basket account menu close
free shipping on orders over $120 CAD

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

Gifts from the Heart, Love Story Like No Other, and Stop Passing the Pie, Dad

Posted on December 14, 2019 by Bruce MacNaughton
Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,
Thank you for taking the time to spend with me today. It won’t be a long chat, everyone is busy and lots to do, so I appreciate you allowing me in for a cuppa.
I have a couple of local news story that speaks to the generosity of Islanders and not only at Christmas. The Island is a special place within the confederation called Canada.
(Warning: Pet Peeve) Proud to be part of Canada, Yes. Though ethically I don’t feel the Federal Government can defend charging Islanders a fee to visit the country that issues us our passports.
As my license plate states, LET IT GO, I will. 
Below are two stories from The Guardian, a Charlottetown newspaper.
Peyton Peters, 10, of Oyster Bed Bridge has a unique perspective for living. Since six years of age, instead of presents, she has been asking family and friends for money. She then donates it to a different charity every year.
This year, she raised $250 in birthday money and used it to go shopping. She bought small turkeys and hams for Gifts From the Heart. The Charlottetown non-profit organization helps low-income Islanders. - Read More Here

'They need love' a story from the Guardian as well.

Davies has been living and working in Uganda since 2013. He was working as a teacher in Kampala. He moved in January to Nakanyonyi Village. There he assisted in the day to day operations of Love Uganda Orphanage, caring home for abused children.

“I had the opportunity to work as a caregiver. I took on the challenge and it’s the best decision I ever made,” said Davies, who is home on P.E.I. for a visit.
The Love Uganda Orphanage houses 19 orphans aged four to 14 years. It’s about an hour from the country’s capital, Kampala.”

They want to build a new orphanage. One that seeks to provide a village setting that is self-contained and self-sustainable

If you feel inclined to help these folks out, donate here

"Deep within us—no matter who we are—there lives a feeling of wanting to be lovable, of wanting to be the kind of person that others like to be with. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving." ~ Mister Rogers

The Best Thing I Read This Week: (NY Times)
"The first time he spoke to her, in 1943, by the Auschwitz crematory, David Wisnia realized that Helen Spitzer was no regular inmate. Zippi, as she was known, was clean, always neat. She wore a jacket and smelled good. They were introduced by a fellow inmate, at her request.
Her presence was unusual in itself: a woman outside the women’s quarters, speaking with a male prisoner. Before Mr. Wisnia knew it, they were alone, all the prisoners around them gone. This wasn’t a coincidence, he later realized. They made a plan to meet again in a week." To be continued, get a tissue or two. 
I Grabbed this Quote, or I Should say it Grabbed Me:

I believe in women’s rights. I don’t know if that makes me a feminist. I think everyone should believe in women’s rights.-*Unknown

( I was neglectful and forgot to write down the author’s name and I can’t remember if I heard it or read it, but it stuck. I am pretty sure it was Jen Agg, owner and creator of LeSwan in Toronto. I wish I was the one quoted. So let’s say, I am.)

On GoodNewsNetwork, I read about Vitamin Angels. A charity for mothers and children. They provide lifesaving vitamins to mothers and children under five at risk of malnutrition. Vitamin Angels commissioned One Poll to do a US study, of which one component was good deeds. I found it interesting and want to share the following.
1. Helped someone with directions — 66%
2. Held the door open for a stranger — 65%
3. Let someone with fewer items go in front of me in line at a store — 60%
4. Helped someone cross the street — 60%
5. Completed a chore/errand for a family member or friend — 56%
6. Gave a dollar or so to charity when checking out while shopping — 56%
7. Donated clothes to a thrift store — 55%
8. Helped someone carry their groceries home — 55%
9. Returned a lost item that I found — 55%
10. Paid for a stranger’s meal — 53%
I am curious what is the nicest thing a stranger has done for you or someone you know.
Three Therapy Tips from Twitter:

1. If you can imagine the worst thing, you can imagine the best thing. Both things are imaginary. Say out loud verbally the positive outcome, repeat until it feels more real.

