Tag Archives: Walmart

Would you like our Credit Card? Oy Vey!

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I feel very sorry for big box store clerks. Every day they have to ask each customer to consider getting one of their credit cards. Don’t take it personally, and whatever you do, don’t take it out on the cashier. They most likely have to ask as per their job, or run the risk of getting a reprimand.

The cashier get $4(?) added to their paycheck for every MasterCard that gets approved under their number. There’s also a competition between stores across Canada to see which store can get the highest number of approved MasterCards (and that store gets recognized with email from Head Office). It’s part of the Walmart Welcome Code.</div


Years ago I won recognition from The Ottawa Citizen for being one of Ottawa’s top sales clerks. Of course I really wasn’t a sales clerk– I owned the business, but I was taught to appreciate anyone that took the time to enter your establishment by my family.

To put another factor in reality, I love people, I like talking to people and would give off my right arm to anyone. I know a good sales clerk as soon as I talk to one, but sadly with all this retail cost-cutting, try and find one to help you or even care. Now sales clerks, who also act as warehouse and cashier personnel, are groomed to sell you whatever the store deems they want to push that week.
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Let me give you and example of what happened to me in a US office supply store. Please note our local Staples is nothing but good people and great customer service.

Holding a package of packing tape and envelopes I place them down on the counter and open my wallet. Within seconds the tsunami of words began:

Hi how are you? Do you belong to our bonus points club?
You don’t? Would you like to join?
Would you also like to apply for one of our credit cards?
Why not? Is there something that you don’t like about our store?
You know if you join, we will email you every week with great sales and sometimes bonus points offers.
Would you like to buy one of our new pens here? (gestures to the side of the counter)
I’m on the store’s new program trying to sell as many as we can  so we can place 1st in the district- so won’t you please consider it?
Is there something you don’t like about our pens?
Aren’t you always looking for a pen? These are very colourful and you would never lose them.

Can I have your zip code please?

Do you need a bag? It’s 10 cents if you do as it is against the law to issue out plastic bags in Alameda, Californa since January 2012.
Local Note–Now it is 5 cents to  get a plastic bag at our local Walmart. They are still legal here.
Will that be cash or charge? If you belonged to our club you would have a 5 % bonus right now.
Can I have your email address so we can email you your bill?
Thank you so much and think about our bonus program and a new pen next time.
Isn’t this such a great day?
Note to self– buy tape at the flea market next time.
Welcome to my life!

Dogs on Film at Walmart

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February 5th 2010
When Steve opened the door this morning I heard him yell really loudly,
“What the hell?”
“You need to come here and see this quickly!”
Dear readers, there was no need to run, no need to even think. I could immediately smell what was on that mat from years of being a dog owner. As I walked to the front door in slow motion my nostrils filled with a scent so putrid that I immediately threw on the exhaust fan on my way over. Sitting there in the centre of my pride and joy was a steaming pile of poop the size of Metropolitan Cleveland.

Who and what created this perfect masterpiece that was sitting there on top of the delicate snowflake? Did this animal not share my thoughts on this rug of beauty? Yes, the rug had no where to go now but the dumpster. This building is full of artists and film editors and I assumed the culprit had to belong to one of them. I mean, there was no way I or they could have sculpted something so perfect.

Steve threw the rug out out, secretly thanking the dog who did it. The smell fading and the floor now bare in front of my door I thought of how great most of the animals in this building are. They were just as unique as their owners, so which one took the liberty of snowing on my snowflake?

 

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Ten minutes later I saw HIM in the hall running without a care. An unknown visiting dog with a punk rock hoodie wrapped around his neck. His collar jingling, he stops dead in his tracks when he sees me. We both speak silently with our eyes locked and I suddenly find myself filled with immediate loud vocabulary. The dog now has down trodden eyes, and sucks himself as close to the far wall as he passes by me. I look at him as he walks with apprehension down the hall and scream,
“You little ^&*&$% !!!! Don’t do that again!”
Not wanting to have yet another a broken heart over a door mat I find something suitable at a second hand shop. Costing more than my Walmart special, it is plain and brown and obscure.

