Morning, 

Here we are at the tail end of week 16, 2017 and there is still quite a chill in the air on the Island, heavy frost this morning, but as I write this, the sun is rising and shining, so there are no complaints, only gratitude as I get to greet a new day!

Lots of changes happening between seasons and one I have noticed is that our bird feeders are not emptying as quickly.  It must be a treat for our fine feathered friends to find fresh grub from the springs offerings. 

I have been seeing trucks going by, hauling loads of lobster traps to the wharf. The fishers are preparing for the fishing season and the thrill of the first day is just around calendar's corner. 

There are many on the Island who look forward to the first lobster feed of the year. Are you one?

A common Island tradition for families is to enjoy the first lobster feed of the season on Mother’s Day weekend. Those traditions have been kept alive and well by our business neighbour, The New Glasgow Lobster Suppers as they always start the season off with a Mother's Day celebratory dinner.  

Do you have a lobster tradition, would love to hear about it? 

Speaking of Mother’s Day, our restaurant will be open from 11:30 to 4. We are in the final stages of our menu planning and will post our Mother's Day menu this week and this year's full menu sometime by mid - May.

We open officially for the season on May 26th for the season. 

If you like movies, Maudie is fantastic. The acting performances by Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke should be automatic nominations for Oscars. It was the only movie in a long time, where the movie goers clapped, and everyone stayed until the last credit. The music was hauntingly beautiful.  If you are not aware of her story, click here

It is an exciting time of year and lots to be grateful for. 

Have a wonderful week! 






Happy Easter

Posted on April 15, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

Warm Easter weekend greetings from our family to yours.

What a beautiful day this is. The sun is shining, and as soon as I finish writing this post, we will be off to the gardens at our shop in New Glasgow.

We are busy making plans for a large project this spring as we strip away all the old plant material and soil from what used to be our "Prarie Hill."  Over the years the area got ahead of our weeding capabilities and became something that sooner or later would need reestablishing. Now is the time! Over 500 plants will be getting a new view of the River Clyde. This bed is almost a quarter acre of land, and I certainly cannot expect to have a full looking bed for a few years. An old gardener saying, "first-year sleep, second-year creep, third-year leap!", will be top of mind every time I look at the hill. 

This winter and spring saw upgrades and renovations to the gift shop area, restaurant kitchen, and theatre. Can't wait to see the reaction from our returning staff, to which is over 90% return rate.  We are also in the thick of our menu planning, looking forward to trying out some dishes this year. Also, getting excited to introduce a new "no sugar added" preserves, which has been two years of testing.

In reading over what I have written, it makes me think that I am always amused when asked by visitors, "what do you do all winter?" 

This summer we are also bringing back the Prince Edward Island Visual Arts Festival to the Gardens of Hope, August 12 and 13th. 

Some of the Island's top artists will be in attendance displaying their talents and showing their skills to those fortunate enough to attend. Funds raised are to go towards the building of a sunroom on the Respite Cottage.

Long gone are the days that our daughters excitedly awaited a visit from the Easter Bunny, we are mindful of this weekend for a few reasons, family time and for those who are believers, this is one of the favourite weekends of the year. 

Shirley and I will be enjoying the weekend with family. And I’m looking forward to getting in the kitchen and preparing a traditional Easter meal.

I think this Raspberry Crumble will be perfect for dessert:

How do you celebrate the Easter holiday?

I would love to hear your stories in the comments.



Posted on April 01, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

"Dear George: Remember no man is a failure who has friends."

~ It's a Wonderful Life

This week I have been thinking about "friends."

We have many kinds of friends, work friends, social friends, childhood friends, high school or college friends, gym friends, church friends, even Facebook friends.  But what do you call a friend who has been with you through thick and thin? The kind of friends who tell you when you are off track. Real friends can confront you and bring you back from the brink of disaster. Friends love and love being truthful.  

A sign that you have "true" friends are when you share the good, the bad and the ugly about yourself, and they still stand by you. 

A true friend is a good listener and casts no judgment.  

A true friend is faithful & forgiving. 

A true friend understands your tears and is more valuable than friends who only know your smile.

If you have true friends, be grateful. Very grateful. Don't be shy tell them how much you appreciate them! Call them, visit them, whatever it needs to be, be sure to tell them. 

"If you have one true friend in the world, you are very rich." ~ Alistair Begg

I started thinking about true friendship when I read this week that the owners of Weddings PEI (Diana Lariviere and William Caw), are offering free vow renewals in 2017, for couples married more than 50 years. I thought wow 50 years is something and I am sure at the foundation of their marriages you will find true friendship. 

Also, this week learned about the efforts being made by Island Matters Rug Hooking Group to grow the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation’s Rug Registry. A database of hooked rugs and information about the rug hookers who create them. The group is hoping to preserve this information before the art fades away.

