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

Social-Emotional Learning, Crown Point, and one For My Bald Friends

Posted on February 01, 2020 by Bruce MacNaughton

Good morning from Prince Edward Island, 

Put the kettle on, get the cup, put the glasses on, and let's chat. 

Not too chilly today at -1C or 30.2 F 

Heading to puppy training a little later this morning, we all can't wait to learn the do and don't of trying to raise our new 10-week old puppy, Millie. 

Good News on Prince Edward Island.  (thank you to CBC) 

Island elementary school teachers will bring new strategies to classrooms next year meant to teach students to be successful, well-balanced members of society.

Maribeth Rogers-Neale, the kindergarten to Grade 12 health and physical education leader with the Department of Education, said social-emotional learning covers a range of topics. Those include teaching kids how to understand and manage their emotions, maintain positive relationships and make responsible decisions. I wish I had this when I was in school.  Read More Here

Island Nature is close but needs our help.

They need to raise funds by February 20, 2020, to acquire Crown Point, which provides a rest stop for thousands of migrating birds in the spring and fall. Because it is close to Stratford's fastest-growing community, it is at risk of development, but that also makes it an exceptional opportunity for Island Nature Trust.

"It's a beautiful salt marsh/freshwater marsh area, has escaped development up to this point and is incredibly important for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl," said trust executive director Megan Harris.

More about Island Nature Trust, here.   More on this Story here.

Great News for folks who love potatoes, fish and sugar! 

Happy Birthday to Arnold Hawkins, the oldest living man in Canada celebrated his 109, this past Thursday and he still lives at home! 

Mr. Hawkins is an inspiration, I love sweets. 

Since the last blog, I managed to finish two books. The writings in both books inspire me. 

Quotes from Stillness is Key

If the quiet moments are the best moments, and if so many wise, virtuous people have sung their praises, why are they so rare? - Ryan Holiday 

In our lives, we face seemingly equal problems and are pulled in countless directions by competing priorities and beliefs. In the way of everything we hope to accomplish, personally and professionally, sit obstacles and enemies. - Ryan Holiday

Even during a quiet evening at home, all we're thinking about is the list of improvements that need to be made. There may be a beautiful sunset, but instead of taking it in, we're taking a picture of it.

We are not present...and so we miss out. On life. On being our best. On seeing what's there.  - Ryan Holiday

Book Clubs at the Big House

What I loved about the book was the story behind the book. How one person's dream was sparked after hearing Jean Vanier (a hero of mine) speak about those who are most marginalized, shamed and forgotten. Psychiatric patients and inmates in prisons. She chose the latter and came up with the idea of book clubs. Creating an opportunity for individuals to experience some community caring. 

Her efforts and those of the volunteers in the 22 Book clubs have changed so many lives for the good. Inmates who participate in the book clubs have a better ability to deal with life once released, and most do not return to prison.

According to the Movement for Canadian Literacy, prison-based education and literacy programs lead to a 50% reduction in recidivism rates. Society owes her organization a big THANK YOU. 

What is more expensive, ignorance or education? 

Contest: I am going to do a draw and give away a copy of this book. Anywho comments on today's blog will have their name in the drum. I will draw and arrange to have a book sent to you from Carol. 

Happy to report that I got a jump on my 20 books in 2020 challenge. I finished three books in January, Atomic Habits by James Clear; Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday and Books Clubs at the Big House by Isobel W. Heathcote. And I near completed the book Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, my second time reading it.  

This morning, I have been listening to and enjoyed watching the musical artistry of, Jean-Michel Blais. 

Listen Here

Watch Here. Mesmerizing.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend and thank you for taking your precious time to spend it with me. 

Take care of each other. 

With love from Prince Edward Island, 

Sincerely, 

Bruce

ps. 

Seeing her friend Marcia wearing a new locket, Ashley asks if there is a memento of some sort inside.

"Yes," says Marcia, "a lock of my husband's hair."

"But Larry's still alive?"

"I know, but his hair is gone."

Hearts Beating Together, Oyster Art, and Mom's Are So Wise

Posted on January 25, 2020 by Bruce MacNaughton
Good morning from Prince Edward Island,
 
Put the kettle on, get the cup, put the glasses on, and let’s chat.
 
