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

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. 

 

Pickles, Bicycles and Anne of Green Gables

Posted on August 26, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

Greeting friends, 

Last week I mentioned I was enjoying some fresh local cauliflower in a curried soup recipe that Shirley and I love. This week, I noticed the pickling displays are out and about in all your regular go to shopping places. This time of year with cucumbers, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes etc. being harvested all over the Island folks are busy bottling up their yearly batch of mustard, bread and butter pickles, and chow chow. Do you recall how wonderful the house smells when mustard pickles are being prepared? If not it is one to be cherished for sure. At this point, we are not in the business of making pickles, but it is on our "want to do" list, perhaps 2018. 

I expect it is not only Islanders preserving cucumbers this week. Do you enjoy making and eating mustard pickles? They’re a standard on our table through the autumn and winter. We know many a family whose children come home from away and raid the pantry and often leave with jars of mustard pickles for a taste of home.

Other things happening in PEI this week, besides pickling things… Anne of Green Gables, the world’s longest-running annual musical production, performed in front of a live theater audience in Charlottetown for the 2500th time! What an achievement for a show hosted in Canada’s smallest province. If you’ve never seen this wonderful musical, you really should, if you’re in town. The talent in this province never ceases to amaze me!

Are you an Anne fan? I would love to hear about your fond memories of reading Lucy Maud’s novels, watching the movies, or enjoying the live musical.

And besides pickles and musicals, we have bicycles on the island this week. Lots of them, with the GranFondo cycling event. Drivers, please be mindful of cyclists this weekend and every weekend. http://granfondo-pei.ca/

I captured this photo a few of the enthusiastic riders Saturday morning as they rode through New Glasgow. 

Do you cycle? 

GranFondo-Pei.ca
Three days of cycling... August 28-30th, 2017. Three breathtaking rides through an iconic landscape. Experience amazing culinary delights, heritage and cultural traditions.

All I have written today represents joy and passion and all that can come from being enthusiastically engaged in what we are able to celebrate. Take any one of your senses and imagine all the things that you enjoy because of it. Too often we forget to celebrate all that we have. Love is a verb, act it out. 

Joy is not in things, it is in us. ~ Richard Wagner

Have a great week!

With love from Prince Edward Island, 

Bruce