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You Never Waste Time Doing This + Inspiring Teachers + What Causes Dry Skin?

You Never Waste Time Doing This + Inspiring Teachers + What Causes Dry Skin?

Good Morning from Warren Grove, Prince Edward Island

Is the kettle on; do you have time for a chat today?

It is a bit damp here this morning. Yet, many shades of green are beginning to display their splendour. So, all in all, it is an exciting time of year.

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
~ Albert Einstein

Let’s go for a walk first.

These phone photos are from this morning from 8:10am to 8:30 am.

“Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.” ~ Katrina Mayer

PEI Covid News. 

We opened our restaurant for the season yesterday. It was beautiful to see so many regular customers and to meet some new ones as well. (Hi Jim & Doreen) 

The gardens, with the help of Hugo and Doug, are shaping up beautifully.

Last week I spoke of a book I was finishing, The Tea Girl from Hummingbird Lane. 

This is the only book I ever read the many pages of acknowledgements. I don’t think I can summarize the book and do it justice. But, fair to say, I thought it was a fantastic display of authorship craft. The storytelling was inspiring.

Here is a little of what Amazon has to say about the book:

"From #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa See, “one of those special writers capable of delivering both poetry and plot” (The New York Times Book Review), a moving novel about tradition, tea farming, and the bonds between mothers and daughters.

A powerful story about circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little-known region and its people and celebrates the bond of family."

“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.”― E.B. White.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer is the next read.

Below is a video one of our blog readers sent. Thank you.

She sounds like an excellent teacher.

“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”― Gary Snyder.

In speaking of teaching excellence, life-long educator Stephen Ritz began his career as an ordinary teacher. However, his destiny would lead him to provide food to those in need while encouraging healthy habits and attendance in school.

“One day during a classroom fight -- literally where I thought a student was going to grab a weapon -- he reached under the radiator and came out with a handful of daffodils, and the rest is history,” Ritz told AccuWeather’s Lincoln Riddle in a recent interview.

Ritz's mission started by accident that very moment in 2000 but has since evolved and gained the attention of the pope, his community and the internet.

You have to read and watch the rest of this beautiful story here.

In Charlottetown, two women started to match homeowners with gardeners to produce something of value. I can see the fruits of their labour will positively affect the community. 

May they all sit around the harvest table and share stories. 

From The Atlantic…” In her book Eating Together, Alice Julier argues that dining together can radically shift people’s perspectives: It reduces people’s perceptions of inequality, and diners tend to view those of different races, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds as more equal than they would in other social scenarios.”

May it grow.

“Those who find beauty in all of nature will find themselves at one with the secrets of life itself.” ~L. Wolfe Gilbert

I loved reading about Erin Bateman, and Rhea Szarics joke their idea to match up gardeners with homeowners in Charlottetown and Stratford is like Tinder for gardening.

"We've been joking about it quite a bit," said Szarics with a laugh.

The green-thumbed friends met this past winter when they were both forest educators for the Sierra Club's Wild Child Program and came up with the idea of matching homeowners with gardeners without land but who want to grow their food.

Szarics is an avid gardener who moved into an apartment in Charlottetown this winter. She said she found herself approaching the growing season with no space to garden and community garden plots in short supply.

She found a friend with a backyard who agreed to let her use the space to garden.

"She's a busy professional, loves cooking, but does not have the time to grow fresh ingredients herself. So it was an ideal arrangement."

Read the Story here. 

"Plant seeds of happiness, hope, success, and love; it will all come back to you in abundance. This is the law of nature." ~ Steve Maraboli

We are still collecting stories for Tea & Toast. Thank you goes to everyone who contributed, so far. We look forward to sharing them with others. As we are in the middle of designing and building a new website, it might be a while yet.

In the spirit of Tea & Toast, I enjoyed reading this short article by Matthew J. Franc. The Bookshelf: The Pleasures of the Table.

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”― Rachel Carson

And from a humans out-of-this-world perspective. 

For the last three weeks; this has been the most listened to album on my playlist.  Whether reading, thinking or working...I love this album, Bylur, by Eydis Evensen. 

Another Icelandic artist. Sample listen here.  

May you have a lovely weekend and joy be your companion. 

With love from Prince Edward Island. 

Bruce & Millie

ps. Your Morning Smile

What's the leading cause of dry skin?




