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Brier Island Whale Watching
Digby to Annapolis Royal
Granville to Windsor
Photo Essay
Parrsboro to Amherst
Truro to Parrsboro
Windsor to Truro
Yarmouth to Digby

Ontario - North
Autumn Splendor
Driving the TransCanada - The Sault to Wawa
Driving the TransCanada - Wawa to Thunder Bay
North of Superior - Armstrong
North of Superior - Nipigon to Armstrong
North of Superior - Sault Ste. Marie to Terrace Bay
  Sudbury Rocks!
A Woman's Work is Never Done

Ontario - South
A 'Grand' Canyon
A Wee Bit o’ Perth
Christmas in the Valley
Kate Aitken
Lucy Maud
Mennonite Country
Teepee Camping
Fergus - Rural Ontario's Scottish Town

Corridor #132 Grosse Ile through Bay St Laurent to Gaspe
Highway #132, L’Islet to Matane
Highway #132, Matane to Gaspe
Highway #132, Perce to Matapedia
Photo Essay
Photo Essay 2
Montmorency Falls, Ile d'Orleans and the Cote de Beaupre
Quebec City's Historical Treasures
Quebec's Old City & Petit Champlain
The Eastern Townships
The Eastern Townships Photo Essay

Apple Butter & Cheese
Brighton's AppleFest
Celtic Festival
Elvis Festival
Festival of the Maples
Headwaters Country
Herb Festival
Maple Madness
Northern Lights
Pow Wow
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Scarecrow Festival
Split Rail Festival

Quiet Corner
River Valley

Country Music Highway
Golden Triangle - Photo Essay
Golden Triangle
Kentucky East
Kentucky North
Kentucky South
Kentucky South-Central
River Corridor

Bar Harbor
Bounding Maine
Classic Maine

Old Sturbridge Village

New Hampshire
Mount Washington

New York State
Adirondack's Autumn Surprises
Autumn in the Adirondacks
Grandma Moses
More Than Baseball
Lake Placid

North Carolina
Cape Lookout to Cape Fear
Cruising the Coast
From Sea to Mountain
My Heart's in the Highlands
The Gardens of Eden
Western Reaches - Hidden Treasures Photo Essay
Western Reaches of North Carolina

The Quiet Land

Beautiful York
Bridges; Markets
Festivals, Frolics
The History Trail
The Johnstown Flood

Rhode Island

South Carolina
Beaufort, Bluffton
& Hilton Head
Charleston and Area
Myrtle Beach
Olde English District
Photo Essay
Thoroughbred Country

Cumberland Highlands
Eastern Tennessee
Knoxville, Norris, Oak Ridge & The Gap
North & East of Nashville
North & West of Nashville
Pickett County - Photo Essay
Photo Essay
South & East of Nashville
South & West of Nashville
The World of Dale Hollow

Christmas Village
Middlebury Inn


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Jewels of the North
Breezy Blackpool
Witches and Hot Pot
A Lightning Tour

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The Island of Crete

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Ancient Rome
Renaissance Rome

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Some tips on
Living Simply

Tips on Service contracts and previewbooks

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By Pat Mestern

E-mail has been arriving fast and furiously. Snail mail is piling up too. Iím wading through the pile slowly. If you donít receive an answer from me right away, donít worry. You will. Sometimes me thinks I need a secretary.

When Hubby read the query about vehicle service contracts he announced, "This is one I can answer." And he certainly can. After 45 years in the automotive repair business as mechanic, then service manager (1954-1999) he has seen, heard and applied his extensive automotive knowledge to hundreds of problems. He began working on 1920's Model Tís and retired with a thorough indoctrination in 20th century technology. Here is what Ted has to say about VEHICLE SERVICE CONTRACTS

What does the contract cover? Read the fine print, you might be surprised to find out what it doesnít cover. The cheaper the contract, the less it covers. Buy a cheap contract and you may hear "sorry that part is not covered by the contract" far too often. Check with a mechanic (not a service writer or service manager) who is familiar with your type of vehicle. Ask what the most common types of problems are that one can expect with your make and model of vehicle, and at what mileage/kms they commonly occur. See if the contract covers those problems, within the time frame given by the mechanic.

What voids the contract? Some contracts require that you get your vehicle repaired at the shop where you purchased the agreement. Some require that you have repairs done at specified garages only. Is there a list of these establishments? Contracts may require that you do specific services at certain mileages/kms intervals i.e. oil changes. If you miss a service, your contract may be void. Always keep your receipts as proof of service/repair should any disputes arise.

How much deductible do you have to pay? Usually a deductible is paid per repair visit. This means that every time your vehicle goes into the shop you pay. i.e. If you had a steering problem in the morning and had it repaired that is one visit. If the same day you have an engine problem and go into the shop, you pay again, because that is another repair visit. Are you limited to a certain number of times you can claim on the contract per week, per month, per year? Is there a ceiling on the number of deductibles you pay per year?

It is the responsibility of the repair shop to acquire authorization from the contract seller for repair work? At the time of the call, the seller will inform the repair shop if the repair is covered by the contract - or not. If the repair shop does not get authorization before the work is done, you may have to pay the bill. You cannot authorize a repair shop to do the work and expect reimbursement from the contract service provider.

Check with your vehicle dealer about purchasing an extended warranty for the model and make of vehicle you own. There are many different types of warranties offered by the manufacturer that suit your vehicle and needs. These are not "reseller" service contracts.

  • Who pays for the towing if you break down - close to home, miles away from home?
  • If you are involved in an accident does that void your contract?
  • What happens if your car breaks down on vacation. Can you have it repaired and then personally submit a bill to the contract seller for reimbursement?
  • Do they have a toll free number that you can access?
  • And finally, after working in the business and dealing with contract providers for a number of years, personally would not purchase a service contract for my vehicle. I might consider a manufacturerís extended warranty.

Hereís a suggestion for autumnal decorations. Preserve the colours of autumn by ironing individual maple leaves between sheets of wax paper. Use a hot iron. Remove wax paper as soon as you have finished ironing the leaf. These leaves are quite hardy and can be used in various projects. An example: Make pretty placemats by gently gluing them to sheets of paper, then having the work laminated. If leaves are needed for bouquets, choose small branches of the freshest, prettiest colours. Bruise woody stems with a hammer and place branches in a large jar of pure glycerine (available at drug stores). Leave until "beads" appear on individual leaves, an indication that the glycerine has been fully absorbed - or remove from the jar in approximately three weeks. These stems last forever in bouquets if handled carefully.

A reminder about seasonal overspending: During the coming months, donít blow your budget with impulse shopping during the holiday season. It is easy to be swayed by glitzy or nostalgic advertising. Shopaholism responds well to the tug of "heartstrings." Retailers know this, especially those all-under-one-roof giants of the retail scene - the malls. Remember that 90% of the battle is won when you walk through those mall doors. Guess who the loser is? You and your bank account. Use prudence and common sense my friends!

Now to toot my own horn a little. I am only doing this because lots of readers asked if I was published and where they could buy my books. Unfortunately my first two works of fiction are out of print. The third Rachaelís Legacy" is in very short supply but can be ordered through Chapters bookstores in Canada or A fourth unpublished manuscript is languishing in California.

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