2. Avoid saying "should". It's too easy to fall into pressuring yourself and pushing yourself too much. Reframe and rephrase.
"I should exercise" "I like how I feel after exercise",
"I should do laundry" "I want clean clothes" 

"Stop shoulding all over yourself"

3. If you don’t acknowledge an emotion you can’t get past it. Even negative ones,        like envy.

Speaking of therapy...this week I have been listening to many genres of music. But today, I listened to a cellist that I had never heard of until I read this article earlier this week. Top 7 Classical Cellists Of All Time...And Why
Hence, I have been listening to Russian cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich (1927-2007)
I was reading that he was a giant of 20th-century classical music and considered by many to be the century’s finest cellist known both for extraordinary technique and interpretative skills.
I love the cello. If the sound of our souls could be recorded, I feel it would sound like a cello. The tonality speaks to me like no other instrument.
Wishing you a great weekend, be safe and be kind out there. 
With Love from Prince Edward Island
Little Johnny and his family seldom had guests, so he was eager to help his mother after his father appeared with two dinner guests from the office.
When the dinner was nearly over, Johnny went to the kitchen and proudly carried in the first piece of apple pie, giving it to his father who passed it to a guest.
Little Johnny came in with the second piece of pie and gave it to his father, who again gave it to a guest.
This was too much for Johnny, who said, "It's no use, Dad. The pieces are all the same size."

Clouds, From Cambridge to Rome, and Afternoon Tea

Posted on July 28, 2018 by Bruce MacNaughton

Do you hear the thirsty Prince Edward Island soil, slurping up every last drop of rain that fell from the skies earlier this week? 

We desperately needed that rain, and we need more, but we are all grateful for every single drop. Being an Island surrounded by salt water, our water system is dependent on the rainfall and snowfall to replenish our water aquifers.  And we give thanks for all that is provided.

Our visitors seem to be enjoying the warm weather we’ve had during the later parts of July. Many, travelling from the southern United States, are appreciating the temperatures here which, though high for Islanders, is quite comfortable for those used to much hotter climates.

I am grateful that we have four seasons, though to be honest, I do wish our spring would be a wee bit more pleasant.

With this hot and humid weather comes a thirst for cold drinks, straws and ice. 

A journey we are on at work is the try and remove plastic from our operation, not an easy task but a worthwhile one. We have succeeded with the easy one of plastic straws. 

You may find this article on the health dangers of plastic straws an interesting one by the Washington Post, click here

Now on the ice side of this conversation, if you like trivia, you might enjoy this ice cube obsession story in Quartz, click here.

We heard wonderful comments from our guests this year and based on the words shared they love the staff, the gardens, the butterfly house and the products. What more can one ask?

Our professional success is not measured strictly in dollars and cents, but when visitors share the joy that our place brings to them, we feel successful.  

When we started with four staff 30 years ago in New Glasgow, we had no idea that we would grow to 90 people here helping us. Fair to say there have been lots of blood, sweat and tears in the making of this.

I am not the same character who started the business and there are many to thank for that, but coming to the realization that there is a God and I am not it is probably the biggest one I am grateful for. That's personal success. 

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience and trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ~ Helen Keller, first deaf-blind person to earn a college degree, author and activist.

We are getting close to have our afternoon tea menu complete and will begin serving afternoon tea Tuesdays and Thursdays in our private room, “The Teahouse.” We will announce its official start soon.

Our gluten free kitchen will soon be ready and we will offer to bake safe and secure gluten-free items for those whose needs are such.

We opened our Garden Theatre Cafe this past week, we learned a lot, and by working out a few more kinks, we will have another spot on the property to enjoy a meal.

Two things are happening while I write this to you this morning, one is the clouds, and the other is the music. 

I share a photo of the clouds I took from the deck when I sat down to write this morning at 6:30 am. 

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” ~ John Lubbock

The music I listened to today while writing, is a classical and choral album called Tecchlers Cello: From Cambridge to Rome

Sample listen here.

I enjoy listening to this genre of music when I need to think and do. 

I think the cello is the instrument designed to stir our soul.

What kind of music do you enjoy and why? I'd love to know. Please comment. 

Here is a video about the album by Guy Johnson, the one responsible for this album.