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Linda - June 19, 2021

I love your articles! You never disappoint my thirst for reading and your suggestions for books keeps my eyes busy……and I always wonder what is coming next.
Keep the blogs coming. Miss PEI. Love the pictures you post.

Elaine Bielik - May 29, 2021

Bruce, if you enjoyed The Tea Girl From Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See, you will thoroughly enjoy her 2019 novel, The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See. We met her at an author book signing for its release sponsored by our local library. It won’t disappoint.

Allison - May 28, 2021

Thank you Bruce for the link to Matthew J. Franc’s article! Not sharing our ‘board’ with family and friends has been a challenging part of the various rolling lockdowns. 2020 was my last year of 37 working in clinical nutrition at a very large hospital. It was heart breaking to hear patients, already isolated from family tell me how much they missed certain foods from home and eating with their families. Nursing and transportation staff devised ways to bypass these restrictions by meeting family at the main door to take delivery of home cooked food or grab an Über Eats order!! I remember picking up chocolate bars for an elderly patient whose wife did not drive and was isolating at home, packing up some fresh berries from my fridge for a patient waiting on a heart transplant and arranging a birthday cake pick up from a favourite bakery for a patient who celebrated with the nurses while his family looked on from a laptop screen. We do what we have to do right? It was not the way I envisioned my last working year but I wouldn’t change it.
As someone who reads and collects cookbooks like others enjoy novels I was delighted that Franc includes Laurie Colwin’s amazing books in his list. She was taken to soon from the planet and her books are gold for those interested in lovely essays about food intersecting with family and friends. Colwin’s tales sit on my shelf along with MFK Fisher, Dorie Greenspan, David Lebovitz and a myriad of others who write as well as they cook.
Not sure if we’ll get to our house on the Island this summer but if we do a visit to your restaurant and gardens is top of our to do list!
Take care

Lynn - May 23, 2021

Thanks for your blog Bruce, as always lots to learn and/or contemplate. And thanks for the phone photos from your walk. Seeing the green — and a flower!! — was encouraging. Maybe there’s hope for the only now turning green Alberta prairie. Flowers are starting to come out on some shrubs and trees; some of them were sorry they did, thanks to the snow this week. But the only flowers coming out of the ground are the ever present, not-so-favourite dandelions. Maybe I should learn to enjoy dandelion salad, then I will be keen for them to arrive!
Looking forward to visiting the Preserve Company again — some time!
Have a great week!

Wendy Barker - May 22, 2021

If you want another amazing book from Lisa See let me recommend The Island of Sea Women. Like The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane it shows the world of people that we Westerners know little about but this time it is the women on a small island off the Korean mainland who harvest from the sea without using any diving equipment. The haenyao can hold their breath for 2 to 3 minutes but it is a dangerous occupation. On Lisa See’s website she shows pictures from her research trip to the island and transcripts of her interviews with the women divers.

Lillian Paul - May 22, 2021

Thanks for another great blog Bruce and esp. the video on The Honourable Harvest.
It is good to hear your restaurant is open again. We are still in lock down so no restaurants for us……maybe by the end of June.
Take care & stay safe.

Doreen - May 22, 2021

I woke this morning to a beep that I had received a message from our daughter in Ireland. She had forwarded the link to this blog which she had received from her friend in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (both originally from PEI). The ‘Grapevine’ has grown in this digital age lol. Jim and I were super happy to be able to have breakfast at The Preserve Co. after a year’s lapse because of COVID and a hesitancy to be among other people. Thank you Bruce and Shirley for a very warm welcome! We are looking forward to many visits this summer if our case numbers stay low. The invitation to spend some time enjoying The Gardens of Hope is something we will gladly do maybe with a picnic packed by your talented crew, Jeremy or Darlene.
And as always i find your blog topics, books and music inspirational. How I would love to browse through your library! Take care dear friends and, God willing, we will see you soon. Doreen and Jim
PS. Breakfast was delicious!

Gloria McDonald - May 22, 2021

Reading your blog every Sat. morning has become a highlight of my weekend. Thanks for the enlightening content, the music, the quotes and the videos and links to many interesting topics. I thoroughly enjoy the read. 😁 P.S. Can’t wait to visit the island again after Covid, I’ve missed it so much.

Jasmine - May 22, 2021

Lovely quotes this morning, Bruce… thank you!

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