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Awe and Beauty, Cirque de Soleil, and 95,000 Dollars

Good Morning from Prince Edward Island, 

Hope this finds you well, while you put the kettle on. Time for tea! 

The leaves are floating down now, one at a time, and the barrenness reveals new colours and shapes.

Have you noticed?

I am in awe of the beauty all around. 

Going for a long walk in the woods and the beach this weekend. 

“If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder

It was refreshing to read this week that Charlottetown city government launched a survey in August to gauge how residents and business owners feel about single-use plastic items.

More than 1,200 responses with about 78 percent of the respondents indicating they were very concerned about the current amount of plastic being used.

The survey also shows that 89 percent of respondents would be more likely to shop or eat at an establishment using alternatives to single-use plastics.

And more than 67 percent of respondents favour encouraging people to carry reusable bags or containers with them.

For the most part, we found that the travelling public was understanding the need for a small fee for paper bags. They were pleased to see the province being pro-active. The bag bylaw requires us to charge fifteen cents per bag.  Our cost is between thirty-eight and sixty cents. We are happy to be part of the solution. 

AWE: a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder.

I pulled on the “awe” thread and found this interesting perspective.  

During his TED Talk, Neuroscientist Beau Lotto shares his findings after conducting an ambitious study with Cirque du Soleil on the emotion of awe and its psychological and behavioural benefits. In this talk and live performance, he shares some of their findings -- and stands back as Cirque du Soleil dancers create their own awe-inducing spectacle.

So, awe is possibly the perception that is bigger than us. And in the words of Joseph Campbell, "Awe is what enables us to move forward." Or in the words of a dear friend, probably one of our greatest photographers, still living photographers, Duane Michaels, he said to me just the other day that maybe it gives us the curiosity to overcome our cowardice. 

So who cares? Why should we care? Well, consider conflict, which seems to be so omnipresent in our society at the moment. If you and I are in conflict, it's as if we're at the opposite ends of the same line. And my aim is to prove that you're wrong and to shift you towards me. The problem is, you are doing exactly the same. You're trying to prove that I'm wrong and shift me towards you. Notice that conflict is the setup to win but not learn. Your brain only learns if we move. Life is movement. 

So, what if we could use awe, not to get rid of conflict -- conflict is essential, conflict is how your brain expands, it's how your brain learns -- but rather, to enter conflict in a different way? And what if awe could enable us to enter it in at least two different ways? One, to give us the humility and courage to not know. Right? To enter conflict with a question instead of an answer. What would happen then? To enter the conflict with uncertainty instead of certainty. And the second is, in entering conflict that way, to seek to understand, rather than convince. Because everyone makes sense to themselves, right? And to understand another person is to understand the biases and assumptions that give rise to their behaviour.

Tis’ the time of year where we are busy getting ready for the holiday gift-giving season. Our kitchens are sharing generous amounts of seasonal smells. Cinnamon and spice, and all things nice. AWEsome. Our fruitcakes and shortbreads and oatcakes will all soon be online. 

A lot of folks know us for our preserves but for over 25 years we have been doing our shortbread, oatcakes and fruitcakes. Our fans wished we offer them year-round.  We have chosen to do them only in October and November, the cold air, the butter is fresh and the quality is noticeably better when we bake these items in the fall versus spring. The vast majority of people who visit in the summer have no idea that we offer such. 

"Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature." ~ Steve Maraboli

Today’s music is a total surprise. Sample listen here. Throw off the bowlines and let everything loose and be in awe of what beauty-full music can offer. Turn it up and have fun. 

Art is not only a release for the artist. Be released.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend. The leaves are dancing, why don't we?

With love from Prince Edward Island. 




A man and his wife had been married for going on fifty years. They shared everything, but the one thing the old man’s wife asked him never to do was look in an old shoebox she kept on the top shelf of her closet.
Not thinking anything of it, the man never asked about its contents. He just figured it was one of those things.
One day, when the old woman had fallen ill and didn’t have much longer to live, she called her husband to her hospital bed and told him it was time for him to take a look at the shoebox.
The old man went home, grabbed the box, and opened it. Inside, there were two crocheted dolls and bundles of money totalling $95,000!!
“But…why? How?!” he stuttered, totally mystified by the cash…
“Right before we got married,” the old woman told her astonished husband, “my grandmother told me the secret to a happy marriage was to never argue. She said if I ever got angry with you, I should keep quiet and crochet a doll.”
The old man was touched. There were only two dolls in the shoebox – she had only been angry with him two times over the course of their marriage. He scooped his wife up and gave her a kiss.
“But where did the money come from?” He asked her.
“Oh, that?” She said with a smile, “that’s the money I made from selling the dolls.”. 
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Michael & Carolyn - October 30, 2019

Rec’d our first letter from you. Enjoyed it very much & loved the music too.
The fall has to be just beautiful on the Island as you have so many trees to show their colors. Our many visits to PEI have been since 1986 but in summer as we go camping & will enjoy you news for the winter. Bye God Bless

Linda - October 29, 2019

Happy Fall Ya’ll from Panama City Beach FL. I love the idea of doing away with single use plastics. Since we are on the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, there is a strong push to do away with plastic straws….I guess it will be one small step at a time, but each step is very important.

Claudette - October 27, 2019

Enjoying your blog and the music as I drink a wonderful cuppa of strawberry kiwi tea. The mail order is wonderful. I remember your wonderful shop whenever I pour a delighfu; cup of tea from PEI preserves. Regards, Claudette, Osoyoos BC

MURDOCK Roy MORRISON - October 27, 2019

Great blog Bruce as we are all aware of the need to keep our environment free of the plastics as Greta is helping us to be more pro active in doing something that is meaningful. And yes we are all in " awe" at times in our lives as we need to treasure those times and keep them in our memory when we want to remind people of these “awe” moments. Murdock

Mikel and Kay Stevenson - October 26, 2019

We hope you know how much we enjoy your Saturday blogs.
Fall being my favorite season (though each season has its own beauty) we are missing it this year while visiting family in the desert of Arizona. Reminding us, of course, life offers a variety of awesome and joyful experiences and to value each one as they come.
And dancing is always a great idea.
With appreciation,
Mikel and Kay

Janice Callahan - October 26, 2019

Beautiful article you wrote. This our 56th Anniversary today
and my hubby is not doing well. We have travelled to your
beautiful place twice. So remembering better times reading this
gave me a lift. Thank you❣️
Now I will order some preserves.😋

Joyce Simpson - October 26, 2019

Thanks for another great post, Bruce. I am still in AWE! That was beautiful.

Sharon L Lapointe - October 26, 2019

Loving the scene outside my apartment window. I face a park full of mostly maples. Such an array of color. They have begun to loosen from the limbs and with the help of the breeze fly hither and thither.
Happy fall.
Remember our Veterans.

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