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Photo Essay
Parrsboro to Amherst
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Ontario - North
Autumn Splendor
Driving the TransCanada - The Sault to Wawa
Driving the TransCanada - Wawa to Thunder Bay
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  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
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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
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Headwaters Country
Herb Festival
Maple Madness
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Country Music Highway
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Golden Triangle
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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
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Myrtle Beach
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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
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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 Reducing Stress

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By Pat Mestern

Do you feel that there aren't enough hours during a summer's day to complete all the tasks that seem to keep the wheels of family life turning smoothly. Do you drive yourself to exhaustion trying to be, and do, all things for all people. Do you feel that you're not really living but existing from job to job, crisis to crisis. You are not alone. Lots of families tend to get caught up in the moment.

You have to slow down, begin to simplify family life. Take an unreasonable burden off your shoulders. Step one: Examine how you are living and what can be eliminated from your revolving-door lifestyle.

Close examination of your day-to-day activities will prove interesting and informative. Write down the where, what, how and why of each activity. You'll be surprised when you see your routine on paper. You'll also begin to notice repetitive patterns that show up every day - car out of driveway four times - ten trips to the basement - eleven telephone calls - a load of laundry. Once the list is at hand, the rule that there must always be time for important tasks comes into play. But, you have to ascertain what is important for yourself and family. If growing your own food is important, gardening should receive top priority. If cooking from scratch saves money, that task too becomes important. If a daily soak in a hot tub is a sanity-must-do, keep it in your schedule. Who needs the hassle of ironing everything?

The relevance of all activities must be questioned. After consultation with family members, you might find out that a son doesn't really want to play in a sport's league, a daughter doesn't like dancing lessons and prefers to read books. You don't need the personal hassle of involvement in every club or church group. Hubby doesn't have to take up golf just because all his workmates are learning the game.

You'll find that as unwanted and unwarranted activities are removed from your schedule, your life won't only become less complicated but you will save money. Do you need a second car to cart kids and equipment? Do you need the expense of someone else training your puppy? Do you need that leaf blower when the wind does a wonderful free job? Do you need that snowmobile and membership in co-responding club when all you really want do to is sit before the hearth with a good book on a winter's weekend? Are you compromising quality of life for quantity of unnecessary adult toys.

Once you've pared your list down to the necessaries, apply the basics of time management then learn to delegate. Kids can sort and do laundry, carry things to the basement, clean storage areas, cut grass, garden, make beds and learn to cook. Simplify and delegate.

On another topic, I had a very naive reporter approach me with a strange question. He, like some people, equated simplicity with poverty or down-in-the-heel circumstances. He felt that there was a visual difference in the people who practiced simplicity in their lifestyle. We were, according to his theory, suppose to stand out in a crowd. He's right. There is a visual difference. We're the ones with smiles on our faces.

I told the fellow that some people live simply by choice; others by fate. It is a fact that most humans have the ability to adapt to any financial or physical lifestyle and to live happily in their particular situation, be it self-imposed or fate-imposed. Even though some individuals must live in less than adequate circumstances - let's call it gentle poverty - many don't compromise the quality of life and standards they have set for themselves within their restrictive financial and physical environment.

From my live, learn and pass-it-on file: For lumpy salt put a few uncooked rice kernels in your shaker. For lumpy sugar, add an unsalted soda cracker to your jar. Honey is the one food product that never goes bad but liquid honey does turn to sugar. It's easy to liquify again. Place the jar or tin, minus its lid, in the top of a double-boiler and steam until the sugar has melted back into a liquid. Some people use their microwave for this task. I prefer the double-boiler.

Traditional Bannock:
I'm back to recipe-fying. There's nothing cheaper or more tasty than Bannock. When asked for a recipe, I found one that belonged to an Uncle who was a trapper in Northern Ontario. He used to mix everything right in his bag of flour and cooked the dough wrapped around a stick over an open fire. I've modified the recipe for oven baking by adding baking powder. The recipe calls for

3 cups white bread flour
½ teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3 tablespoons of shortening or fat
¾ cup of water

For a real treat, you can add ½ cup of raisins and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Put all ingredients in a bowl and knead until well mixed-just like bread. Use your fingers to spread dough in a 9 inch x 9 inch greased cake pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Bannock is especially good, hot from the over, slathered with butter and jam. Enjoy. Without the addition of raisins and cinnamon, its great with stews and baked beans.

Sand Castles:
Don't eat the following recipe. Children love to make sand castles. Here's a great way to make sand creations that your youngsters can keep. Mix together in a large OLD cooking pot, 3 cups of clean beach sand or play sand that can be purchased at a hardware store, 1-½ cups of cornstarch, 1-½ cups of cold water. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly until it gets thick. Take it off the burner and let it cool enough that you can handle it. Using an old spoon, turn the mixture out on to newspaper. Mold the mixture into any shape you like. Decorate by pushing shells, glass beads, and other good stuff into the creation. Let it dry. Voila! If using a mold, pack the sand in tightly. Also, if you are using a mold, a quick squirt of pan spray allows the creation to pop out easily, especially if you poke a hole in the top of the mold

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