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

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

Standing in the Gap, Porcupines, and Dr. Seuss

Posted on August 30, 2018 by Bruce MacNaughton

Hard to believe it is September 1, 2018

We will soon be seeing travellers who appreciate cooler temperatures and less busyness on the roads. Being born in 1956, I notice many who are my age or older at different stages in wellness, and it certainly has me counting my blessings.

Perhaps, you like me tucked away into the corner of your mind are questions on how you will fare with the ageing process, or maybe you are reading this and already know. So I started to do a little research this week. 

One thing I do hear from others is the loneliness factor for those who have lost loved ones or contact with family is not frequent for one reason or another.

Recently, I was reading about a non-profit in California that created a service to stand in the gap for this needs like this.

Volunteers lift the spirits of lonely seniors, giving them peace of mind by giving them a friendly voice to chat with. What a great idea! It sure seems to be filling a need with over 1.6 million calls since it’s inception.

Trained volunteers place calls seven days a week, 365 days a year to older adults who live alone. The calls serve as a “wellness check,” also provides an opportunity to socialize. The program started in 1996 as a community service to older adults in the greater Sacramento region. Home visits for isolated seniors, having a personal visit makes all the difference in the world. Caring volunteers are partnered with homebound older adults based on common interests and location and provide companionship two to four times a month. 

This is such a great idea. 

Older people who are lonely are more likely to develop dementia than their more socially connected peers. Studies have shown that loneliness produces physical effects that are among the most problematic in modern medicine.

If you wish to read more about this, in Britain there is a program called Befriend Networks. Read More Here.

Also, The Surprising Effects of Loneliness on Health. New York Times article here

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”  ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Our favourite encouragement this week is:

Your delicious preserves have spoiled us - we won’t eat any other brand. Your easy mail order service makes this possible. Thanks! Jayne H-M

When hear from our customers to acknowledge a job well done goes a long way to keeping "fuel in the tank."

We can always be someone's cheerleader perhaps a co-worker, friend, employee or family member. A kind word goes a long way to lifting up the receiver as well as the giver. 

School season is upon us and Prince Edward Island is very fortunate to have one of North America’s premier schools of veterinarian medicine, students are making their way here from all over the world.

So coming to the close of this blog, I share a wee bit of veterinarian humour.

A local veterinarian was known for his wry humour. He surpassed himself one summer day when a woman, who was visiting, brought a dog to him after an encounter with a porcupine.

After almost an hour of prying, pulling, cutting and stitching, he returned the dog to its owner, who asked what she owed.

"$150 dollars, ma'am," he answered.

"Now that's simply outrageous!" she stormed. "That's what's wrong with you people, you're always trying to overcharge summer visitors. What do you do in the winter, when there is no one here to overcharge?"

"Raise porcupines, ma'am."

Last but not least, we did have a dry summer and seemed to get rain just in the nick of time. We could use more and will to celebrate when it comes.  

This is one cheeky farmer who is caught celebrating the end of a drought in Austraila is not how I will be celebrating!

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, And that enables you to laugh at life's realities.”  ― Dr. Suess

We are still taking bookings for tea. Tuesdays and Thursday's through September. 

With love from Prince Edward Island,

Have a great week ahead! 



While writing today, I listened to Igor Levit. Bach: Partitas, BWV 825-830

I love this album. Take a sample listen here

Eating Hosta, Antidote to Loneliness, and Music Galore

Posted on June 09, 2018 by Bruce MacNaughton

Good Morning Friends, 

I enjoyed reading your thoughtful and heartfelt comments you leave on my blog. I am happy to read how you feel and how the words give you a connection to PEI, and so I will continue to write about the Island’s goings on. This month, there is much to share!

We had some late frost last week (and we even had a bit of snow!) that seems to be slowing things down a bit in the garden, but hopefully, that is behind us now. The lilacs are finally unfurling their beautiful scent in the air surrounding the property. They really are intoxicating!

We’ve been able to harvest some rhubarb and asparagus from our gardens, which has been a real treat. I heard recently that hostas are edible! Hosta la Feasta!

I’m tempted to cut some from the garden and give it a try, probably best when you can harvest the young shoots. I might try adding some of the little purple flowers to my salads when they appear later in the season. Have you ever eaten hostas?

Yesterday evening, we hosted a book launch for John Sylvester and Stephen DesRoches. What a lovely night it turned out to be. So happy for John and Stephen to have such a successful launch with a few hundred enjoying tea and biscuits in our Garden Theatre. 

Shirley and I plan to take part in as many events as we can during this year’s Small Hall Festival and happy to be a silver sponsor. This is a wonderful festival that takes place here during the month of June. Prince Edward Island has many small halls speckling its landscape throughout our rural communities, and in an effort to revitalize them, the annual Small Halls Festivals fills these halls with musical events, storytelling, and more. It really is wonderful if you have a chance to check it out! Celebrating 10 years!

It is a wonderful way for neighbours, friends, visitors to share the joy of music. Which leads me to think about all those who are shut in during the winter months and unable to get out and about. 

There have been many stories about loneliness in the press recently, including Britain appointing a Cabinet minister to the Office of Loneliness. An interesting article posted in the College of Family of Canada Physicians. Read here. I love the fact that Olive Bryenton was one of the founders of the PEI Seniors Active Living Centre. What a wonderful organization designed for fellowship and an antidote for loneliness. Read more here.  

Inspiring hope in a cynical world might be the most radical thing you can possibly do. Hope may not feed us, but it is hope that sustains us.

This morning, as I write I am listening to Ola Gjielo, sublime, spectral choral and instrumental works by this Norwegian composer. Sample listen here. 

Wishing everyone an interesting and happy weekend and a great week ahead. 

With Love from Prince Edward Island,