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It says..:
THE DOG – DAY 751
My captors continue to torment me with bizarre rubber squeek toys. They eat lavish meals in my presence while I am forced to subsist on dry cereal. The only thing that keeps me going is the hope of eventual escape…that and the satisfaction I get from occasionally ruining some piece of furniture. I fear I may be going insane!
Yes, I think to myself, this rug will last a lifetime. It has no colour, nor smell or feel of the outdoors. It is a rug that does not tease or beckon anything on four legs. It is fool proof.

March 17th
Steve, yet again is marching another rug to the dumpster. The fool proof mat has met its match and it is soaking wet and wreaks of ammonia. Once again the bladder and bowels of some unknown creature has hit the mark and I no longer care.

I put out the $2.99 Ikea green and black stripe door mat found on page 39 of the catalog. I consider putting a “No Dumping” sign by my door. Alas, what good would that do as I fear I too I may be going insane.

As Corey Ford once said,
“We humans cannot think like dogs. There exists a sharp difference in the mental capacity of humans and canines. For example, a human who is given an intricate problem will spend all day trying to solve it, but a canine will have the sense to give up and do something else instead.”

So from now on I am thinking like a dog and will now have the common sense to do something else instead.

Like maybe give up on the mats!

Photos taken at Walmart, Carleton Place- December 23, 2015.

Better Watch Out– Widespread Deck the Halls Recalls

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So the heat is on so to speak— on both sides of the platform. On one side we have extremely disgruntled Christmas decoration customers complaining about light shortages at Walmart, Canadian Tire, Michaels, Loblaws and the list goes on.

In the other corner we have Health Canada who has put the sudden Grinch in Christmas decorating by issuing a recall for all seasonal lights produced by Taizhou Hongpeng Colour Lanterns or Ningbo EGO International Co. Ltd., due to “a number of incident reports” concerning their products.

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The lights of course are all manufactured in China and sold widely in Canada under various labels, at major retailers such as Michaels, Loblaws and Wal-Mart. Lights affected by the recall are typically sold under North American labels, such as Michaels “Celebrate It” lights and Walmart’s “Holiday Time” lights.  Go online and check your product’s CSA number to determine if it is affected– here is a partial list.

 

Remind me again why we look for that CSA Certification? Well if you are like me you are probably scratching your head and wondering  why. If the lights are being recalled because they did not meet CSA standards- then how can the box display the CSA logo?

Exactly, what kind of smoke and mirrors game is going on? Well, it seems that the manufacture might have made changes to the product after having gotten the CSA mark of approval. That change, whatever it was, made the product no longer complaint.  But it does not end with those major retailers. Every single day a retailers has issued the public a warning– a warning you might have missed.

OTHER WARNINGS:

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Dollarama Christmas Light 50 Miniature Straight Line Indoor Light Set. 

The affected product has a length of approximately 3 meters (10 feet), has clear or colored bulbs and a green wire. The recalled product is identified by model number I-50, CSA file number 224823, Dollarama item number 09-3039962 and UPC 667888205394.  Consumers are able to locate the model number and CSA file number on the white tag affixed to the wire and the Dollarama item number and UPC on the product’s packaging .

Canadian Tire is recalling a set of Christmas lights as they may pose a fire and shock hazard.

The lights in question are the ‘Holiday Collection’ brand of indoor and outdoor Christmas light strings, supplied by Danson Decor Incorporated. Okay, Canadian Tire also has “Blue Planet” energy saving (also made in China) outdoor flood lights from Canadian Tire, and on the bulb it cautions “use only in dry locations”! REALLY?? This is Canada– we have SNOW- and it certainly isn’t dry!!!!

The lights manufactured after spring of 2015 and sold between August and November 30 are affected.

If you purchased the lights, stop using them and return them to Canadian Tire for a refund.