Not too chilly today at -14C or 6.7F, no wind makes taking Millie out to do her business a little easier. If you missed last week’s blog, who is Millie, she is our new 9 week-old fur baby as of today, a beaut of an Australian Shepherd.
 
It has been a week of calling her Marvellous Millie and Mischief Millie, and Millie of course. She now knows her name and comes upon calling. We have had lots of laughs and lots of, “quick, get her out of there!” moments. There are times when the energy gap is evident. Poor Millie can’t keep up to me. NOT... LOL
 
Prince Edward Island News.
 
Near the end of December, a fire destroyed The Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre.
 
Hockey rinks in most small towns throughout Canada mean everything to the community. People come together to honour the beauty of life by participating in all things sport and community.
 
It didn’t take too long for locals to jump into high gear and begin the process of raising funds for the rebuild.
 
Their efforts to rebuild the rink will soon get help from some former NHLers. Summerside is hosting a celebrity hockey game on February 8 with NHL stars from the past.
 
Raymond Bourque, of Boston Bruin fame, will be headlining the game at Credit Union Place. All money raised will go toward rebuilding the rink in Tyne Valley. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children, all proceeds go the fundraising efforts.
 
Another reason, I LOVE Prince Edward Island.
 
When the chips are down, everyone chips in. This is more than a village losing a rink. It is a story of Islanders, Maritimers and Canadian hearts beating together. Pumping new life into a knocked down but not out community.
 
A friend, Debbie Brady has started a unique business. It promotes a one-of-a-kind perspective on oysters, art and giving.
 
Debbie lives in Tyne Valley, home of the Oyster Festival held annually in the rink. It makes perfect sense to create a special piece of Oyster art to help raise funds in response to the #rallyforthevalley.
 
Debbie explains below the photo.
“Phoenix” uses the dark mark left by an oyster’s adductor muscle to signify dark times breaking through ice-like surroundings into the light of a new tomorrow. The shell used for this commemorate piece is from our local Valley Pearl Oysters.
 
Until February 29, proceeds from the sale of “Phoenix” will be donated toward rebuilding the Tyne Valley Sports Centre. To give your support by purchasing this unique piece click here.  www.oysterart.ca/oyster/phoenix
If you appreciate the beauty in nature, as I do, click the link to see more of Debbie’s talents for capturing nature's beauty in a special way.
 
Speaking of community, I love this story out of England. Since 2014 Good Samaritans', have been leaving money to be discovered by strangers.
 
The money was always left in plain sight and often on pavements.
 
In a lot of cases, the money was returned to the police station. I love it. Honesty. After the waiting period, in most cases, the funds were returned to the person who found them.
 
The benefactors told police they had received unexpected windfalls and wanted to give something back.
 
One of the Good Samaritans - who both wish to remain anonymous - said she felt an "emotional connection" to the former pit village after being helped by a resident and wanted to "repay the kindness she received"Read more here.
 
For those who are new to reading my musings, I had shared in a previous blog to have challenged myself to read 20 books in 2020. To some, I realize that is nothing.
 
I was self-convinced by listening instead of ignoring. In an earlier life was told by a teacher that I was stupid. It left a scar and caused a procrastination gap between my desire and my doubt. And in most cases doubt won.
 
It took me a few years. I finally threw that nonsense in the trash. Moving on to 20 books and looking to 2021 and the challenge of 21 or perhaps 42.
 
This week, in reading Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday, I found many nuggets of wisdom. I share some here.
1. 
“Many of us carry wounds from our childhood. Maybe someone didn't treat us right. Or we experienced something terrible.
 
Or our parents were just a little too busy or a little too critical or a little too stuck dealing with their own issues to be what needed.
 
These raw spots shape decisions we make and actions we take-even if we're not always conscious of that fact.
 
This should be a relief: The source of our anxiety and worry, the frustrations that seem to suddenly pop out in inappropriate
 
situations, the reason we have trouble staying in relationships or ignoring criticism-it isn't us. Well, it is us, just not adult us.
 
It's the seven-year-old living inside us. The one who was hurt by Mom and Dad, the sweet, innocent kid who wasn't seen.”
 
2.
Most people never learn that their accomplishments will ultimately fail to provide the relief and happiness we tell ourselves they will. Or they come to understand this only after so much time and money, so many relationships and moments of inner peace, were sacrificed on the altar of achievement. We get to the finish line only to think: This is it?
 
