The reflected world – what’s in a puddle. You’ll miss these little beauties if you don’t look.

It doesn’t always have to be about revelation. Sometimes reflection is OK too.

Happy Monday.

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‘i’ll be bold as well as strong’ – the power of songs

Magpie Girl is a blog I follow. She’s an ordained minister who has been called to be more of a magpie, collecting bits here and there, guiding and leading the Formerly Churched, the Fringe Dwellers, the Hybrids. (If this intrigues you in any way, click through to her blog and check her out. You know yourself – some people are inclined to be interested, and others, not so much.)

This last week she wrote a piece about the power of song.

And she referenced the song “I Will Wait” by Mumford and Sons, and shared this video of the song performed live.

It’s a popular song right now so perhaps you’ve heard it already. I had. But, I’d passed it over. Thought it was good but didn’t give it a second thought.

But today something about the song really spoke to me. I bought the album on iTunes (my monthly album allowance) and drove to the grocery store with that song cranked loud, letting emotion out through my voice. It is a powerful song. Like Magpie Girl says, “It gathers up the longing of the soul and pours it out–a libation in banjo and bass.”

So listen. And sing.

“Now I’ll be bold,
as well as strong,
and use my head alongside my heart.

So tame my flesh,
and fix my eyes.
A tethered mind, freed from the lies.

And I’ll kneel down,
and wait for now.
I’ll kneel down,
know my ground.

Raise my hands.
Paint my spirit gold.
Bow my head.
Keep my heart slow.

I will wait, I will wait for you.”

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Gentle Dragons in Baddeck: Money for Farming

Local tomatoes at the Baddeck market this summer.

If you are a farmer or know a farmer on Cape Breton, who is looking for funding for their enterprise, read this.

FarmWorks, an investment cooperative that invests in local agriculture in Nova Scotia, was formed just last year in the Annapolis Valley and has so far awarded over $200,000 in funding to farms across the province.

Two of them are on Cape Breton.

Jamie and Laura Jensen, also known as Kingsville Farm, and Jeremy and Melanie White, also known as Big Spruce Brewing, have been recipients of funding from FarmWorks, and found the experience very positive.

Now, FarmWorks is coming to Baddeck to put on an event called “Gentle Dragons’ Den,” where people looking to start a business in the production of food (sustainably) can pitch their ideas to the panel and to the audience.

Each entrepreneur will have five minutes and, if desired, up to 10 slides to tell their stories, followed by Q&A and comments from the “Gentle Dragons” and the audience.

It’s on November 14th at 6 pm, at the Masonic Hall in Baddeck, and this is where you can get more information.

Jeremy White, the hops brewer from Nyanza, said that working with FarmWorks was painless: “The big advantage of FarmWorks is they invest based on your idea or business plan. There is no collateral required like with banks. They also work as a small board of directors, thus capable of making decisions to fund something very quickly.”

He went on to say that Linda Best, the cooperative’s secretary, who helped them with their application, is “very knowledgeable on the issues facing NS agriculture, and quickly buys in to ideas that promote sustainability and locally grown/produced goods. It was a great experience for us.”

Best herself says, “We see farms and food production as a key to rebuilding rural Nova Scotia, so we’re doing what we can to raise awareness of existing and new businesses with the potential to provide more food. ”

Jamie Jensen of Kingsville Farm said that once they applied, “It was fairly simple and quick. Linda was very enthusiastic. They came up and did a farm visit, as part of the process.” Now he and his wife Laura and getting funding for equipment to make value-added products such as pork pies, from rare breeds of pigs.

“If you sell it by the pound, you get commodity prices, but for a small farm, that doesn’t provide enough to live on. When you do value-added, that’s when you get a living wage.”

So what are you waiting for? Everyone’s welcome to attend the event, and if you’d like to pitch your idea, check out FarmWorks’ press release for more information. Although the deadline has passed, there are still spaces available, so chat with Linda Best if you’re interested.

And pass the word along to anyone you know who is interested in local food, about the event, and about FarmWorks!

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What lucky people do differently

A few years ago my grandmother gave my Mum a blue poppy. She brought the pot with her from Quebec City and Mum planted it in her garden. It grew and then bloomed. Lucky!

Thought for the day, from this interesting piece:

Wiseman surveyed a number of people and, through a series of questionnaires and interviews, determined which of them considered themselves lucky—or unlucky. He then performed an intriguing experiment: He gave both the “lucky” and the “unlucky” people a newspaper and asked them to look through it and tell him how many photographs were inside. He found that on average the unlucky people took two minutes to count all the photographs, whereas the lucky ones determined the number in a few seconds.

How could the “lucky” people do this? Because they found a message on the second page that read, “Stop counting. There are 43 photographs in this newspaper.” So why didn’t the unlucky people see it? Because they were so intent on counting all the photographs that they missed the message.

Wiseman noted,

“Unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner, and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through the newspaper determined to find certain job advertisements and, as a result, miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there, rather than just what they are looking for.”


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Which treats should I give out?



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Two surveys for local stuff

I’m on a lot of different email lists and as a result sometimes I get links to various surveys that people are doing on things like bike usage or knowledge of fish.

I dunno. Not really knowledge of fish, but stuff like that.

Anyway, I want to share them with people but I’m always aware of needing to strike a balance and not flood the Facebook group with too much stuff. (I’m information-exhausted and I suspect most people out there are, too. See: yesterday’s post about kittens.)

But, here are two that I thought were cool and that might benefit from sharing with you readers. Both are short to fill out, and allow you to add your stats to a study which will make an impact in some way.

Survey One: Bras d’Or Lakes Biosphere Reserve // branding and signage

“We are graduate students in Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Management conducting research to create a strong branding and signage strategy for the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Reserve Association. The purpose of this study is to gauge community awareness of the Biosphere. You have been invited to participate in this survey because you are a member of a community that is located in or adjacent to the biosphere, or because you have expressed interest in the association and are a part of their mailing list.

This online survey will take approximately 15 minutes of your time, and any responses that you submit will be remain confidential, anonymous, and be stored on a secure, password protected server. The results of this survey will be included in a report that will be shared with the Bras d’Or Lake Biosphere Association’s Board of Executives.

If you would like to help out by filling out this survey, please do so by November 9th, 2012. Please click on the link to begin the survey:

Survey Two: Third Annual Global Coworking Study

This one is put on by Deskmag, the Coworking Magazine. While the survey itself isn’t local, there is a movement afoot in Sydney, Cape Breton to have a full-time coworking space. Right now they meet in various places for coworking afternoons every now and again. The guy to email for more information is Darren MacDonald, and his email address is

The survey is here:

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“Personal, inspiring and community-minded” – not so much?

Sometimes I look up at that blog header and I’m like, “oh geez.” Why did I set the bar so high? I just want to write about kittens sometimes. Kittens, and music videos.

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