Hooked rugs were traditionally made by Island women from burlap bags and scraps of wool to help keep the floors of their homes warm. For that reason, hooked rugs are popular in the Maritime Provinces, and I am sure many friendships were made in rug hooking circles.

Nelsena, my wife Shirley's (my true friend) mom hooked rugs, not so much for the art but practical purposes.  With limited resources, she made rugs to assist transforming a house into a home with warmth and love. Something she strived for all her life, and one of the many reasons I admired her. 

Thank you for listening.

Last but not least, I read somewhere, if you want a friend, be a friend. 

Take care friends, 


Anne of Green Gables and Spring Return

Posted on March 25, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

As I write this, the sun is shining, the snow is melting, and the promise of spring is in the air.

This first official week of spring has been quite eventful here in PEI. On Sunday
evening, CBC premiered the first episode of a brand new retelling of Lucy Maud
Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables. Many of us Islanders were glued to our
televisions to watch, and many of us agree the show is very well done. If you’re an Anne fan, be sure to check it out! (If you don’t have access to CBC, no fear! It makes it to Netflix in May.)

We also had a good old fashioned spring blizzard blow through, mid-week, which shut things down for a day. We’re all hoping that was winter’s last hoorah for the season.

Before we know it, the pussy willows and May flowers will make their appearance in
fields and ditches across the province.

Speaking of spring and ditches, did you ever wonder how the rolling hills of rural Prince Edward Island stay so clean? Every spring, members of the Prince Edward Island Women’s Institute organize a roadside cleanup. Hundreds of Islanders take part in this event, removing the litter and debris from their stretch of road.
Many hands make light work! This annual tradition might not be very glamourous, but
we all take pride in the beauty of our fair isle. And, what would Anne have thought if she were to return to her beloved Island and see cans and food wrapper everywhere?

Well, it may have been an entirely different story...

On the work front, the shop is a buzz with the sound of hammers, saws, paint cans being opened as we prepare for the 2017 season. We are excited to be soon introducing our new No Sugar Added products, which have been over 2 years in the test kitchen. We are now waiting for the labels to arrive from the printer and we get to share these treats with the world. 

Week 12 of 2017 is coming to a close and a new week dawns, and week 13 will find Shirley and me with friends in Florida for a time of sun and surf. 

Wishing you and yours a great week! 



My weeks reads! I hope you enjoy

Posted on March 11, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

Hi Folks and Happy Saturday, 

I want to thank Kara Cousins who have created the beautiful image you see above, most of you know I am not a woman. LOL. 

As a father of two wonderful daughters, I celebrate Women's International Day.

I have to confess; I wish the world of politics had an equal balance of women and men in positions of power, but honestly I would prefer the higher percentage lean towards female side. Family, nurturing care and respect for each other is second nature, versus the competitive rock sock 'em attitude of the male gender. Sorry men, this is just what I feel. 

Interesting article in Atlantic Magazine about women at work in 1917. Read more here.

As an aging boomer, I hit 60 in 2016, and I am starting to rethink EVERYTHING. I read somewhere that we are to think about what made us happy as a child and reconnect with it. I loved biking as a child and have started to research bicycles in attempts to find the right one for my lifestyle. I found this article to be both interesting and inspirational by the fact that these boomers started a bicycle company in their later years.

Read about it here. I hope you enjoy the read

We are working on new thinking when it comes to what we eat and what we serve in our restaurant, reading this article added some side benefits not only for the heart but the brain as well. This article is a quick read, thank you goes to the NY Times

Have a great weekend and beyond! 



Courage is a door that can only be opened from the inside

Posted on February 24, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton













Courage is the common thread in these stories, though contrasted by time and danger, both women made decisions to pursue something. What about you? Do you think about a change? 

Unfortunately, once a year, at increase/bonus time, I would get a little disturbed that my Manager’s pay and perks did not quite match up with the other Managers despite the additional projects I’d taken on and succeeded at. Each year I’d comfort myself that I enjoyed both the variety of my job and the team I got to work with. Then I’d quickly...more













“She was very responsible for some of the key players, such as getting the Americans involved in polar exploration,” says Kondziolka. “Asking them for help started off a 30-year process of one American expedition after another which eventually led to the accomplishment of going to the North Pole in 1908. That really started with her.” Read more about Lady jane Franklin here

Please let us know if you would like us to share more stories that we have found to be interesting. Let us know what else you might like to see on our blog. It would be a great service to us if you shared your thoughts. Thank you in advance. 

Here is a deeper survey, if you are inclined to assist us, there will be 1000 points added to your loyalty account. If you are not a  member, please sign up here and earn 500 for signing up as well. Let's do the online survey here


OH, what a week...

Posted on February 17, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

For our readers who are off-Island, I thought you might get a charge out of what our week has been like. 

We are still blessed to be such a beautiful part of the world, a place where Mother Nature calls you loudly and says: GET OUR HERE AND SHOVEL. LOL.

Here are some local stories to get you some idea of what we have been up to here on Prince Edward Island.  

Take a peak:

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