Latest Posts

WHAT’S GROWING AT THE HARRIET IRVING BOTANICAL GARDENS: CRANBERRY

If you’ve walked Acadia’s Woodland Trails in the winter you’ve likely noticed the striking red berries of the Highbush-cranberry (Viburnum opulus). This tall shrub is a cranberry only in name. It’s not a member of the Heath family like our true native cranberries; it belongs to the Honeysuckle family. Highbush cranberry is a great native shrub to plant in home gardens. The clusters of red berries provide food for birds in the fall and winter and the large white blossoms attract butterflies in the summer.  Take a hike on the Woodland Trails and see if you can spot the red…
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CONSUMER DEBT

By Pamela Swanigan Here are the average amounts of household debt. Figures in parentheses are percentage change from 2013 to 2014. Atlantic provinces: $64,120 (+36%) Quebec: $59,805 (+5%) Ontario: $67,507 (-12%) British Columbia: $99,834 (+26%) Alberta: $124,838 (+40%) Manitoba and Saskatchewan: $82,100 (-17%) Canada: $76,140 (+6%). Overall, Canadians’ debts are equivalent to 162.6% of their annual disposable income. United States (2012): USD$75,600 (average household income $84,300) United Kingdom: £54,000 (CDN$97,740; +100% from 2003) Russia (2013): USD$15,000 per person (2013 average income $7,500) China (2012): USD$1,737 (average income USD$10,000) Qatar (2013): USD$143,000 (+260% from 2004; average household income USD$239,000) Ireland (2012): £38,938 per person…
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Heart-shaped Balloon

Recently I took my grandchildren to Halifax Airport to meet their Dad, who commutes between Grand Prairie Alberta and the Valley. On the way my granddaughter insisted that we should buy him a heart-shaped helium balloon.  Returning home, we stopped for lunch at a McDonalds in Dartmouth.  It was a windy day and, inevitably, as the car door opened, the balloon was sucked out leaving a wailing 5 year-old watching her balloon disappear into the clouds.  After lunch, while walking back to the car, a stranger appeared clutching a replacement balloon which he had bought after witnessing my granddaughter’s despair. …
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Mrs. Claus

I can’t believe the year has flown by this fast. It’s already time again for my Special Christmas Who’s Who! This year I took a trip to the North Pole and sat down with a very special lady – Mrs. Claus – to chat about Christmas, life, love, and of course, swap Christmas baking recipes because who better to swap with… am I right? Going to the North Pole is always intimidating, a bit scary (as I don’t travel very much) and very cold, but the rewards are worth it. I was greeted with open arms and a cup of…
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The Box of Delights BOOK REVIEWS

Your local independent bookshop is pleased to offer a wide variety of cards, prints, journals, sketchbooks, calendars, agendas, puzzles, games, and other printed matter. This is the last week to make your special orders in time for Christmas, so don’t forget: a book is a gift that can be opened again and again! The Night Before Christmas Nikolai Gogol “The day of Christmas Eve ended, and the night began, cold and clear.” In the way of most fairytales, the original Night Before Christmas is darker and more disturbing than the sweet nursery rhyme we all know. This new translation of…
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An ‘Undercover’ Christmas Tradition

Genevieve Allen Hearn My grandmother passed two summers ago, so last Christmas was tough on all of us – especially my grandfather who spent 60 years by her side. Grandma was quite the formidable force (with a likeness to the grandmother on Gilmore Girls), and in ways that only she could conceive, she continues to permeate our lives even posthumously. One past Christmas, Grandma called a women’s shelter and asked them what they needed for donations. She learned that they receive contributions of coats, mittens, and hats during the holiday season, but people would neglect to bring undergarments. So each…
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Quick Chat With Suzanne Balcom

Co-office Manager of Main Street Dental & Ex-president of the WBDC from 2012 to 2014. What’s on your local wish list? Anything from We’re Outside. There’s some great grey Northface boots that I have my eye on…oh, and everything in the window from Jane’s Again! What’s the most memorable local shows you saw in 2014? We definitely attended Devour!, many Fundy Films, and I’m trying to remember my favourite acts from the Night Kitchens. We certainly saw a lot of them. The L’Arche fundraising concert by Gary Ness & The Mudcreek Boys recanting tales from the Dominion Atlantic Railway was…
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Mike Butler’s Holiday Traditions

It’s the Holiday Season! I have just returned from three days of shopping with my family in Moncton, New Brunswick – a tradition started about a decade and a half ago by the female members of my family.  It’s a chance to have some time together, shop until they drop, and get a little change of scenery for a few days. I love going with them every year because it’s really more about the family time than the gift buying. This year, having that time away inspired me to make this ‘Uncorked’ all about my favourite Christmassy things! December is…
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Love & Joy

I’d like to say a big thank-you to the many households in the Valley that put on a great Christmas light show for the community. The one in Grand Pre is our family fave. I’d like to also implore people to drop off a card and/or small donation (maybe a coffee card?) to any such house display that they enjoy each each year. The time, cost of electricity (despite using LEDs), and year-round storage that these special families take on in order to provide the rest of us with something special for Christmas, deserves our thanks. Kate Dalton I would…
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The Shortest Day

FREE films for the shortest day!  Celebrate the Winter Solstice, Sunday, Dec 21 with FREE films at the Al Whittle Theatre. The Shortest Day is an international event showcasing short films on the shortest day of the year. Canada’s program offers kids, families and film-lovers outstanding new, classic and award-winning shorts by some of Canada’s most talented filmmakers. In Wolfville, The Shortest Day is brought to you by the Acadia Cinema Coop, the Fundy Film Society, the Town of Wolfville and the Wolfville Business Development Corporation. In Canada, the National Film Board (NFB), Quebec’s Société de développement des entreprises culturelles…
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