The following products are being recalled:

051-2307 140LT,8FUNCT CLR
– 051-2309 140LT,8-FUNCT MULTI
– 051-2503 100LT OUT CURTAIN GR
– 051-2504 100LT OUT CURTAIN WH
– 051-2510 100LT OUT CURN WH/RD
– 051-2512 100LT OUT CURN WH/BL
– 151-3652 OD HC LED 50 C9 MLT
– 151-3653 OD HC LED 50 C9 WW
– 151-3751 HC OD LED 200 C6 PW

October 13, 1977 George W. Raeburn of Lake Ave East— Artist and C. P. R. Man

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Today I was looking to find some more information on the Carleton Place daredevil Jerry Armstrong and I came across George Raeburn’s obituary. I live in the home that once belonged to George and May Raeburn on Lake Ave East and have written many stories about it.

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Last year Blair White gave me a folk art oil painting that George Raeburn did of his home The Morphy Cram House/ High Diddle Day home. He had given it to Blair a good many years ago. When I die I want it to go back to the White family and have Blair’s son Ben look after it until he can pass it on. I met May Raeburn once and also met Burt when she passed on.

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The far second floor room is still called Bert’s room, and George’s painting hangs with pride in my dining room. I never complained when the C.P.R. train once came down that track because Mrs. Raeburn once told me:

“Every time I hear that train I know it’s my families bread and butter coming down the track”.

October 13, 1977        George W. Raeburn – Obituary

George Williamson Raeburn died at Carleton Place and District Memorial Hospital on October 13, 1977. Mr. Reaburn was born in Dalhousie Mills, Ontario on June 26, 1893. He first worked for the Bank of Ottawa and the Bank of Commerce at Parry Sound, Ontario and later at the Canadian Pacific Railway, Chesterville and Winchester and since 1938 at Carleton Place. In 1922 he married Lucinda May Finlayson of Almonte and they had one son Bert, presently in Yellowknife, NWT.      Mr. Reaburn was very active in the Chesterville United Churchand Zion-Memorial United Church of Carleton Place and was clerk of session for many years. His other interests included the Carleton Place Scout Group Committee and he was a driver for the Cancer Society. He was a member of Chesterville Lodge No. 302 A.F. and A.M. and was Worshipful Master in 1923. In Carleton Place he was active with St. John Lodge No. 64 and Maple Chapter No. 116 RAM. The service was held from the Barker Funeral Home, Carleton Place with interment in Boyd’s Cemetery. He is survived by his wife, May of Fairview Manor, a son Bert and daughter-in-law Marion of Yellowknife and two grandchildren Stephen and Sarah Leigh, also, of Yellowknife and by a brother-in-law, Edgar Findlayson of Carleton Place. Pallbearers were Andrew Dickey, Wilf Hogan, H. B. Montgomery, George Nobes, Renhart Springer and Stewart White. Honorary pallbearers were Lloyd Allen, Stewart Cavers, Hub Dopson, Jim Hammond, Mac MacCauley, Frank Moon, Mervyn Morris, Cecil Ruttle, Eric Simpson, Herb Sinclair and Earl Willows.

Should Magazines be Covered Up at Our Local Walmart?

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I don’t know about you, but I find the tabloid material at the retail store checkouts quite insulting to the female intelligence. Now, because of cleavage-bearing cover models and sexy content, some major U.S. retailers are now covering up Cosmopolitan magazine. Following pressure from an advocacy group that claims the publication is too sexy for the general public’s eyes the stores are bowing to pressure.

That’s right, Cosmopolitan, the same magazine that tells a woman she’s never good enough. Between you and me and the K-Y massage oil they sell at Walmart, Cosmo is way behind the times. In fact it’s often ridiculously backward in terms of its advice to women—and it’s hardly pornography. American chains Rite Aid Pharmacy, and Walmart in the U.S. are all vowing to shield Cosmo’s racy headlines. If that’s the case, then they had better cover up the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue as well when it comes out every year.

