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

The Lights of Rustico

Posted on December 23, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

For several years now, members of this Seaside community have had a friendly competition to have the biggest and brightest displays of Christmas lights on their homes and businesses. Every year people come from all over the Island to see the beautiful displays. It has become a tradition for many and has grown so much that many bus tours have made North Rustico a stop during the holiday season.  Enjoy!

Check out the video below of the Christmas lights in North Rustico by Islander and friend Pat Martel!  It features North Rustico’s own James Gallant and his touching story on why he started decorating his house for Christmas.  (Because of James’s hard work, he inspired this Town.  He was the recipient of the Provincial Credit Union’s 2015 Volunteer of the Year Award.  He has also raised donations for the Children’s Wish Foundation over the last 10 years).

Merry Christmas!  

Bruce & Shirley 




The Gift of Music

Posted on December 20, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

Loving music or at least the sound of music ( I can't play a thing) has always captured my heart and mind. My musical tastes have morphed from my first album by Jimi Hendrix, Are You Experienced and second being Sweet Baby James by James Taylor.  It goes on from there to over 2000 records, CD's, etc. purchased. My musical taste has always been eclectic, but I find myself drawn to classical and choral the last few years. Now with the advent of Apple Music or similar streaming services, they basically make the worlds musical catalogue available to enjoy for ten dollars a month. 

A few years ago I read an interesting article, 50 People Who Changed Classical Music Forever in a BBC Classical Music magazine.

What I found intriguing was by their account number one was Pythagoras, c.570-495 BC; Greek mathematician and philosopher.

The story goes like this, he was walking by a blacksmith shop and noticed how hammers of different weights striking against anvils could create agreeable harmonies. He later experimented by plucking a string and found the simplest ratios produced pleasurable sounds. And so the foundation for music begins.

Number two was Jesus Christ b.o. AD; Son of God.

It is a reality that the quantities of music too many to be measured would ever have been established as core repertoire in Western classical tradition and certainly never written had not Jesus of Nazareth existed. Can you imagine Christmas without Handle's Messiah or Bach's Passions? He is the primary initiator and remains to this day an emblematic figure for music composers of all musical styles drawn to examine storylines of birth, struggle, death and resurrection. 

As you go about your holidays, I hope the music you are fortunate to hear this Christmas moves you in a good way. (The radio moves me to turn it off most days!) LOL

I hope you enjoy some of the music videos I have shared on this blog, they are some of my favourite Christmas music videos. 

Andre Bocelli - The Lord's Prayer with Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Close your eyes and listen to the beautiful song written by Lennie Gallant, one of Canada's best songwriters. Lennie strikes a chord within while he hauntingly sings The Innkeeper, artwork by his sister Karen Gallant

I could add so much more to this blog, but this last one is for individuals who will be missing loved ones this Christmas, perhaps for the first time. If so our hearts go out to you, and we hope you find some solace in this video. This song is best appreciated by those who know the real reason for the season and who celebrate the birth of Christ. 

Song sang by Craig Aven accompanied by The Piano Guys. ( have the tissue at hand )

Shirley, I and all the staff from The Preserve Company want to sincerely wish you and yours a wonderfully cozy and beautiful Christmas. 

With Love from Prince Edward Island!!!



Seasonal Kindness & Mindfulness

Posted on December 02, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

The busiest season of the year is upon us. It’s delightful to see all of the orders pouring in, knowing that folks have selected our store from which to purchase items for themselves, or for people they love. Our hard-working staff carefully packs each order with care, and all of us genuinely are so thankful for your patronage. Being a small business, each order means a great deal to us. 

Speaking of care, this time of year looking after your stress is paramount to your well being. Successfully managing it, in turn, enables you to spread your joy. Being free of the negative, certainly makes it easier to act with kindness and compassion towards others. The more of these you give, the more you of these you receive. What a beautiful boomerang! So take more time for yourself in a reflective, mindful cup of tea kind of way. Breath! 

Christmas season can be a hard time for people and was always a hard time of year for me, for each person, there are a variety of reasons. Fortunately, in recent years my personal faith has brought me to a meaningful place, whereas giving to others and sharing love gifts brings such me such joy & peace.

I saw something on social media last week that I would like to share with you. A kindness advent calendar for the month of December.

I just love the sentiment behind this calendar. I may change some of the items to better suit our family, but overall, I really like it. Kindness Calendar

It’s so easy to get swept up in the business of the season, but I do my best to be mindful of the reason for the season. A child was born to help the discouraged, broken-hearted and those living without hope. A lamp for the world. Just sayin...

I’m curious to hear if you’ve already decorated for the holidays? Starting the first of December Shirley has her daily endeavour to add a little tasteful tidbit of decor to our home further enrobing it with love and beauty. My minuscule role is to help get the tree and participate in the decorating.  When the children were home, we usually ventured to a cut your own Christmas tree lot and had fun choosing just the right one. When the season is over, we usually take our tree down soon after New Year's Eve. 

Wishing you and yours a great week ahead! 

With love from Prince Edward Island,


Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All....

Posted on December 22, 2016 by Bruce MacNaughton

Dear Friends,

In taking the time to pause and think about the 12 months that have passed, I am mindful of all the beautiful things that happened this year. We were busy, staff did an outstanding job, and we have made many new friends this year.

It is Christmas...

At this time of year billions around the world are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ

The centre of the Christmas story is a baby, a child born into humble surroundings. The creator God came to earth as a human child, who taught through stories and parables. Teaching how to love our neighbours and our enemies, to give freely and forgive freely to obtain peace. He taught we should give to the poor and look out for those who are less fortunate. To give our hearts; not our judgment. 

Whether you believe or not in his birth, one thing can be sure, the message of peace and love is eternal. One I wish all could subscribe.

I think of friends who have passed on and the candle that is burning low in their love one's hearts this year, to them I wish to say there are brighter days ahead. 

Spending time at home with family, eating more than we should, (not our products of course) and watching Christmas movies is a tradition for many.  For those who believe in the reason for the season, you will enjoy the Jimmy Stewart short video posted below. 

If you wish to read more, this is a great article by Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, Am I a Christian, Pastor Timothy Keller? Read here

Shirley, our daughters and I wish you and your family a lovely peaceful and calm Christmas with love and good cheer. All the best to you and yours for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.

P.S. If you are wondering what it looks like at our place today, take a look through the lens of our nest cam

The Three Trees

Posted on December 25, 2014 by Bruce MacNaughton

Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: “I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I’ll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!” The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on its way to the ocean. “I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I’ll be the strongest ship in the world! The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. I don’t want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they’ll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.

Years, passed. The rain came, the sun shone and the little trees grew tall. One day three wood cutters climbed the mountain. The first wood cutter looked at the first tree and said, “This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. “Now I shall make a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!” the first tree said.

The second wood cutter looked at the second tree and said, “This tree is strong. It’s perfect for me.” With a swoop of his shining ax, the second tree fell. “Now I shall sail mighty waters!” thought the second tree. “I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!”

The third tree felt her heart sink when the last wood cutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the wood cutter never even looked up. “Any kind of tree will do for me.” He muttered. With a swoop of his shining ax, the third tree fell.

The first tree rejoiced when the wood cutter brought her to a carpenter’s shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, or treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals. The second tree smiled when the wood cutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and awed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river, instead she was taken to a little lake. The third tree was confused when the wood cutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. “What happened?” The once tall tree wondered. “All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God…”

Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. “I wish I could make a cradle for him.” Her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. “This manger is beautiful.” She said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and a thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awoke. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, “Peace.” The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.

One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten wood pile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man’s hand to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God’s love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

Merry Christmas to ALL.