Now what?
 
3.
What do we want more of in life? That's the question. It's not accomplishments. It's not popularity. It's moments when like we are enough. More presence. More clarity. More insight. More truth.
More stillness.
 
Three nuggets from Stillness is the Key, by Ryan Holiday. I have to say, I am wearing down the nib on my yellow highlighter reading this book.
 
Music
 
Classical musicians around the world are celebrating the anniversary of Beethovens’ 250th birthday. So, I too celebrate today listening to a new recording by Fazil Say. Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos 4, 5, 6 & 7. A sample listen here.
 
 
Wishing you a wonderful weekend and thank you for taking your precious time to spend it with me.
 
Take care of each other.
 
With love from Prince Edward Island,
 
Sincerely,
 
Bruce
ps.
 
A Mom visits her son for dinner who lives with a girl roommate.
 
During the course of the meal, his mother couldn't help but notice how pretty his roommate was. She had long been suspicious of a relationship between the two, and this had only made her more curious. Over the course of the evening, while watching the two interact, she started to wonder if there was more between him and his roommate than met the eye.
 
Reading his mom's thoughts, the son volunteered, "I know what you must be thinking, but I assure you, we are just roommates."
 
About a week later, his roommate came to him saying, "Ever since your mother came to dinner, I've been unable to find the silver plate. You don't suppose she took it, do you?"
 
He said, "Well, I doubt it, but I'll email her, just to be sure."
 
He sat down and wrote :
 
Dear Mother:
 
I'm not saying that you 'did' take the silver plate from my house, I'm not saying that you 'did not' take the silver plate. But the fact remains that it has been missing ever since you were here for dinner.
 
Love,
 
Your son
 
Several days later, he received an email from his Mother which read:
 
Dear Son:
 
I'm not saying that you DO sleep with your roommate, and I'm not saying that you DO NOT sleep with her. But the fact remains that if she was sleeping in her OWN bed, she would have found the silver plate by now, under the pillow…
 
Love,
 
Mom

Meet Millie MacNaughton ; Stillness is the Key, Auditor Doesn't Know the Difference

Posted on January 18, 2020 by Bruce MacNaughton
Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,
 
Brrrr….it is cold here today! Might very well be a five cupper!
 
I hope you had a great week and are safe and warm.
 
You may have noticed this week that the newsletter arrived at a funny time — not the usual Saturday morning. We made a change in who we use to send our newsletters.
 
Here is last week's blog, if you missed it.
 
If you are a subscriber to many newsletters, you will notice that most arrive in your email box through an ESP. (Email Service Provider) Mailchimp, Contact Contact, etc.
 
With anti-spam law sensitivities, ESP’s, do not like to see companies with “spam” complaints pass .01%. If they do, they kick the email sender off their system and register the sender as a “spammer.” And no ESP will allow you to use their system.
 
So a new ESP will only send a few emails out at a time to determine if there is an issue with their new client. Hence our 36,000 plus subscribers received their email newsletter from us at weird times of the week.
 
Everyone who receives a newsletter from us signed up and double confirmed. Nineteen people still reported us as spammers. Fortunately, we passed the test and can continue sending you our newsletter.
 
I thought it was worthy of sharing this info. I hope you don’t mind.
 
For a few months, now, we have been watching the local humane society looking for a new pet. Unable to find one, we adopted from a registered breeder.
 
Let me introduce you to “Millie” MacNaughton. A registered Australian Shepherd and the newest member of our family. She is eight weeks old today.
We are mindful of the tragedy Australia is experiencing, and our hearts go to all concerned. Having friends who have moved there in the last few years, are even more aware. Pray for Australia. 
 
Speaking of the news. I pretty well turned off the radio and television two years ago. The mindless chatter and advertising were getting to be too much.
 
Seth Godin states in a blog post this week called The Dominate Media Narrative of the Day.
 
“The thing the media is talking about, in heavy rotation.
 
The breaking news, the one you’re required to give an opinion on.
 
The thing is, if it’s not for you, about you, or something you need to engage in, then who put it on your agenda?
 
The media benefits from turning you into their product, once you give them your attention.
 
Feel free, but do it because you’ve chosen to.
 
Here’s something to consider: the world doesn’t get better when you spend more time engaging with mass media. That’s pretty clear.
 