Three American chains are now going to keep Cosmo’s racy headlines from shoppers eyes. Walmart Canada, however, is keeping the magazine out in the open. Why is the Canadian policy different? Walmart Canada and Walmart U.S. are run as separate businesses focused on customer needs in each market. In layman’s terms? Canadians aren’t dumb enough to call a magazine “porn” just because it is in poor taste.

Maybe it could be the new Ontario student education sex guide? Think of the money the government could have saved by just subscribing every kid to the magazine.

Personally, I think those hunting magazines with dead animals on the cover are more objectionable. But the difference is—-I don’t expect the rest of the world to bow to my whim. Why don’t we let the buying public decide what should be censored or not?

That being said, it’s always sad to watch the US go completely bonkers over the slightest suggestions of sexuality in magazines, on TV, or in movies. Yet they have no problem with sexualized child pageants, and incredibly graphic violence on television. Mass shootings are now entertainment on cable news, and porn is a sin, go figure.

Putting moral issues aside for a moment, do you think that any magazine should create grief for retailers who will now have to deal with public opinion both pro and con coming from his/her customers? I’m not sure that the hassle will be worth it to them.

If these people are so concerned about porn, why aren’t they advocating a ban on the internet? Are magazines where youth now go to look for porn? Better be careful next time you walk into the Watertown Walmart. We might not be allowed in the store as we might be too sexy for our own good.

The Politics of Small Town Change in Carleton Place

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Thursday August 13, 2015

Town of Carleton Place rejects St. James Anglican Church’s request to allow Manitoulin Chocolate Works to bring their business to town and restore Elliot Hall.
Related reading: The Willy Wonka Blues of Carleton Place

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How many small towns are truly successful without change? Some prosper, while many others suffer disinvestment, loss of identity and even abandonment. Towns like Perth keep their historic character and quality of life in the face of a rapidly changing world. Other towns have lost the very features that once gave them distinction and appeal. Perth, Merrickville, Almonte and many others accepted change without losing their heart and soul.

Those particular small towns have done it minus the cookie-cutter development, that has turned many communities into faceless places. They refused to be the small towns that young people flee, tourists avoid and which no longer instill a sense of pride in residents. Sound familiar?

Successful communities always have a plan for the future. Unfortunately, “planning” is a dirty word in communities, especially in small towns and rural areas. In some places, this is the result of today’s highly polarized political culture. It is difficult to name any successful business that doesn’t have a business plan. Without one it would a very hard time attracting investors or staying competitive in the marketplace.

It seems to be written in stone that some people in small towns don’t like change. But they need to understand that change is inevitable. The dynamics of the population and consumer attitudes are always changing, and they will affect a community whether people like it or not. Success only happens when we “embrace”  new and old ideas that can help our small businesses, and entice new ones.

A new industrial park is not going to attract tourists that spend money at our local businesses. We have an abundance of historic buildings, and an attractive and accessible waterfront that is underused. It also feels like the powers to be just want the town to stay the same. The more a community comes to look just like every other small town the less reason there is for anyone to visit. All we need to do is implement a small number of new ideas in Carleton Place. They could make a huge difference in this community.

Of course every town has its naysayers. The word “no”, is a very powerful word in a small community. Leaders of successful communities know that “yes” is a much better word for progress. Communities that embrace the future will prosper, and those that do not will decline. Sameness is not a plus-it is a huge minus. Small unique businesses like the Manitoulin Chocolate Works are the key to our small towns’ future. We need to leave a positive legacy. Don’t let the fear of change obscure the inevitability and necessity of progress like the Carleton Place Council did tonight.

Linda Seccaspina, 2015

If you want to now some history about that area and the different commercial  and non commercial places of Bell Street and area read here.

Buy Linda Secaspina’s Books— Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac– Tilting the Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place and 4 others on Amazon or Amazon Canada or Wisteria at 62 Bridge Street in Carleton Place

In Memory Of Those That Can’t Wave Back

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In reality, curators marketing communications of a museum put a great deal of thought into naming their shows, and the process can take a long time. “The title is your initial marketing hook,” says David Rubin, curator of contemporary art at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

Art has become infinitely more “theatrical”, and the elaborate titles of today’s exhibitions are a bit like titles for plays or films. They promise a story, something to relate to. So how do I get your attention to take a few seconds to read about an art auction for a fundraiser for The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum?

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Works of art have all been donated and are up for auction to help raise funds to create murals at The Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. The Museum is undertaking the “opening up” of 10 sealed up windows on the outside of the building by hiring local artists to create mural panels to fill these spaces. A mix of artists, mediums and subject matter are up for grabs! Funds raised will help the Museum to complete 10 mural panels that will be installed on the building in the summer of 2015. These murals are being produced by members of “Arts Carleton Place”, and will depict the various uses of the building’s history as the Town Hall, a Lock-Up, a School, and now as the local Museum.

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Art has shed its wordless purity. Remember those that went to school here and help support this project. The whole idea speaks the language of our town. The Show Is On– Window Art at The Museum– click here.

Help support our Museum for those that went there and can no longer wave back.

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                                                                      Carleton Place on the Mississippi
                                                                                    Blaine Cornell

 Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum

Do I Really Have to Write a Bio? Christine Armstrong

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You have met Amanda McNeely, Tiffany Nixon, Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, Lisa Strangway and Teri White who are part of our working team for your Ladies Who Lunch date on June 6th. Here is another one of our members ready to put this shindig all together.

Christine is one of our planning ladies for Ladies Who Lunch June 6th in Carleton Place. I had asked her to write a bio, but she was hesitant. Of course any bio is easier said then done. Where do you start? Where do you end? Like me she thinks everything happens for a reason and we are supposed to learn something from it all. Does it really shape us into the person we end up being?

Christine came from a wicked combination of ancestral roots. Family gatherings were quite the event coming from German, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and French Canadian descendants. Everyone expressed their opinion the way it is, they it was, and the way it will be–and none of them ever backed down from what they believed in.

Her love of art blossomed as a child when they headed up to the family’s ancestral home in beautiful Wiarton, Ontario. Everyone in the family, and she means all the generations, spent their summers at Great-Grandma’s boarding house. The entire family spent a couple of weeks living under the same roof, and as Christine said, “If that doesn’t bring a family close, she doesn’t know what will”.

In High School she had her own style and was different from the norm. She was an outspoken member of her student council and collaborated pairing a Pink Floyd prism on the council door. Christine believed in free speech and always stood up for what she believed in. Summers and weekends were spent hanging out in downtown Ottawa shopping at Flash Cadilac and Rock Junction. She met the love of her life in High School, and they have been together ever since.

Like she said earlier, everything happens for a reason, and at the age of 16 she became a Mother. Driven, she received her High School diploma with everyone else. She studied Child Youth Work at Algonquin and worked at McArthur High School and the Robert Smart Centre at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Work became hard to come by at that time, so she went back to school and studied accounting. By that time the recession of the 80’s hit so she took whatever work was offered. Christine worked a dictionary of jobs from: taxi dispatch, receptionist, waitress, special event server at the Prime Ministers house and finally executive assistant for GTIS.

Once she had her second child she decided to stay at home with her young children. But, she still had an art space overflowing with projects, lobbied the City of Ottawa, and was a vocal member of NO DUMP, and even worked the back war room of a political campaign for a Mayor of Ottawa candidate. Of course local residents of Carleton Place will remember Christine’s store C Style Fashions on Bridge Street where she dared to sell the eclectic in a rural town.

Christine said life is too short to dwell on what you could have done, or should have done, so she has had no regrets. She is following her heart and is most happiest when she does art and finally wants to write that book she has dreamed of since High School.

What you might not know about Christine is that in 2005 she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Walt Disney once said all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. I have no doubt nothing will ever slow Christine down. Ever.. because she is no vanishing act.

Apples $8 a Bag ???