But it does get better when you spend more time doing things that matter. Actions matter.”
 
I have started a new book this week, by Ryan Holiday, called Stillness is the Key.
 
From Amazon. To avoid distraction and discover great insights. To achieve happiness and do the right thing. Ryan Holiday calls it stillness--to be steady while the world spins around you.
 
In this book, he outlines a path for achieving this ancient, but urgently necessary way of living. Drawing on a wide range of history's greatest thinkers, he argues that stillness is not mere inactivity, but the doorway to self-mastery, discipline, and focus.
 
I am five chapters in. How the author reflects the obvious to the reader is unique. It is timely in light of all the distractions in our lives.
 
Here are a few quotes from the book.
 
"In our lives, we face seemingly equal problems and are pulled in countless directions by competing priorities and beliefs. In the way of everything we hope to accomplish, personally and professionally, sit obstacles and enemies." - Ryan Holiday
 
Even during a quiet evening at home, all we're thinking about is the list of improvements that need to be made. There may be a beautiful sunset, but instead of taking it in, we're taking a picture of it.
 
We are not present... and so we miss out. On life. On being our beat. On seeing what’s there. - Ryan Holiday
 
I finished reading Atomic Habits by James Clear. I highly recommend it. One of the best non-fiction books I have read in a long time. It is a book for everyone. 
 
My goal is to read 20 books in 2020. So I need to try and average two books a month. January is off to a good start. I finished For Whom the Bell Tolls, my first ever 500-page book. (started in December) Finished Atomic Habits, and will complete Stillness is the Key.
 
In keeping with the theme, "Stillness"; I have been listening to soft choral sounds from Voces8.

Notes by Apple

VOCES8 looks toward home for a breathtaking journey around the British Isles with music that crosses boundaries of both geography and musical genre. The breadth on offer is staggering: Radiohead’s anthemic “Pyramid Song” emerges as a new choral classic and Clannad’s “Theme from Harry’s Game” is haunting in its newly crafted harmonic richness. But the ensemble reaches back, too—a once-lost folk song from the abandoned island of St Kilda (“Soay”) adds mystery, while Tavener’s “Song for Athene,” perhaps best-known from the funeral service of Diana, Princess of Wales, is a throwback to 1997 and a nation in grief. And the original works by British and American composers are simply ravishing. There are passion and conviction here, and a choral blend that carries each note skyward.

Sample listen to their latest album here.
"In solitude, we see more clearly. Alone—in moments of prayer or meditation, or simply in stillness—we breathe more deeply, see more fully, hear more keenly. We notice more, and in the process, we return to what is sacred." ~ Katrina Kenison
 
Now for a little visual musical interlude from Simon and Garfunkel. Sounds of Silence. I love the beautiful music these two created.
Wishing you a great weekend. Please don't hit the spam button! LOL
With love from Prince Edward Island,
Sincerely,
Bruce
ps. 
Once upon a time, there was a shepherd looking after his sheep on the side of a deserted road.
Suddenly a brand new Porsche screeches to a halt.
The driver, a man dressed in an Armani suit, Cerutti shoes, Ray-Ban sunglasses, TAG-Heuer wrist-watch, and a Pierre Cardin tie gets out and asks the shepherd, "If I can tell you how many sheep you have, will you give me one of them?"
The shepherd looks at the young man, then looks at the large flock of grazing sheep and replies, "Okay."
The young man parks the car, connects his laptop to the mobile-fax, enters a NASA Website, scans the ground using his GPS, opens a database and 60 Excel tables filled with algorithms and pivot tables.
He then prints out a 150-page report on his high-tech mini-printer, turns to the shepherd and says, ‘'You have exactly 1,586 sheep." The shepherd cheers, "That's correct, you can have your choicest sheep from the herd."
The young man takes one of the animals which he likes most and cute from the flock and puts it in the back of his Porsche.
The shepherd looks at him and asks, "If I guess your profession, will you return my animal to me?" The young man laughed and answers, "Yes, why not?"
The shepherd says, "You are an auditor." "How did you know?" asks the young man. "Very simple," answers the shepherd. "
First, you came here without being wanted.
Secondly, you charged me a fee to tell me something I already knew.
Thirdly, you don't understand anything about my business... now can I have my DOG back?"