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I have been reading some threads on my local Facebook groups complaining about rising prices in our Carleton Place grocery stores. Did you know since February that all your grocers have faced a stiff 7.5% jump in how much they’re paying for fruits, vegetables, and produce in general? Of course the prices for fresh food always jump in the winter because the produce is imported from the United States and Mexico. But this years rise in prices has little to do with the Winter seasons. Over 80% of our imported produce is bought and sold at the wholesale level only in U.S. DollarsYou can put the blame on our crashing Canadian currency along with competitive pressures. To put it simply, a decline in our dollar means it costs more to import food.

But with the sky-falling loonie, it has put pressure on supermarket owners to either absorb the higher costs, or pass it on to us shoppers. In February Loblaws had no choice and had to raise prices and cut back on promotions. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Some say our Canadian loonie might fall as low as 75 cents U.S. before it even recovers. 

Customers are extremely value conscious these days and discount supermarkets are continuing to attract more customers. Walmart is said to be going on a huge reduction campaign in their supermarkets, but now that Target has left Canada, it remains to be seen what they will do. .

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I have also noticed the price of a pack of ground beef originally $14 to 16 is now up to $23 to $27. Why? Well there seems to have been some sort of past protein shortage which passed on the resulting spike.Then you have to figure the nation-wide droughts caused a shortage in corn.The major use of corn is livestock, and the cost of keeping livestock alive got more expensive. But, word on the street is that should end soon. But the farmer reps still want the highest price and want a high-low price cycle of doing business. How long is it going to be before the processors move out of this province and country ?

Grocers have to become more creative and less-than-desirable produce that many of us are quick to discard will now be sought out and sold in its own special section at certain Loblaw banner stores in Ontario and Quebec, Bravo Loblaws! We are an imperfect species. Embrace imperfect produce!

In closing I say, take it easy on your local grocers–they have a nightmare on their hands.They don’t even set the prices on our weekly flyers-the head office does. There is no way I would want to be in their shoes, but my personal view still is, if prices keep rising, do the hungry today become the starving tomorrow? Where does it end?

Memories of Eating Easter Candy and Cake

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All photos of edibles are in the reach of your fingertips. Photographed at Independent Grocers, Walmart, and The Old Towne Bakery in Carleton Place

Each Easter my Grandfather would go across the street to the candy store and purchase a large chocolate rabbit for myself, and a hen for my sister Robin. They had frosting trim, stood three feet tall, and were stored in bright colourful boxes full of enough white shredded paper to start a good fire later.

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He also made a point of going down to the bakery and buying Hot Cross Buns. The buns were one thing, but what Grampy thought we were going to do with this huge amount of chocolate one only knows. However, my Grandmother knew exactly what she was going to do with it.

Mary Louise Deller Knight was going to freeze it like everything else that was considered leftovers. My Grandmother thought the freezer life span was forever, and she would some how fit that sucker into one of the tiniest freezers you had ever seen. A few months later in July, she would make some monstrous chocolate cake out of the Easter Rabbit for the annual Oyster Supper that my Dad convened at church.

As I have aged, I have discovered that Easter candy does not seem to travel as well in my body anymore. I get horrible heart burn, and have nightmares for the time span that I devour the sugary treats.

Last night I dreamt I was traveling on a bus for hours, and the night before I was trying to find Jane Austen. Austen was never to be found, but I did see a trail of shredded bright Cadbury Creme Egg foil so I assume she somehow got into my stash. The nerve of her!

Maybe I should have followed the advice of my Grandmother and just stashed the rest of the Easter candy on top of the fridge. Grammy claimed she always stored a lot of food on the top as calories were afraid of heights. Maybe this is my problem; I cannot lose weight because I don’t store candy at a high enough altitude. 

Happy Holiday weekend!

Read all about Jeff Mitchell and Serge Robichaud of Independent Grocers in Carleton Place

Don’t forget to visit and read all about them next week!

The Old Towne Bakery

73 Lake Ave. West
Carleton Place, Ontario
(613) 253-0666

Easter Hours

Closed Good Friday April 3, 2015
OPEN SATURDAY APRIL 4, 2015
Closed Sunday April 5, 2015
Cloased Monday April 6, 2015